Hurricanes are giant, spiraling tropical storms that can pack wind speeds of over 160 miles (257 kilometers) an hour and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons (9 trillion liters) of rain a day. Despite unexpectedly low damage assessments, the hurricane was bigger and longer lasting than it had any right to be, experts say. While hurricanes, droughts, floods, and storm surges are natural events, the degree of disaster is often now heavily influenced by humans.
The National Geographic Society aims to be an international leader for global conservation and environmental sustainability. The word hurricane comes from the Taino Native American word, hurucane, meaning evil spirit of the wind.
The first time anyone flew into a hurricane happened in 1943 in the middle of World War II. A tropical storm is classified as a hurricane once winds goes up to 74 miles per hour or higher.

Slow moving hurricanes produce more rainfall and can cause more damage from flooding than faster-moving, more powerful hurricanes. Hurricane Floyd was barely a category I hurricane, but it still managed to mow down 19 million trees and caused over a billion dollars in damage. Most people who die in hurricanes are killed by the towering walls of sea water that comes inland. Hurricane season is from June to November when the seas are at their warmest and most humid, which are ripe conditions for a hurricane to develop.
Like tornadoes, typhoons and hurricanes happen when warm air mixes with cold air, creating intense wind, rain and flooding. Typhoons and hurricanes happen when warm air mixes with cold air, creating intense wind, rain and flooding.
Take the FREE & fun Typhoons and Hurricanes quiz and download FREE Typhoons and Hurricanes worksheet for kids.

When a hurricane makes landfall it often produces a devastating storm surge that can reach 20 feet (6 meters) high and extend nearly 100 miles (161 kilometers). Torrential rains cause further damage by spawning floods and landslides, which may occur many miles inland.The best defense against a hurricane is an accurate forecast that gives people time to get out of its way. The National Hurricane Center issues hurricane watches for storms that may endanger communities, and hurricane warnings for storms that will make landfall within 24 hours.

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