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Where do hurricanes occur?

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Quick Answer

Hurricanes occur mostly along the few degrees of latitude that surround the equator. They happen most often in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but they are also common in a few other areas as well. The Indian Ocean also has regular hurricanes.

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Full Answer

Hurricanes form best over large swaths of warm water, which is why they typically form along the equator. There are different hurricane seasons depending on the location, and the majority of hurricanes appear during these seasons. Hurricanes form in the Atlantic from June through November, and these storms go up the eastern coast of the United States or make their way into the Gulf of Mexico. Occasional hurricanes travel to the gulf and then crawl northeast along the East Coast. The western Pacific section has the same general season, though hurricanes can appear year-round. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, hurricanes appear from May through November. The south Pacific Ocean and south Indian Ocean have regular hurricanes from October to May.

Hurricanes, called typhoons in the south Pacific, move in a general east-to-west direction in their respective zones. Once they hit land, those in the Northern Hemisphere travel north along the coastline, while those in the Southern Hemisphere travel south. Around India, however, the storms generally move north, directly toward landfall, rather than travelling west first.

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