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Where do Hurricanes Occur?

Where do Hurricanes Occur?

The destructive power of hurricanes has earned them a reputation of much-feared natural disasters that occur all over the world. Contrary to the belief that they are only restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, these natural disasters do occur in all the tropical oceans on the planet.
Maya Pillai
Hurricanes occur in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) near the Equator where the northeasterly trade winds meet the southeasterly trade winds. The formation of hurricanes is a complex process which is triggered by numerous factors coming into play. The prerequisites of this process include warm water, moist air, low pressure area, wind disturbance, and a considerable depth; all of which are readily associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone.
While similar conditions do exist near the Equator, the absence of the Coriolis force or Coriolis effect hampers the formation of hurricanes in this area. Interestingly, it's the Coriolis force because of which hurricanes rotate clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Other than a well-defined circulation, a hurricane is typically characterized by sustained winds of 74 miles per hour, which can go well beyond 150 miles per hour at times.
When and Where Do Hurricanes Occur?
In the Northern Hemisphere, hurricanes occur between the months of June and November. In the Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, the occurrence is prominent between December and May. The time of the year when hurricanes occur in a particular region is considered the 'hurricane season' for that region. For instance, the hurricane season for the North Atlantic Ocean begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. The same for the Eastern Pacific begins on May 15 and ends on November 30.
All Coontinents Defined Worldmap With Grid
Hurricane-prone Regions of the World
Hurricanes are not just restricted to the North Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, but also occur in other parts of the world where they are either called typhoons (Western Pacific Ocean) or tropical cyclones (Indian Ocean, South Pacific, or South Atlantic Ocean). In the Western Pacific, where they are known as typhoons, they occur between July and September. In the Indian Ocean, the cyclone season starts on October 15 and goes through to May 31. In the South Pacific, on the other hand, it lasts from October 15 to May 31.
The chances of hurricanes in the South Atlantic are pretty rare; the last time one occurred here was back in 2004--Cyclone Catarina. In fact, it was the first hurricane-intensity tropical cyclone to hit the region.
All Coontinents Defined Worldmap With Grid
Tropical Cyclones in Different Parts of the World
Simply put, it's a hurricane if it occurs in the North Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, tropical cyclone (or simply cyclone) if it occurs in the Indian Ocean, South Pacific, or South Atlantic, and lastly, typhoon if it occurs in the Western Pacific Ocean. The technically-sound term, tropical cyclone for these storms can be attributed to the fact that they form over the tropical oceans.
Though rare, the chances of a hurricane occurring outside the stipulated season cannot be ruled out. Basically, hurricanes are at their peak halfway through the season. In the North Atlantic, for instance, the peak season typically occurs between August and September. The same trend can be seen in the Eastern Pacific wherein most hurricanes occur in August and September.
Countries in the Line of Fire
A hurricane in the North Atlantic is likely to affect the east coast of North America (i.e., countries like the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico) and Caribbean Sea, while one in the Eastern Pacific will have Hawaii and the western coast of Mexico on its radar. The typhoons of the western Pacific are likely to hit Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Interestingly, Southeast Asian countries, along with the Indian subcontinent, are also vulnerable to the cyclones originating in the Indian Ocean. In fact, the Bay of Bengal is a hotbed for cyclonic storms.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the tropical cyclones originating in the southwestern Indian Ocean are more likely to hit Madagascar and countries along the east coast of Africa, while those occurring in the southeastern Indian Ocean are likely to hit the northern coast of Australia. Hurricane rampage is not restricted to the coastal regions. If it is strong enough, a hurricane can continue to cause widespread destruction for a considerable time after the landfall.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the tropical cyclones originating in the southwestern Indian Ocean are more likely to hit Madagascar and countries along the east coast of Africa, while those occurring in the southeastern Indian Ocean are likely to hit the northern coast of Australia. Hurricane rampage is not restricted to the coastal regions. If it is strong enough, a hurricane can continue to cause widespread destruction for a considerable time after the landfall.
Even the name of a hurricane is decided on the basis of where it occurs. This is done by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which has predesignated lists of hurricane names in alphabetical order for every region that is prone to hurricanes. Going by this convention, the tenth hurricane occurring in the North Atlantic in 2013 will be named 'Jerry', while the tenth hurricane in the Eastern North Pacific will be named 'Juliette'.
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