Stormy Weather

Hurricanes, Monsoons, and Tropical Storms

Is a polar low like an Arctic hurricane?

Some strong hurricanes—such as 1992’s Hurricane Andrew—have continued to be active while traveling as far north as the Arctic, but at that point they are no longer considered tropical storms or hurricanes. There is also something called a “polar low,” which is like a small hurricane that can form above the Arctic Circle. Polar lows (extra-tropical lows) tend to range from 50 to 250 miles (100 to 500 kilometers) in diameter, versus tropical hurricanes that are easily twice as big in many cases. Not only are they smaller, but polar lows tend to have a shorter lifespan than southern hurricanes, rarely lasting more than 36 hours and more typically only about 12 hours. However, they can still be very intense, generating strong winds and heavy snowfalls.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Weather Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App