The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 - November 30, but hurricanes can form prior to and after this window.
Hurricanes are large, swirling storms with winds of 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph) or higher.
The storms form over warm ocean waters and sometimes strike land. When a hurricane reaches land, it pushes a wall of ocean water ashore. This wall of water is called a storm surge, which along with heavy rain can cause flooding, especially near the coast.
How Are Hurricanes Categorized? A hurricane is categorized by its wind speed using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
Category 1: Winds 119-153 km/hr (74-95 mph)
Category 2: Winds 154-177 km/hr (96-110 mph)
Category 3: Winds 178-208 km/hr (111-129 mph)
Category 4: Winds 209-251 km/hr (130-156 mph)
Category 5: Winds more than 252 km/hr (157 mph)
Once a hurricane forms, weather forecasters predict its path and how strong it will get. This information helps people prepare for the storm before it arrives. How can you prepare?