ODPEM Government of Jamaica
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
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Disasters Do Happen

A hurricane is a violent warm core tropical storm with a minimum wind speed of 119 km or (74 mph) rotating in a counter-clockwise spiral around a region of low pressure called the centre or the eye.


The word hurricane was derived from the name for the Arawak God of Stormy Weather "Huraken", and the Spanish word "Huracan" meaning ‘big wind’.


While hurricane winds move in a spiraling counter-clockwise direction, the hurricane itself moves with the basic motion of the trade winds in which it is embodied.


The official hurricane season is June 1 to November 30. The period is usually a rainy one even if a hurricane does not develop.


The weather pattern between June and December is significantly influenced by the Northward shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and cyclonic instability, which lead to the formation of easterly waves, storms and hurricanes.


The hurricane, composed of all the severe weather elements at their worst, is considered “The Greatest Storm” on earth.


A hurricane can dominate the ocean and lower atmospheric temperatures over tens of thousands of kilometres (square miles).




Return to Types of Hazards & Disasters


Related Topics:


Hurricane Precautions for Specific Groups


Your Hurricane Survival Kits


Words of Warning


Mitigate Against Hurricane Damages


Websites of Interest:

Meteorological Service of Jamaica

National Hurricane Centre

Caribbean Hurricane Network

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