A hurricane is a very powerful, sometimes violent storm with strong winds and heavy rains. Hurricanes begin over a warm sea, near the equator. Hurricanes are a bit like people: they are born, they grow up, and they die.

Hurricanes have a special feature called an eye. The eye of a hurricane is in the middle of the spiral. The eye is produced by the spiraling action of the storm and it is the area where the air is slowing sinking. When the eye of a hurricane passes over a region the winds decrease to just a gentle breeze, and the rain stops. Then, the rest of the storm passes and the wind suddenly changes directions and becomes ferocious again.

When a hurricane hits land, it can do great damage through its fierce winds, torrential rains, inland flooding, and huge

waves crashing ashore. A powerful hurricane can kill more people and destroy more property than any other natural disaster.

A hurricane will weaken and die when it reaches land. The hurricane no longer has its energy source (warm water) and it’s just like a car without petrol.

Hurricanes are given a different label, depending on where they occur. If they begin over the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Northeast Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes. Near Australia and in the Indian Ocean, they are referred to as cyclones.

Here are some photographs of hurricanes and the damage they can do. Hopefully the people who took these photos ran before they were swept up by the hurricane?