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Definition of Hurricane

Hurricane: A regionally specific name for a strong tropical cyclone. The term hurricane applies in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E.

Other terms for the same type of storm, a strong tropical cyclone, include typhoon (in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline), severe tropical cyclone (in the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E), severe cyclonic storm (the North Indian Ocean) and tropical cyclone (in Southwest Indian Ocean).

The word hurricance is derived from Hurican, the Carib god of evil, who in turn was derived from the Mayan god Hurakan, one of their creator gods, who blew his breath across the Chaotic water and brought forth dry land and later destroyed the men of wood with a great storm and flood.


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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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