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Meteorology (Weather)/Am I stupid and am I wrong about this?


This is a current even but I'm in a debate with my sisters boyfriend who apparently went to school for meteorology. I'm 21 years old and have always been fascinated by storms and any type of weather. I told him that hurricanes need warm water to form because it's the fuel the storm needs to produce the winds and waves. He told me that that's wrong. Then I said that in the United States, storm systems move west to east and sometimes come from the gulf to northeast. He then told me that storms can move from New York to California and told me that he went to school for this. Am I stupid?

Hi Kelsey,

You are correct. The ocean water needs to be at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit. What essentially happens is when the hurricane comes into contact with warm water, it ingests and evaporates the water into the storm. When the water evaporates, latent heat is released and that latent heat fuels the hurricane.

As for your second question, I guess it's theoretically possible. Is it likely to happen? I doubt it. I can't remember seeing a case like that.

Hope that helps.


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David Moran


I can answer questions about radar and large scale meteorology. If a question looks like homework, I won't answer it.


I have been a forecaster for many years with a specialty in severe weather.

Full Member, American Meteorological Society

BS in Meteorology, University of Oklahoma BA in Mathematics, University of Oklahoma

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