UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
What is the eye of the storm?
Answer 1:

The "eye" of the storm is the middle of a cyclone of air. If enough hot air rises in the Northern Hemisphere (north of the Equator), it can push the air around it to move counter-clockwise (when looking from above). Moving air is called wind. This rotating body of air can become a cyclone (like a hurricane) and look like a giant circle with arms that spread out away from the "eye".

In the middle of the eye, the air is not moving around in a circle. Instead, the air is rising (moving away from the ground toward the sky). Because of this special type of air movement, the eye of the storm does not have a strong wind blowing and is more "calm" than the rest of the storm. However, the eye of a storm does not stay in one spot. So, if you happen to be in the eye of a storm, don't get comfortable: because the eye will move and you'll be back in the stormy wind!


Answer 2:

Most storms and cyclones are a circular shape. The center of the storm is called the eye. Usually the eye has calmer weather than the rest of the storm (which is due to much lower pressure in the middle). The eye is often an easy spot to see, so we can track the movement of storms from watching how the eye moves.


Answer 3:

Tropical storms (including hurricanes and typhoons) have a region of descending air in the very center of them. Descending air causes clouds to dissipate, resulting in clear sky in the very center. A satellite viewing the storm from space will see a region in the center where there is no cloud, which is normally circular because the air is spiraling into the storm, creating a circular shape. This round, cloudless region is called the "eye" of the storm.


Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use