Dear Tom,

What happens to the storms when they leave the US? Do they fizzle out, come back around, and hit us again? What happens?
Dave Seastrom, Lisle

Dear Dave,

Low-pressure systems generally have life cycles that range from a few days to, on rare occasions, several weeks. They can travel thousands of miles, but not around the world. During a typical life cycle, the low forms, intensifies, matures, and then dissipates, often becoming absorbed in the circulation of larger or newly formed low-pressure systems. Low-pressure systems that enter the U.S. on the West Coast usually redevelop as they cross the Rockies, then dissipate or become assimilated in another low-pressure area. Atlantic hurricanes have been tracked to northern Europe, transforming into strong, non-tropical storms accompanied by heavy rains and high winds.