A hurricane is a severe tropical storm, that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico or in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes need warm tropical oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains and floods.
Hurricanes rotate in a counterclockwise direction around an "eye." Hurricanes have winds at least 74 miles per hour. There are on average six Atlantic hurricanes each year; over a 3-year period, approximately five hurricanes strike the United States coastline from Texas to Maine.
When hurricanes move onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surge is very dangerous and a major reason why you MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane.