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25 Interesting Facts about Hurricanes

25 Interesting Facts about Hurricanes

Want to know more about hurricanes? It’s a weather phenomenon that can cause devastating damage. And to learn more about it, here are 25 Interesting facts about hurricanes that you probably didn’t know about before reading this.

What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a type of storm which originate in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. It must have a minimum wind speed of 74 mph, otherwise, it will just be labeled a tropical storm.

Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters near the equator

The hurricanes are formed when warm and moist air above the ocean surface rises. This causes the air from surrounding areas to be “sucked” in and this will further increase the warmth and moist of the air.

This creates a continuous cycle that forms clouds which will then rotate, and if the water is warm enough, a hurricane will form.

They rotate around a circular center called the “eye

In the middle of the hurricane, there is a calm and warm part often called the eye due to its resemblance to an eye.

There are usually no clouds in the eye, but just outside is what is known as the eyewall, which is the most dangerous and strongest part of the hurricane in terms of wind speeds, clouds and amount of rain.

The hurricane eye

Photo: Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock

Hurricanes and Typhoons are the same weather phenomenon

Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same phenomenon, and the only real difference between these tropical storms is the location of where they take place.

Typhoon is the name for tropical storms in the Northwest Pacific, and cyclones occur in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Just like hurricanes, they must reach wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or higher to be classified as a typhoon or cyclone. 

This is definitely one of the many interesting facts about hurricanes!


Photo: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

Each hurricane is named

Every hurricane gets named to keep track of it, and it will be either a female or male name. In the beginning, they were given names such as “love” “easy” and so on, but nowadays the hurricane will always get a personal name. 

They mostly occur from June to November

This period is also known as the hurricane season, and it usually occur from June to November, even though some hurricanes can form at other times of the year if the conditions are met. 

Hurricane season

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If the storm is especially destructive the name will be retired

Each hurricane gets named from an official list with various male and female names. However, if the hurricane is especially destructive, the name will be retired, for example, Katrina, Irma, Harvey, Florence, and Maria just to mention a few destructive hurricanes in recent years. 

This is done to honor and pay respects to the victims of those storms, and it basically means that no other storm can be given the same name in the future. 

Florida is hit by at least 40% of hurricanes in America

Of all the states in the USA, Florida is the most hurricane-prone state. At least 40% of all hurricanes in America will hit Florida. The Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Hawaiian islands are most vulnerable to hurricanes. 

There are many Caribbean islands that get severely hit every year, and Abaco in the Bahamas is often cited as the hurricane capital of the world, most recently the devastating storm named Dorian.

The Netherland Antilles is another hurricane-prone place as well as Key West in Florida. 

florida hurricane facts

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Hurricane hunters fly planes into storms

Regular airplanes would never fly into hurricanes, but the Hurricane hunters from the United States Air Force will fly into storms with specialized aircraft to gather data.

This has been done since World War II and it further helps to keep people safe as well as complement the numbers from satellites. 

There are 5 categories determining the strength

The Saffir-Simpsons scale classifies hurricanes depending on their wind speeds, and this helps to determine the danger and strength. Category 1 is the weakest hurricane class whereas category 5 is highly powerful with potentially catastrophic damage. 

hurricane categories

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5 x Shocking facts about hurricanes

  • A huge hurricane can release energy equivalent to 10 atomic bombs per second
  • The winds in the hurricane can cause above 2 millions trillion gallons of rains per day
  • It is believed that these tropical storms have killed approximately 1.9 million people over the past 200 years
  • Guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier stay at their posts during a hurricane
  • There are people writing to the government asking them to nuke hurricanes
Hurricane facts

Photo: Jacqueline F Cooper/Shutterstock

5 x Hurricane facts for kids

  • A category 5 hurricane is the strongest in terms of wind speed
  • The word “hurricane” is derived from Taino, and it’s a Native American word that can be translated as the evil spirit of the wind
  • Most hurricanes occur only at sea but some will also reach land, which makes them dangerous
  • The temperature in a hurricane eye can exceed 80°F thousands of feet above the sea
  • Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes, although they only last for a few minutes
Facts about hurricanes for kids

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General Facts about Hurricanes

As you have learned from these hurricane facts, some areas are more prone to hurricanes, and Florida is one such state in the US. There are five different categories according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which determines the strength of the storm.

These categories are ranked after the wind speed which can range from 74 miles per hour up to category 5 with winds up to 157 miles per hour or more.

  • It’s a tropical storm which forms near the equator in warm ocean water
  • To be classified a hurricane it has to reach speeds of more than 74 miles per hour

More information about Hurricanes

If you’re looking for facts about hurricanes, it might also be interesting to learn more about some of the most frequently asked questions. 

How long can a hurricane last?

A typical last for about 24 hours, but it can also last up to 1-2 weeks, and the longest hurricane ever recorded lasted for 31 days. As soon as the hurricane reaches land it gets weaker until it dies out.

But it can also reinforce itself if the conditions are right, which could increase the hurricane’s lifespan.

What is the deadliest hurricane in history?

The great hurricane of 1780 is usually listed as the deadliest hurricane with up to 27,500 deaths.

What makes hurricanes so deadly?

The large waves produced by the hurricane is usually the greatest threat to life and the main cause of damage. The storm surge is another factor that is causing destruction and leads to deaths.

How do you survive a hurricane?

If you’re not evacuating, you should stay inside and find a safe spot away from windows, glass doors and other potentially dangerous items that might break during the storm. Some of the safest places in a home are usually in a closet or downstairs bathroom.

Below are some of the essential things that you should have in order to survive a hurricane as safely as possible: 

  • One gallon of water per person a day for at least three days
  • At least three days supply of food 
  • Battery-powered radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
survival kit storms

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Can a plane fly over a hurricane?

A plane will usually only fly over a hurricane if it’s an emergency. The standard procedure is to fly around bad weather due to turbulence and potential danger, especially when it comes to stronger storms. 

However, hurricanes are not always as tall as thunderstorms for example, which means that some parts of the hurricane can be safely flown over. 

How many of these Hurricane facts did you know already? Leave a comment below!