A hurricane is a rotating tropical storm with winds of at least 74 miles (119 kilometers) an hour. These storms are called hurricanes when they develop over the Atlantic or eastern Pacific Oceans.
They are called cyclones when they form over the Bay of Bengal and the northern Indian Ocean.
They are called typhoons when they develop in the western Pacific.
Most Atlantic Ocean hurricanes form near the Cape Verde Islands off Africa`s west coast.
Once a tropical storm`s winds hit a constant speed of at least 74 miles (119 kilometers) an hour, it becomes a hurricane. The eye is the low-pressure center of the hurricane. Air sinks inside the eye, clearing the skies and making it relatively calm. A ring-shaped eye wall surrounds the eye and carries the storm`s most violent winds and its most intense rains.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and central Pacific is from June 1 to November 30. In the eastern Pacific, it is from May 15 to November 30.
Hurricanes can cause floods, flash floods, tornadoes, and landslides. Storm surge, an abnormal rise in sea level, is usually the most dangerous part of a hurricane. Surges can cause beach erosion, wash out roads, and decimate homes. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Florida use satellite imagery, airborne reconnaissance, and computer-model projections to track storms.