A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour (65 knots) or greater in the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Hurricane-like storms are called by different names in the different regions of the world. For example, the name "hurricane" is given to systems that develop over the Atlantic or the eastern Pacific Oceans. In the western North Pacific and Philippines, these systems are called "typhoons" while in the Indian and South Pacific Ocean, they are called "cyclones". This same tropical cyclone is known as a typhoon in the western Pacific and a cyclone in the Indian Ocean. As well as strong winds in the hurricane, another common feature is heavy rainfall. This intense rainfall is due to the rapid cooling and rising of the air. The slower the hurricane travels the more rainfall there will be. Amounts of rainfall can exceed 500mm per day, which in contrast is a year's amount of precipitation in some areas of England. There is low pressure near the surface of a hurricane. A steep pressure gradient is formed inside the hurricane, as fast winds are transferred form areas of low pressure to areas of high pressure. The average pressure for a hurricane is approximately 950mb. .
Hurricanes occur between July and October in the Atlantic, eastern Pacific and the western Pacific north of the equator. South of the equator, off Australia and in the Indian Ocean, they occur between November and March. The name hurricane should only be used for those tropical storms occurring in the Atlantic. In the Pacific they are known as typhoons, in the Indian Ocean as cyclones. They are given names beginning with 'A', 'B' etc., In order of occurrence and the names are alternately male and female. Hurricanes often cause between 3 to 6 inches of rain to fall in a short period. .
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