Question: why do we get cyclones

  1. Hi whatawow,

    Cyclones are formed from thunderstorms, but they need the ocean and a low pressure system to become a cyclone.

    The ocean is the ultimate source of energy for cyclones, and the water needs to be greater than 26.5 degrees C. Warm water causes water to evaporate at a greater rate, causing the collection of clouds and rain, as the water condenses in the atmosphere, it starts to fall back as I said as rain, but the warm air continues to rise. This rising of air, means that air needs to be pulled into fill the gap at sea level and thereby increasing the uptake of more water vapour, and feeds back into the initial scenario.

    The rotation of the cyclone essentially concentrates a number of storms into the one body, and away goes the cyclone.


  2. Nice answer Dustin



  1. what are the differences between cyclones, tornados and hurricanes?


    • Hi Shady,

      The difference between cyclones and hurricanes once was the point of origin for the storm and the wind speed. However, it appears now that even meteorologists use the words interchangeably – after all in essence they are similar things.

      A tornado though is a much smaller storm but caused in a similar fashion. First you need a supercell, which is basically big storm, then again you have the effect of warm moist air low and cool dry air above. The warm air rushes up, pulling in more warm air. These take place over land and when over the ocean are referred to as water spouts, because it looks like water is being sucked into the sky.

      Here is one recently off NSW