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This illustration shows how air moves through the eye, eyewall, and rainbands of a hurricane. Air spirals up in the eyewall and drops down through the eye.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NOAA National Weather Service

The Eye of a Hurricane

At the center of a fierce tropical storm, there is a small area where the weather is calm, the sky is clear, and the winds are just light breezes. This area is called the eye of the storm. The eye looks like a circle when viewed from above, put it is shaped more like a cylinder.

Just outside the eye is the eyewall. This is the most violent part of a hurricane.  The eyewall is made of thunderstorm clouds. In the eyewall there are very strong winds. Warm, moist air is pulled into the storm along the eyewall. It cools and forms more cumulonimbus clouds.

Last modified March 12, 2009 by Lisa Gardiner.

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