A hurricane happens when there are high speeds and wind that form over bodies of water in areas that are tropical. The eye of the hurricane, which is the middle of the hurricane, has winds at least 74 miles per hour. This storm is formed by low pressure.


What Are Other Names of Hurricanes?

Most people call a hurricane, a hurricane, but in other areas, they have different names. In Asia, they call hurricanes, typhoons. When a hurricane forms from the Indian Ocean, they are called cyclones. A hurricane has a scientific name and the name is tropical cyclone.

Hurricanes are also given other names that are formal names. Most of the hurricanes that form from the Atlantic Ocean are given names by the World Meteorological Organization. These names go in an order that is alphabetical and this repeats itself each year.

Hurricanes - Woods Hole

So the first name of the year always starts with the letter “A” and there are six different lists and each year there is a new list.

What Causes a Hurricane to Form?

In the tropical areas or the tropics, the weather is much warmer. When warm air flows over water, it becomes wet and it becomes cooler because of the cooler air. When this cool air hits with the warm air, it begins to rise, and this causes there to be large clouds.


The large storm clouds start to rotate. As the Earth is spinning and the rotation of the cloud begins, a storm system is formed. If this happens over large water areas, it will repeat and then it will cause there to be more clouds and will increase the speed of the wind. This causes the hurricane to form.

Tropical Cyclones

A tropical cyclone or a hurricane happens over oceans. Most of these storms happen close to the equator because this is where the land is the warmest. With there being large oceans and warm air, these storm systems can form.

When Do Hurricanes Happen?

Most hurricanes that form from the Atlantic Ocean happen between June 1st and November 30th each year. This timeframe is considered to be Hurricane season.

Are Hurricanes Dangerous?

Hurricanes, like any other type of storm can be dangerous. When they hit the land, they can cause a lot of damage. Most of the damage is from flooding. Hurricanes also cause storm surges. A storm surge is when the ocean gets big and goes over the coastline. This happens because of the winds.

The high winds can cause much damage to homes, businesses and it can cause trees to blow down and roofs to fly off. This is where most of the home damage comes in. Sometimes because of the change in the wind, tornados are formed after a hurricane form.

Different Parts of a Hurricane

A hurricane has different parts; the eye, the eye wall, rain bands, diameter and height.

The Eye

The eye of the hurricane is the center of the hurricane. In the center of the hurricane, the air pressure is low. The eye does not have clouds and in the eye the wind is very calm. Even though these are all facts, the center of the hurricane has the eye wall which is the most dangerous part of the hurricane.

The Eye Wall

The eye has a wall around the outside and this part of the hurricane has many, many clouds. This area of the hurricane is the most dangerous because it is where the high winds take place. Some of the winds can go up to 155 miles per hour.

Rain Bands

The rain band is the large band that spirals. This is the area of the hurricane that causes there to be a lot of rain. These bands cause there to be so much rain that flooding can happen.


Since hurricanes can be very large storms, the diameter of the storm is important to measure. Some hurricanes go over 600 miles of land.


The height of a hurricane is measured by the clouds. When there is a very large hurricane, it can go up to 9 miles high into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Levels of a Hurricane

A hurricane has different levels that are called categories. This is categorized by how hard the wind is blowing and how fast.

If the wind is blowing 38 miles or less, it is only called a tropical depression. If the wind is blowing 39-73 miles per hour, this is called a tropical storm.

Category 1 is when the winds are 74-95 miles per hour.

Category 2 is when the winds are 96-110 miles per hour.

Category 3 is when the winds are 111-129 miles per hour.

Category 4 is when the winds are 120-156 miles per hour

Category 5 is when the winds are 157 miles per hour or more.

More Facts About Hurricanes:

  • When a hurricane rotates, it goes counterclockwise in the north and it goes clockwise in the south.
  • When a hurricane is named, it goes boy, girl, boy girl.
  • You can learn more about hurricanes by watching the weather.
  • Meteorologist try to guess where hurricanes are going to travel.
  • Some letters are not used to name hurricanes such as Q, U, X, Y and Z.

What Did You Learn?

  • How many categories are there or hurricanes?
    Hurricanes come in 5 categories based on how fast the wind is blowing.
  • What causes a hurricane?
    A hurricane is caused when the warm air and the ocean mix and it causes the air to cool down.
  • What is the center of the hurricane called?
    The center of the hurricane is called the eye.
  • How do hurricanes get their names?
    The names of the hurricane depend on where they are located, but they are also given proper names which start with the letter “A” each year.
  • Are hurricanes dangerous?
    Hurricanes are dangerous because the winds blow things around and they bring a lot of rain and can cause flooding to take place.