In terms of their potential for destruction, hurricanes are the most violent storms on Earth. Most of these storms are born in the meteorologically tranquil regions of the tropics during the late summer. Tropical storms that become U.S. hurricanes can begin either far out in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, or close to the shore off the Atlantic Coast. A great number of the strongest storms begin far out in the Atlantic near Cape Verde, the islands near the coast of West Africa.

Few tropical disturbances grow into hurricanes because it is relatively rare for the necessary ingredients to come together.



Copyright © 1999, Random House, Inc.