ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Are you a weather enthusiast? See if you can correctly guess this WFXR Weather Trivia question!
True or False: Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons typically form near the equator.
Did you guess correctly? Look below to see if you got the question right:
Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones rarely form near the equator. Only a handful of tropical cyclones have formed within five degrees latitude of the equator.
The main reason hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones rarely develop near the equator is due to the lack of Coriolis force.
The Coriolis force is defined as an apparent force caused by the rotation of the Earth. Velocity, angular velocity, and latitude are used to calculate Coriolis force in a particular location. The equator’s latitude is zero, so there is no Coriolis force at the equator.
Cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons need organized rotation to form. This rotation is caused by the Coriolis force as air is drawn toward the growing tropical storm. Since the Coriolis force is too weak near the equator, it’s difficult to get air to rotate around a storm system. If you can’t get the air to rotate, then you can’t get a storm to develop.