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How do Tropical storms

form?
Lesson Objectives:
Must: state where tropical storms occur
in the world (D/E)
Should: describe the stages of tropical
storm formation and the type of weather
hurricanes bring (C/B)
Could: explain why tropical storms do
not always pose a hazard to humans
(A/A*)

So what is a Tropical storm?


Watch this video clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP4rgvu4xDE

Watch the clip


All must: Write
down what a
Tropical storm is
Some could:
Suggest what
conditions are
needed for tropical
storms to form

Describe the Location of Tropical


Storms (3 marks)

Describe the Location of Tropical


Storms (3 marks)
Tropical storms occur close to the
equator
Tropical storms occur in the tropics
Tropical storms form in the Atlantic
ocean and move westward to reach
land in Central America
Tropical forms form in Pacific ocean
and move westwards to South east
Asia

http://ne
ws.bbc.co
.uk/1/hi/
sci/tech/
4588149.s
tm

Winds flow
outward above the
storm allowing the
air below to rise

Winds coming
together force air
upwards

Humid air rising


makes the clouds
of the storm

Warm ocean water


provides energy for
the hurricane and
causes more
evaporation making
humid air and clouds.

Light winds
outside the
hurricane steer it
and let it grow
Extension question: Why do not all
hurricanes pose a threat to humans?

Tropical storms Quiz Quiz


Trade

Extension question: Why do tropical


storms have minimal impact on the
UK?

Quiz Quiz Trade


1.

What temperature must the ocean be to form a hurricane?


26 degrees c (like a warm bath)

2.

Between what lines of latitude to they form?


Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn

3. What speed must the wind be before the storm is categorised


a hurricane?
74 mph
4.

What causes the moist air to spin inwards?


Trade Winds

5.

Where does the energy source come from?


Evaporation

Tropical storm Formation cut and


stick

Extension question: Why do tropical


storms only form at certain times of
the year?

Tropical storms Formation cut and


stick
Tropical cyclonesuse warm, moist air as fuel.
That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator.
The warm, moist air over the ocean rises rapidly upward from near the surface and becomes
saturated with evaporated moisture.
This means that there is less air left at the surface (i.e. low pressure).
Air from surrounding areas with higher air pressure pushes in to the low pressure area to try
to equalise the pressure.
Then that new air becomes warm and moist and rises, too. As the warm air continues to rise,
the surrounding air swirls in to take its place.
Trade winds cause the moist air to spin inwards.
As the warmed, moist air rises and cools off, the water in the air forms towering
cumulonimbus thunderclouds (because there is a huge amount of condensation).
The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the oceans heat and water
evaporating from the surface.

Review: GCSE Question


Study Figure 3 which shows the path of a tropical
storm. With the help of Figure 3, describe the
stage of the life cycle of a tropical storm (3
marks)