The intense winds of hurricanes are known as tropical cyclones in some parts of the world. So you can assume that they will sweep across the entire tropics. But there is one area of the tropics where hurricanes almost never form: the equator.
Maps of the historical locations of tropical cyclones (also known as hurricanes and hurricanes, depending on location) show that “they very rarely form within a few degrees of the line. equator,” said Gary Barnes, a now-retired meteorologist at the University of Hawaii. (A latitude covers about 69 miles, or 111 kilometers.)
But why don’t hurricanes form at the equator? Essentially, hurricane winds are the result of conservation of angular momentum imparted by the Earth’s rotation At the equator, even when the air is stable, the Earth and the outer atmosphere on it is actually traveling at more than 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h). This movement follows the direction of Earth’s rotation, from west to east.
A tropical storm as seen from the ISS space station. Photo: NASA
The Earth’s circumference is largest at the equator. This means that anything standing above the equator is moving faster, with a greater distance to the East, than anything further away from the equator – like north or south on the equator. the Earth’s surface, in the same amount of time.
If the air were to move north from the equator, it would still be moving quickly east with respect to its surroundings. This means that air from the equator moving north will turn right. In contrast, air from the equator moving south will deviate to the left.
This phenomenon, known as the Coriolis effect, helps control the vortex direction of tropical cyclones. In the Northern Hemisphere, air swirling to the right will create a counterclockwise rotation, and the opposite will happen in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hurricanes rotate due to the motion of their surroundings. Wind deflection is naturally very weak near the equator, but increases at high latitudes.
This is why tropical cyclones rarely form near the equator. At high latitudes (far from the equator), the air moves faster, the winds are stronger, promoting the strong development of tropical cyclones.
However, there are still strange exceptions, such as tropical storm Vamei that appeared in 2001 in the South China Sea. Accordingly, this storm intensified within 2 degrees of the equator, while its circulation actually formed earlier and further away from the equator. Scientists think that winds interacting with the topography of the Indonesian archipelago created Vamei’s vortex.
If a tropical storm crosses the equator, it will begin to suck in air that rotates in the opposite direction, which could cause the storm to weaken and disintegrate. However, a hurricane can also cross the equator at small distances, since the retrograde rotation is still quite small at the equator. However, a hurricane cannot extend beyond a few degrees to the other side of the hemisphere.
Refer to Live Science