|What is the Life Cycle of a Hurricane?|
There are several ingredients necessary for tropical cyclone development:
All hurricanes follow similar cycles of development. Stage one occurs with the formation of an area of disturbed weather or a tropical disturbance. If the conditions outlined above allow for the organization of a circulation and the windspeed remains less than 34 knots (39 mph), the system is upgraded to a tropical depression. As wind speeds intensify, but are still between 35 knots (39 mph) and 64 knots (74 mph), the system becomes a tropical storm and is given a name. Once winds are sustained above 64 knots (74 mph), the system is officially upgraded to a hurricane. As long as the above criteria are met, the intensity of the hurricane will usually remain constant or even intensify.
The life cycle of a hurricane can run its course in as little as a day. "Average life of a hurricane, determined by time and place of origin and rate of forward movement, is nine days." (TCMC, 1976). The longest life cycle of a hurricane ever recorded was Tropical Cyclone Ginger, which lasted 31 days (September 5 to October 5, 1971). (Ludlum, 1982).
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