Every year between June 1 and November 30 (commonly called hurricane season), hurricanes threaten the eastern and gulf coasts of the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In other parts of the world, the same types of storms are called typhoons or cyclones. These huge storms wreak havoc when they make landfall. They can kill thousands of people and cause billions of dollars of property damage when they hit heavily populated areas.

Photo courtesy Weather.com, photographer Stuart Livingston
Destructive waves from Hurricane Opal (1995) at the State Pier in Gulf Shores, AL

In this article, we'll define a hurricane and its parts. We'll discuss how hurricanes differ from other tropical storms, how they move, the destruction and damage they cause, and how hurricanes are tracked. You'll be amazed at the power and impact of these storms!