Where do hurricanes occur?

Published: 24th September 2008
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When planning a vacation, if you are heading to a tropical climate it would be a good idea to know when and where hurricanes occur. Hurricanes and more generically, tropical cyclones occur in seven distinct basins around the world. Some hurricanes formation basins are much more active than others and produce many more tropical storms and hurricanes. In a similar fashion, when comparing formation zones, some tropical cyclone basins have a much longer time frame in which tropical cyclones may occur during the year. Most tropical cyclones form from a disturbance in the monsoon trough. The north Atlantic basin is considerably different though, as the majority of hurricanes form from easterly waves originating from Africa



  • North Atlantic Ocean - Hurricane season: June 1 - November 30. The most active period runs from about mid August through the latter part of October. This region includes the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. This region includes the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Hurricanes may affect the southern and eastern U.S., the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, eastern Mexico, and eastern Canada.


  • Eastern North Pacific Ocean - Hurricane season: May 15 - November 30. This is the second most active region for tropical cyclones in the world. This basin includes the popular resorts of western Mexico and Cabo San Lucas.


  • Northwest Pacific Ocean - Typhoon season: All year. This is the most active basin in the world. Most typhoons form between July through November. This zone covers Guam, the Philippines, southeast China, and Japan.


  • Bay of Bengal / Arabian Sea - Severe Cyclonic storm season: April 1 - December 30. This basin has a double maximum because of the monsoon trough moving through at two different times of the year. Maximums occur from mid April through May and from mid September through mid December. These tropical cyclones effect India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.


  • Southwest Pacific Ocean - Severe Tropical Cyclone Season: October 15 - May 1. These tropical cyclones may affect eastern Australia.


  • Southeast Indian Ocean - Severe Tropical Cyclone Season: October 15 - May. These tropical cyclones may affect northern and western Australia. This basin has a double maximum in mid January, and mid February through early March.


  • Southwest Indian Ocean - Tropical Cyclone Season: October 15 - May 15. These tropical cyclones may affect Madagascar and southeastern Africa. A double maximum occurs in mid January and mid February through early March.




Rich is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist with 25 years of weather forecasting and television experience. Visit his website for more on expert hurricane forecasts and travel resources. Tropical Weather & Travel - Tropical Temperature & Rainfall Averages




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