Hurricanes get their start over the warm tropical waters of the North
Atlantic Ocean near the equator. Most hurricanes appear in late summer or
early fall, when sea temperatures are at their highest. The warm waters
heats the air above it, and the updrafts of warm, moist air begin to rise.
Day after day the fluffy cumuli form atop the updrafts. But the cloud
tops rarely rise higher than about 6,000 feet.
At that height in the tropics, there is usually a layer of warm, dry air
that acts like an invisible ceiling or lid.
Once in a while, something happens in the…
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