No one knows when the first hurricane took place. Christopher Columbus wrote the first record of a hurricane in 1494 when he described a storm that struck the island of Hispaniola. The first recorded hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland took place in August 1635.
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones occurring in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific Oceans; similar storms in the Northwest Pacific are called typhoons. All tropical cyclones are large storm systems featuring strong winds and thunderstorms spiraling around strong low-pressure centers. Hurricanes cause major property damage and loss of human life but may help regulate regional and global climates by carrying heat from tropical regions to temperate zones.