How Do Hurricanes Form?

How Do Hurricanes Form?

First, just a bit of preliminary info about what a hurricane actually is:

A hurricane is a type of storm that is characterized by fast winds combined with heavy moisture.

Most hurricanes are accompanied by thunderstorms.

In the Northern Hemisphere, hurricanes feature a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface.

Worldwide, hurricane activity peaks in late summer, when water temperatures are warmest. However, each particular basin has its own seasonal patterns. 

In the North Atlantic, hurricane season occurs between June 1st and November 30th.

How Do Hurricanes Form?

The origins of hurricanes include a pre-existing weather disturbance, warm tropical oceans, high moisture, and relatively light winds. 

If these conditions persist long enough, they can combine to produce the violent winds, monstrous waves, and torrential rains that are associated with hurricanes. 

how do hurricanes form 


  1. Hurricanes are also known as typhoons, cyclonic storms and tropical depressions, depending on where the storm originates.
  2. Hurricanes are marked by powerful winds, heavy rain storms, tidal waves, and tornadoes.
  3. Hurricanes originate over large bodies of water and fizzle out as they move inland, but often not before causing devastating damage to nearby areas. In fact, hurricanes are the main cause of property damage in coastal regions.
  4. The intensity of a hurricane is measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which calculates wind speed and air pressure. By this measure, the strength of each hurricane is designated by a category number between one and five.
  5. The strongest hurricanes have wind speeds of more than 155 miles per hour. 
  6. The custom of giving common human names to hurricanes began back in the 1800s. Hurricanes were always named after women until 1983. The first hurricane given a man's name was called Hurricane Charlie. 
  7. The core (also known as the eye) of a hurricane is calm.

Now see if you can answer the questions below.

To print this quiz, simply highlight the text and questions.  Then select a PRINT or a SAVE option from your drop down menu.


1. What is another name for a hurricane?

2. When is peak hurricane season in your area?

3. What are the four main causes of hurricanes?

4. What is the range of intensity for hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson scale? 

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