Hurricanes are tropical cyclones - storms that rotate counter clockwise with wind speeds in excess of 74 mph (kmh).
Most hurricanes form over warm seas near the equator. They are created when the sun heats the ocean surface, causing heated water vapor to rise, condense and form clouds. These clouds begin to spiral as the earth rotates. More air is pulled underneath and a large vortex is formed.
On average, six (6) Atlantic hurricanes develop each year. When a hurricane moves toward populated coastal areas it often causes severe damage. Strong winds create storm surges, floods, and even spawn tornadoes. As the hurricane moves forward, its right front quadrant is typically where the most devastation occurs.
Over land, hurricanes lose their strength as the heated water that sustains it is no longer available to support it.