Hurricanes, there are no other storms like them in the atmosphere. They breed in warm tropical waters, require a complex combination of atmospheric processes to grow, mature, and then die. They are not the largest storm systems in our atmosphere or the most violent, but they combine these qualities as no other phenomenon does.
In the Atlantic Basin, they are called hurricanes, a term that echoes colonial Spanish and Caribbean Indian words for evil spirits and big winds. These awesome storms have been a deadly problem for residents and sailors ever since the early days of colonization.
Today, hurricane damage costs billions of dollars. During this century, 23 hurricanes have each caused damage in excess of $1 billion (adjusted for inflation).
Even though the number of people injured or killed during hurricanes in the United States has been declining, our risk from them is increasing. With population and development continuing to increase along coastal areas, greater numbers of people and property are vulnerable to hurricane threat.