Hurricane Facts & Features

Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons - by whatever name, tropical systems are some of the most deadly storms known to man. However, as we've learned more about the nature of these storms, we've improved forecasting accuracy and increased warning time to those in the path of the storm.

Hurricane WeatherWhys®: Intensity & Impact

Hurricane Intensity

Hurricane Intensity image

Saffir Simpson (KPH)

Saffir Simpson (KPH) image

Hurricane Facts & Features

  • What is the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale?

    What is the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale?

    FAQ - May 11, 2012; 8:28 AM ET

    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.

  • Atlantic Category 5 Storms

    Atlantic Category 5 Storms

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 9:44 AM ET

    To qualify as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale, maximum sustained winds must exceed 155 mph (135 kt).

  • Retired Hurricane Names

    Retired Hurricane Names

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 9:39 AM ET

    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.

  • Download Hurricane Tracking Maps

    Download Hurricane Tracking Maps

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 9:23 AM ET 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.

  • When and Where Do Hurricanes Occur?

    When and Where Do Hurricanes Occur?

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 9:09 AM ET

    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.

  • What Are the Parts of a Hurricane?

    What Are the Parts of a Hurricane?

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 8:30 AM ET

    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.

  • How Do Storms Develop?

    How Do Storms Develop?

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 8:25 AM ET

    There are 5 stages in storm development.

  • When is Hurricane Season in the Atlantic?

    When is Hurricane Season in the Atlantic?

    FAQ - Apr 30, 2010; 8:14 AM ET

    Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to November 30.


Interactive Hurricane Tracker

Interactive hurricane tracker

Follow current and past storm paths with the Interactive Hurricane Tracker


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