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What is a Hurricane?

Each year, hurricanes sweep across the globe, leaving destruction behind. What is a hurricane, and how is it formed?

The hurricanes that are most commonly known are the tropical hurricanes, that form in the Atlantic ocean between August and November. These storms are rated based on the speed of their winds. They can be:

* Tropical Disturbance: low winds < 23mph
* Tropical Depression: winds from 23-39mph
* Tropical Storm: winds from 40-74mph
* Hurricane: sustained winds of 75mph and over

In essence a Hurricane (and its weaker cousins) is a spinning spiral of warm air. The center of a Hurricane (its "eye") is very warm. Above this eye, clockwise winds are spinning. Below the eye, counterclockwise winds are spinning.

Hurricanes are very powerful over the ocean, because it's the water condensation that gives them energy. For this reason, they slam into a coastline with great force, but tend to dissolve away the further inland they get.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Naming a Hurricane
Categories of Hurricanes

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