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Did You Know

Tips & Tools


Test Your Knowledge About Hurricanes!

1) What is a hurricane?
a. A severe, rotating tropical storm having winds greater than 74 miles per hour
b. A heavy rain storm with light winds
c. A violent wind storm that originates over land
d. A cane that’s in a hurry

2) What is the first stage in the development of a possible hurricane called?
a. Tropical destruction
b. Tropical connection
c. Tropical depression
d. Tropical circle

3) What is the center of a hurricane called?
a. Mouth
b. Middle
c. Eye
d. Hub

4) During which months does the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean take place?
a. April to August
b. July to November
c. August to September
d. June to November

5)  In other parts of the world, hurricanes go by other names. Which is another name for a hurricane?
a. Cyclops
b. Typhoon
c. Super storm
d. Thunderstorm

View Quiz Answers.


Hurricane Scavenger Hunt

It is important for your family to be prepared in case there is a hurricane where you live. In this activity you will go on a scavenger hunt at home to find items that should be part of an emergency supply kit.

Emergency Supplies:

Emergency supply kits consist of important things to have if there is a hurricane or another emergency where you live.  Each kit should contain items such as drinking water, canned foods that will not spoil, flashlight and batteries, clothing and bedding, and important medications. Kids may also want to include games or activity books to help pass the time if the power goes out. For a complete list of emergency supplies, visit

What to do:

1.  Print two copies of the emergency supply list above.

2.  Separate your family into two teams/groups with adults and kids on each team (if possible).

3.  Assign different items to each group as a list.

4.  When everyone is ready, set a timer and see who comes back first with all their items!

5.  Repeat with different items and see if you can beat your own times.

Activity from FEMA Ready Kids. First photo courtesy of Public-Domain-Photos.  Second photo courtesy of FEMA.

What are the main ingredients for a hurricane to develop?

When it comes to hurricane development, there are three conditions, or ingredients, that need to occur. First, ocean waters must be above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Second, pre-existing thunderstorms must be present. Third, winds must be light aloft. Winds need to be light so thunderstorm development does not tear apart from high winds.

Learn more about the basics of hurricanes and their development from NOAA.

This image shows the ingredients needed for hurricane development and is courtesy of the COMET Program. (Click image to enlarge.)

did you know

Learn some interesting facts about hurricanes!

The scale on which hurricanes are classified is known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale. Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on the intensity of their winds.

  • Category 1 – Winds 74-95 miles per hour
  • Category 2 – Winds 96-110 miles per hour
  • Category 3 – Winds 111-130 miles per hour
  • Category 4 – Winds 131-155 miles per hour
  • Category 5 – Winds greater than 155 miles per hour

The highest recorded hurricane wind speed at landfall was 190 miles per hour (mph) during Hurricane Camille in 1969. Camille made landfall on the Mississippi coast. The next two highest recorded wind speeds at landfall were 167 mph in 1992 from Hurricane Andrew and 161 mph in 1935 from the “Labor Day” hurricane. All three hurricanes were Category 5 when they hit land.

The National Hurricane Center came up with a list of names to call Atlantic tropical storms in 1953. The list is maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Today, six lists of names are used in rotation. If a storm is extremely deadly or costly, the name of that storm may be “retired” from use. In that case, a new name is selected at the annual WMO meeting.

The tropical storm names for 2011-2016 are:


Image of Hurricane Camille courtesy of NOAA. Name list courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

Tips & Tools

Check out these cool tips and tools about hurricanes!

Tips for Learning More


Image of hurricane courtesy of NOAA archives.

Cool Tools


Image courtesy of NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.

Quiz Answers

1) a. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that originates over water where the winds reach 74 miles per hour.  Hurricanes are accompanied not only by high winds, but also by thunderstorms and heavy rains.

2) c. A tropical depression is an area of organized clouds and storms with winds less than 38 miles per hour.  It does not typically have a spiral shape but already has a low-pressure system, hence the name “depression.”

3) c. The area in the center of a hurricane is known as the eye.  In this area, the weather is calm, the sky is clear and the winds are light breezes. The eye starts to form as the hurricane strengthens and wind speed increases. It usually forms when winds reach 80 mph and can be 20 to 40 miles in diameter.

4) d. The official dates of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean are June 1 to November 30.  Hurricanes can occur outside these six months, but 97 percent of tropical activity happens within these dates according to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML).

5) b. Hurricanes are called “typhoons” in the Pacific Ocean and are also called “tropical cyclones” in some parts of the world.

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