Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. In some years, the Philippines are struck by more than 20 tropical storms and typhoons. The term applied to various storms depends on their location. Only one hurricane force storm has ever occurred in the South Atlantic - Hurricane "Catarina" in 2004.
Below is a map showing where each tropical cyclone has tracked between 1851 and 2007... use our Interactive Tracker to plot the storms on top of road and aerial maps.
When hurricanes strike is also determined by location. Below is a brief description of each basin's "hurricane season." More information can be obtained from the NOAA Hurricane FAQ.
ATLANTIC: Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30. Storms outside of these dates are not unheard of. As you can see from the graph, based on the average of 150 years of storms, activity ramps up in August, and peaks once in early September, then again in October. More statistics are available here. Persons traveling to areas near the Atlantic Basin should exercise caution during the entire Hurricane Season.
EASTERN PACIFIC: The Eastern Pacific basin's hurricane season is from May 15th to November 30th, peaking in late August or early September.
WESTERN PACIFIC: The Western Pacific basin's hurricane season is mostly from July 1 to November 30, peaking in late August or early September, though storms can occur year-round.
SOUTH PACIFIC: The South Pacific basin's hurricane season is from October 15 to May 15, reaching a peak in late February or early March.
INDIAN OCEAN: The Indian basin's hurricane season is from April 1 to December 31 for the northern Indian Ocean, and from October 15 to May 31 in the southern region.
The Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale is a categorical classification of hurricanes based on their wind speed, used by the U.S. government's National Hurricane Center.
To qualify as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale, maximum sustained winds must exceed 155 mph (135 kt).
Hurricanes that have a severe impact on lives or the economy are remembered by generations after the devastation they caused, and some go into weather history.
AccuWeather.com has created a number of specialty maps designed for tracking the progress of tropical storms and hurricanes. Use these maps in conjunction with our Hurricane Position graphic, as well as statements issued by the NHC with storm positions.
Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. In some years, the Philippines are struck by more than 20 tropical storms and typhoons.
Low pressure in the hurricane can act as a plunger, slightly pulling up the water level. However, the components that contribute to the greatest storm surge affect are the winds blowing to the left side of the storm and the topography of the land as the storm makes land fall.