Hypercane: The Storm To End All Storms

Hypercane: The Storm To End All Storms

Imagine a storm so large that it reaches into the atmosphere, so wide that it could cover all of North America, and so catastrophic that it could pose a threat to all life on Earth.

Imagine a storm so large that it reaches into the atmosphere, so wide that it could cover all of North America, and so catastrophic that it could pose a threat to all life on Earth. This devastating storm is what is known as a hypercane. Although there are no known records of a storm like this, scientists have theorized what it would look like and how it may come to pass. The current leading theory is that a storm like this came in conjunction with one of the mass extinction events — possible the Devonian or Permian extinctions of the Paleozoic era.

So it’s possible a storm like this has occurred, and it’s also possible that it could happen again. To understand what a hypercane theoretically is, you have to understand how a tropical cyclone works. A tropical cyclone is a thunderstorm that forms over warm waters and has wind speeds reaching 74 mph or more. The storms are labeled as hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones, depending on which region of the world they originate from. Storms brewing on the Atlantic and Northeastern Pacific Oceans are called hurricanes, while those which occur in the Northwest Pacific Ocean are called typhoons, and those originating in the south Pacific and Indian Oceans are called cyclones.

To be classified as such a devastating natural disaster, the thunderstorm must be huge, with most averaging 9 miles tall, and 125 miles in diameter. In theory, this could all be dwarfed by the fabled hypercane, which can have wind speeds reach nearly 500 mph. Even the size of this storm is legendary, theorized to be 30 miles tall, and over 2,500 miles wide. Now, this sounds terrifying, and frankly, unbelievable, so how can a tropical storm become this raging monstrosity.

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