The official Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico hurricane season starts on June 1st, ends on November 30th , and averages seven named storms. Once a tropical storm exceeds wind speeds of thirty-nine miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) gives it a name. Names are given out in alphabetic order from rotating lists of male and female names. Before 1978, hurricanes were only given girl names. But I never considered this an insult to my gender. Before 1950, hurricanes were numbered not named. Did the numbers feel insulted? Of course not.
[Editor’s Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Hurricanes]

Hurricane Hunters4 stars

Have I got a ride for you! The Hurricane Hunters of the Air Force Reserve are a one-of-a-kind Department of Defense organization that flies into tropical storms and hurricanes. Through the magic of cyberflight, you are invited to join their flight into the eye of Hurricane Opal. "Attention to storm briefing, crew. Things are about to get busy, so please minimize chatter. The navigator will be directing the aircraft until we get close to the eye, then Weather will take us in from there, with the Nav backing him up. Copilot, guard the autopilot, and kick it off if we get into severe turbulence."

Miami Museum: Hurricane Storm Science4 stars

"The worst part of the hurricane was not being able to find food. Everything blew away. We spent almost two days without any food." Meet the Benitez family of Homestead, Florida who survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992 by huddling together in a small closet. Have you ever experienced a natural disaster such as a hurricane, fire, flood or earthquake? You can add your story to the Healing Quilt. Also on display are instructions on building your own weather station, and an introduction to hurricane tracking.

USA Today: Hurricane Basics5 stars

"Hurricanes are classified into different categories according to the Saffir-Simpson scale." Hurricane basics in easy-to-understand language plus outstanding graphics and animations put this site at the top of the list. What else would you expect from USA Today? It is chock-ful of links to articles on hurricane science, storm history, hurricane safety and hurricane hunters.

Weather Channel Tropical Update5 stars

Come to for updates on the latest hurricanes such as Mitch, which reached category five on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on October 26. Only three hurricanes in history have been more powerful: Allen (1980), the Keys Hurricane (1935), and Gilbert (1988). The Saffir-Simpson Scale, developed in the early 1970s, is based primarily on wind speeds and estimates of barometric pressure. A category five hurricane is considered catastrophic. .

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

FAQ: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones

NOAA Photo Library

Weather Underground: Tropical Weather

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Hurricanes." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 4 Nov. 1998. Web. 3 Sep. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published November 4, 1998. Last modified November 4, 1998.

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