Despite the fact of being crazy enough to purposely go directly to the path of an incoming hurricane, one has to ask how do hurricanes form?
Let’s get a basic understanding.
First, you need warm water.
Second, you need a low shear environment.
Then you need storms to initiate.
Most hurricanes start as a bunch of thunderstorms that explode over the ocean off the coast of Africa. This complex of thunderstorms begins to increase in area and as the air within this area begins to rise, being just slightly north of the equator, it begins to turn counter-clockwise as a low pressure begins to form.
Along the equatorial region, tradewinds carry the thunderstorm complex to the west over the Atlantic ocean.
Hurricanes can’t form at any time of the year, either. There are ingredients that must be in place.
Hurricanes need 1.) Water temperature of at least 79 degrees F, 2.) be over open water and 3.) low shear aloft (basically, a relative higher pressure above the developing tropical system).
As a hurricane intensifies, in most cases, an “eye” will form. This eye is the result of all the air being drawn or sucked in to the low pressure and being pushed up through the center and out of the top of the hurricane. The eyewall, or the clouds and storms most near the eye, are where the most dangerous and destructive winds are within a hurricane. In some cases, I have witnessed two eye walls. An inner and outer eyewall. Hurricane Maria and Irma both exhibited this feature. However, the inner eyewall is the most intense and extreme winds within the hurricane.