Where there is snow on the ground, it is a clear indicator that winter in near or already here. Meaning the oceans waters will be colder. But can hurricanes still form in such weather?

  • $\begingroup$ Hurricanes are forming in the Bay of Bengal right now and there is snow falling in the Himalayas. Does that qualify ? $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    Nov 3 '16 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ weather.com/news/weather/news/… $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    Nov 3 '16 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ Hurricane formation has several requirements, chief of which is a sea surface temperature of >27 deg C. $\endgroup$ Nov 5 '16 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ the definition of a hurricane is wind speed over 32m/s and most of them happen in or close to the arctics but tropical hurricanes are more powerfull. $\endgroup$ Jan 6 '18 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale $\endgroup$ Jan 6 '18 at 10:39

First off, hurricanes form in tropical seas over warm water. In general, they form in places where it never snows at all. Also, they form over the ocean, and it is hard to have snow on the ground in the ocean. So in that sense, the answer is: No, hurricanes cannot form in a place where there is snow on the ground.

However, you may mean to ask can a hurricane show up to a place where there is snow on the ground. This is a little more difficult.

Wikipedia's off-season Atlantic hurricane page lists 21 hurricanes that formed in Dec-Feb. Of special interest is the 1952 Groundhog day tropical storm which hit Cape Cod on Feb 4th and Maine Feb 5th of that year. Hyannis, MA had 2 inches of snow on Jan 28th of that year, which melted by Feb 1st (temp data found here). It dropped to 30 degrees F the night of the 3rd before the hurricane hit. The airport in Bangor, ME had snowfall the 28th and 29th of January which persisted on the ground until the 3rd of February. The night of the 4th dropped to 21 degrees F before the hurricane hit on the 5th.

In both cases, temperatures got into the 40s and heavy precipitation while the storm was passing assuredly melted the snow on the ground. But in that sense of your question: Yes, hurricanes can strike somewhere with snow on the ground, although the warm air and rainfall of the hurricane will probably melt that snow.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Nepal_snowstorm_disaster Cyclone Hudhud moved through India and caused a snowstorm in Nepal. $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    Nov 3 '16 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ I love the citation of facts in that article, 'According to an unnamed expert'... $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Nov 3 '16 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I noticed that. But somewhere I have the GFS forecast for Hudhud and it did enter Nepal via Uttar Pradesh. $\endgroup$
    – gansub
    Nov 3 '16 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ the question is about hurricanes not about tropical hurricanes. $\endgroup$ Jan 6 '18 at 11:38

While I have not seen any documentation of this, I would think that it is a virtual certainty that a hurricane can drop snow at sufficiently high altitudes. Perhaps the best example of such a place would be 18491ft Mount Orizaba on Mexico’s Gulf Coast close to Veracruz. I would venture to guess that, at this altitude, ANY hurricane probably results in severe blizzard conditions at the summit.


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