Storm Components – Parts of a Hurricane

At Left: A satellite image of Hurricane Andrew prior to landfall in the Bahamas and South Florida in 1992.

Now, that we’ve discussed the basics of hurricanes, where they form, their stages of development, and what factors influence their development or decay, it’s time to take a look at what storm components or parts make up a well-developed hurricane. Below, are the most common components of a hurricane.

Eye – Is the center of circulation, and area of lowest pressure within a hurricane. Within the eye of a hurricane, you will encounter clear skies and calm winds. However, don’t let that fool you because once the eye passes your area, the other side of the storm will arrive, and the stormy weather will continue.

Eye Wall – This is the narrow area of intense thunderstorms that surround the eye of a hurricane. In this region, you will encounter the most ferocious portion of the storm with the highest winds it can muster.

Central Dense Overcast – Or, CDO, as it is commonly known, is the mass of embedded clouds that make up the inner portion of the hurricane. This contains the eyewall, and the eye itself. The classic hurricane contains a symmetrical CDO, which means that it is perfectly circular and round on all sides.

Outflow – This is the outer fringe of a hurricane that serves as a very important element in hurricane development. That is because the outflow represents all the energy being released by the hurricane. A powerful hurricane always has good outflow.