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Formation | Sea-surface Temperatures

Hurricanes form over tropical oceans and gain latent energy through evaporation of warm ocean waters. Formation, therefore, requires sufficiently warm sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) -- typically greater than 26° C. Since SSTs vary geographically and seasonally, the likely locations for tropical cyclone formation also change. Roll your cursor over the time line below. The white dots show the origin points of Atlantic tropical cyclones. Notice how these origin locations and SSTs change seasonally.
sea-surface temperature map legend
time line