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Rising Sea Temperatures - Hurricanes?

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I only have a basic understanding on hurricanes and their formation..... Spin of the Earth and suitable heat in the water to feed it.

Most unusual hurricane (IMO) was the 1987 one that hit England.

With sea temperatures around the world rising I am intrigued to know your opinion (or should you have facts or further reading on the subject) as to whether hurricanes will be able to develope and hit locations never before experiencing these acts of nature.

Down to a technical level, could the spin of the Earth be insufficient to generate hurricanes to hit Scandanavia for example.

Is the ocean to small in the North Sea to generate a tropical depression etc....

Is the case these storms are likely to always occur near Japan and North America (generalising).


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Posted (edited)

The storm that hit England in Oct 1987 was actually a normal depression (or extra-tropical cyclone). No different to ones which hit the UK every year. And much stronger wind speeds have been experienced on other occasions (the storm that hit the NW of Scotland in January last year was even more severe, for example). Much of the damage in both cases was caused by a phenomena called a 'sting jet'.

sting jet

Jan 2005 storm

Tropical cyclone (hurricane)

Sub tropical cyclone

Extra tropical cyclones / Mid latitude cyclones ('lows' or 'depressions')

The remains of some tropical cyclones do affect the UK - you'll often hear in the autum a weather forcaster mentioning that wind and rain is caused by the 'remnants of hurricane Andy". Although usually these tropical storms get absorbed into normal mid latitude cyclones. Theoretically it's possible that if sea temperatures continue to rise that one of these could still be classified as a sub-tropical cyclone when it reached the UK.

Last year Maderia was affected by Hurricane Vince but this is the closest Europe has come to being hot by an actual hurricane. The N Atlantic waters are still much too cold to maintain a tropical storm any further north.

And for a tropical storm to actually form in the N Atlantic or N Sea we'd need to see average sea temperatures rise by a good 10c.

Theoretically a tropical cyclone could form in the Mediterranean though. And some argue that there have already been storms form there that, to all intents and purposes, were Mediterranean Hurricanes

Edit: FAQs about hurricanes :)

Edited by Essan

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Many thanks for the information and links to pages....

I was very interested in reading the Meditterranean Hurricanes until my works software banned it as WebHosting.

Will have to do a google hunt.

Cheers :)

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