When and Where Do Hurricanes Occur?

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Hurricanes most often occur in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November, while in the north Indian Ocean, it lasts from April to December. In the eastern North Pacific Ocean, hurricane season lasts from May 15 to the end of November. In the south Pacific, the season runs from November to April.

Storms meeting the wind threshold that form in the north Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the eastern North Pacific Ocean are referred to as hurricanes. Storms forming in the northern hemisphere and west of the International Dateline are called "typhoons" once they reach the minimum wind speed. The term "cyclone" is used for storms that form in the Indian Ocean.

In the Atlantic Ocean, the most hurricanes form between mid-August to October, peaking in the middle of September. Despite the official hurricane season lasting from May to November, tropical cyclones can form in the northwest Pacific Ocean throughout the year, peaking in September and falling to the lowest likelihood in February and March. Storms in the north Indian Ocean occur at the highest frequency in May and again in November.