|How does a hurricane form?
High above the Earth from aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Ron Garan snapped this image of Hurricane Irene as it passed over the Caribbean on Aug. 22, 2011.
The National Hurricane Center noted on Aug. 22 that Irene is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Southeastern Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands. Isolated maximum amounts of rainfall may reach up to 20 inches.
Starting as a
slight pressure difference visible as nondescript clouds, Hurricane Irene grew into a large spiraling storm system of low pressure off the coast of
A hurricane is powered by
evaporating ocean water, and so typically gains strength over warm water and loses strength over land.
Besides Earth, other planets that have hurricane-like storm systems include
Much remains unknown about
hurricanes and cyclones, including the exact path they will take.