Why don’t hurricanes form at the equator?

The strong winds from a hurricane are known as tropical cyclones in some parts of the world, so you can expect them to sweep across the tropics. But there is one area of ​​the tropics where hurricanes almost never form: the equator.

Historical maps of the locations of tropical cyclones (also called typhoons and hurricanes, depending on the location) would reveal that “it is extremely rare for them to form within a few degrees of the equator.” Gary Barnes (opens in a new tab), a meteorologist who is now retired from the University of Hawaii, told Live Science. (One degree of latitude covers approximately 69 miles or 111 kilometers.)

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