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Subject: H6) Are there hurricanes on other planets ?

Contributed by Robert A. Black (HRD)

There are no other planets known to have warm water oceans from which true water cloud hurricanes can form. However, many astronomers and planetary meteorologists believe gas giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn exhibits such storms. The principal candidate is the famous Great Red Spot (GRS) on Jupiter, and the numeous whorls that surround it, where ammonia takes the place of water. The GRS exhibits an anticyclonic circulation at its top, just as tropical cyclones do at the top of the troposphere. Over 400 extrasolar planets have been found to date, but no others are confirmed to have convectively driven storms. However, there is every reason to believe such storms exist on extrasolar planets as well.


Jupiter's Great Red Spot (NASA/JPL)

Last updated April 13, 2010

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