Hurricane Initiation: An Hypothesis
Kern E. Kenyon
4632 North Lane, Del Mar, USA.
DOI: 10.4236/ns.2014.65031   PDF   HTML   XML   3,817 Downloads   5,168 Views   Citations


A hurricane initiation mechanism, believed to be new, is proposed for the eastern tropical North Atlantic Ocean. It starts with an outbreak of warm dry air from the Sahara Desert moving out over a fairly large region of ocean just west of the big bulge of Africa. Critical to the hypothesis is the experimental fact that heat diffuses significantly slower in air than water vapor does. In summer and early fall the desert air of the outbreak is warmer than the ocean surface it first encounters. Thus this air layer is cooled from below, which is initially stabilizing. However, water vapor diffuses up into the dry air faster than the air’s heat diffuses down to the sea surface, all over the generating region simultaneously. Consequently, a horizontally large layer of air somewhat above the sea surface becomes buoyant (less dense) and rises up as a unit, and the pressure of this layer decreases by the perfect gas law. Then the water vapor in the ascending air condenses around dust particles brought in from the desert, releasing heat and producing an additional upward acceleration of the already ascending air. Atmospheric pressure lowers further in accordance with Bernoulli’s law: where the (vertical) speed is greatest, the pressure is least. Measurements are suggested to validate the hypothesis if they do not already exist.

Share and Cite:

Kenyon, K. (2014) Hurricane Initiation: An Hypothesis. Natural Science, 6, 278-281. doi: 10.4236/ns.2014.65031.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Palmen, E. and Newton, C.W. (1969) Atmospheric Circulation Systems. Academic Press, New York, 471-522.
[2] Musk, L.F. (1988) Weather Systems. Cambridge University Press, New York, 133-142.
[3] Moran, J.M. and Morgan, J.M. (1991) Meteorology, the Atmosphere and the Science of Weather. MacMillan College Publishing Company, New York, 338-355.
[4] Anthes, R.A. (1997) Meteorology. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 113-124.
[5] Kenyon, K.E. (1999) North Pacific High: An Hypothesis. Atmospheric Research, 51, 15-34.
[6] Cussler, E.L. (1997) Diffusion. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 497.
[7] Ackerman, S.A. and Knox, J.A. (2015) Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere. 4th Edition, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Burlington, 244-271.
[8] Krishnamurti, T.N., Stefanova, L. and Mirsa, V. (2013) Tropical Meteorology. Springer Atmospheric Sciences, New York, 331-359.
[9] Ahrens, C.D. (2013) Meteorology Today. 10th Edition, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, 424-455.
[10] Jevons, W.S. (1857) On the Cirrus Form of Clouds. The London, Edinburg and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, 4th Series, 14, 22-35.
[11] Moran, J.M. (212) Weather Studies: Introduction to Atmospheric Science. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 412.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.