When and Where Do Hurricanes Occur?

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.

More Weather Glossary

  • Hoar Frost

    After a cold, clear winter night without much wind, the ground and nearby tree branches may be covered by tiny, white ice crystals.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A

WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Tucson, AZ (1952)
60-mph winds ripped roofs off an apartment complex and an airplane hangar, sweeping dust and sand through the city and leaving 200 persons homeless.

North Carolina (1975)
Lightning killed 13 cows during a thunderstorm at Kenansville. Heavy rains elsewhere in the state forced the Tar River out of its banks at Greenville, causing 14 families to evacuate their homes.

New York (1975)
Severe thunderstorms in western and central NY: lightning struck a city park in Rochester injuring 12 children, all were playing on a metal jungle gym. One patrolman described the scene as if "someone threw a stick of dynamite in the middle of the crowd and it blew."

Rough Weather