How Often Do Hurricanes Occur Per Year?

It is estimated that there are ten storms with identified names every year, and as many as six become hurricanes, and 2.5 can become a hurricane that is rated as a Category 3 or higher.

Hurricane categories are defined by wind speed, as are tropical storms. There are approximately five hurricanes in the United States every three years, with death tolls reaching as high as 100 people in some cases.

There are approximately 10 storms identified with names every year in the world, and approximately 5 major hurricanes every three years in the United States.

Of those three, it is estimated that two are major hurricanes with a wind speed larger than 110 miles per hour or greater.

A major hurricane with a wind speed of 111 miles per hour or greater is considered a Category 3 hurricane.

Table of Contents

What are hurricanes like?

wind and rain storms

Hurricanes are large wind and rain storms that are among the most severe wind and rain storms that can occur on land.

Many of them do occur on water and never make landfall. The ones that do make landfall are the most destructive.

Most hurricanes have a span of approximately 300 miles wide, but they can vary when it comes to size.

It is true that there is an eye to every hurricane, and this area can span from 20 to 40 miles wide and is the calmest section of the hurricane.

Then there is the eyewall of the hurricane, which is the area that encompasses the eye and involves cloud cover and high winds.

On the outside of the hurricane is the rainband, which includes cloud cover and rain in the form of torrential downpours that do not stop for the length of the hurricane.

The rainbands include thunderstorms and have a range between ten and 300 miles long. In a nutshell, hurricanes are the largest and worst kinds of wind and rain storms that can happen.

How are hurricanes classified?

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Hurricanes are classified by categories, with the most common classification system being the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Storms with wind and rain will reach a point where they go from being a rainstorm to a hurricane, and it is all determined by wind speed.

After a general rain and wind storm, the storms are classified as a tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane, and then a major hurricane, in that order.

Tropical energies function at a counterclockwise rate and typically start from 5 to 30 degrees above the northern latitude.

A tropical cyclone is a rotating system that works over and looks like it has a closed level of activity.

This kind of storm could graduate into a hurricane.

A tropical depression is a wind and rainstorm that has a windspeed of up to 38 miles per hour. A tropical storm will have wind speeds from 39 to 73 miles per hour.

Hurricanes will start at wind speeds of 74 miles per hour with Category 4 hurricanes having windspeeds of 131 miles per hour to 155 miles per hour, and Category 5 hurricanes having windspeeds larger than 155 miles per hour.

Are hurricanes dangerous?

damages to infrastructure

Yes, hurricanes can be very dangerous, with the danger increasing by the category. The greater the windspeed, the greater the chances that damage to infrastructure will create injury, drowning, and loss of life.

The hurricane’s right side is the most dangerous section of the hurricane, and this is where you are going to see storm surges and the possibility of tornadoes.

Storm surges are the surges of water that are the high waves caused by the tremendous wind speeds of hurricanes.

These are fast-moving waves that can be extremely high, sometimes up to ten feet or more. Being caught in one could be – and probably would be – deadly.

The factors that determine a hurricane’s speed and danger level are largely determined by its oceanic complexities.

The hurricane will come off of the water and be fueled by wind. It will, however, slow down once it makes landfall because the land will break the speed and strength the water of the ocean provides.

When is hurricane season?

 Atlantic hurricanes

Hurricane season typically runs between May and November every year. Some weather experts will say that it doesn’t begin until June and finishes in November.

You’ll hear hurricane season talked about mostly in the southern states and along the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Hurricanes in the United States are typically considered Atlantic hurricanes and extend up into the Atlantic provinces in Canada every year.

They are considered the most violent and dangerous storms on earth. They are fueled by water, wind, and humidity – which is why the south always gets slammed with them.

Then, the wind carries the storm up the coast, with coastal cities and states being hit the hardest.

Florida has reportedly experienced over 100 hurricanes in its history – it is just a part of life there.

In other parts of the world, water-locked areas experience hurricanes the same way.

Where do the most hurricanes occur?

Florida and Texas in the United States are the hardest hit by hurricanes. In Canada, Nova Scotia is the province where the most hurricanes occur, with Nova Scotia experiencing approximately one hurricane every three years.

Also hit in Canada are the other Maritime states: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

There are as many as six hurricanes in the world every year, but this number has been growing in recent years.

In both Canada and the United States, the number of storms that become hurricanes has been on the rise.

This could be due to climate change and global warming, with humidity playing a large role in when a storm begins.

The Atlantic Coast specifically will have at least 15 named storms annually, and this includes cyclones.

The storm cycle typically occurs with the first-named wind and rainstorm occurring in June, the first hurricane arriving in the middle of August, and the first major hurricane occurring in late August through early September.

What is needed for a storm to become a hurricane?


For a storm to become a hurricane, the water it comes from needs to be at a certain temperature.

The storm occurs as a result of a low-pressure system combined with a high-pressure system.

This temperature typically needs to be at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or in Canada, 27 degrees Celsius.

Even in the winter, the ocean temperatures can reach this temperature, although most of these storms begin in the tropics, which is why they start off being called tropical storms.

A storm will develop an eye when the windspeeds reach 74 miles per hour. Here, the storm has become a hurricane or a typhoon on the Pacific Coast.

Extremely high humidity is required here so that the storm can gather strength and move forward in its path.

Why do most hurricanes start in the tropics?

Hurricanes start in the tropics almost all of the time because of the heat and humidity. This creates the perfect conditions for the low-pressure systems to combine with the high-pressure systems and develop a storm.

develop a storm

The spin of the earth plays a role here too, and latitude makes a difference.

The water can be too hot for a hurricane to occur, and that region is found exactly five degrees above the equator.

The hurricane-force functions in a counterclockwise direction in order to spin the low-pressure systems together into a higher-pressure system.

The heat that a hurricane functions under is created by the water vapor that is caused by the condensation of the ocean water.

A lapse rate occurs in the tropics that results in an unstable water and vapor system that becomes a storm.

The right wind and humidity will turn that storm into a hurricane. When humidity and dry air combine, a warm-weather system results in a convection experience that creates a windstorm that can’t be stopped.

Why are hurricanes named?

Hurricanes are named as a means of keeping track of them. It is a system that goes as far back as the nineteenth century when they were named after a particular saint in the West Indies.

World Meteorological Organization

In the United States, the storms and hurricanes were named by the year and order they happened in that year through the early 1950s.

By 1953, officials began to use female names to keep track of storms as they flew over the Pacific Ocean.

This practice of using women’s names only ended in 1978, when men’s names were used as well. By 1979, male and female names became the new norm.

To become a named storm, the storm must be tropical in nature and have a windspeed of at least 39 miles per hour.

A tropical storm will become a hurricane at 74 miles per hour and will keep its name if it becomes a hurricane.

The World Meteorological Organization establishes the names of storms for a six-year period, with one list of names being repeated in the seventh year.