a tropical cyclone with winds > 64 knots

The vertical wind shear in a tropical cyclone's environment is also important. Wind shear is defined as the amount of change in the wind's direction or speed with increasing altitude. The video below shows how wind shear plays a role in hurricane formation.

When the wind shear is weak, the storms that are part of the cyclone grow vertically, and the latent heat from condensation is released into the air directly above the storm, aiding in development. When there is stronger wind shear, this means that the storms become more slanted and the latent heat release is dispersed over a much larger area.

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Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.