Canadian Geographic
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INSIDE: Horrifying hurricanes Go now!

A hurricane is a cyclical storm of tropical origin thousands of square kilometres across with speeds between 65 and 240 knots (120—445 km/h).

Horrifying hurricanes

A combination of the sun’s heat and the earth’s rotation powers the movement of winds carrying weather systems across the globe — and across the length and breadth of Canada. The temperature differences between the poles and the equator provide the energy that drives atmospheric circulation: low-pressure polar air sinks and migrates to the equator while high-pressure warm air from the tropics rises and moves to the poles. This global circulation system is the mechanism that drives Canada’s daily weather. In low-pressure areas, warm air rises and cools, forming clouds, which bring rain, fog, snow, hail, and thunderstorms. In high-pressure areas, cold air descends and, as it falls, it is compressed and heats up, generally bringing clear, warm, and settled weather. Canada’s vast size and varied landscape also influence day-to-day conditions, some of which include the record-breaking weather extremes described in this section.


On the next page:

Climate zones

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Quiz :

Where was the lowest temperature on record in Canada recorded?

Snag, Yukon
Inukjuag, Nunavut
Winnipeg, Manitoba