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10 things you didn't know about hurricanes

By: Laura Moss on Oct. 20, 2010, 1:15 p.m.
Hurricane evacuation route sign

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Stormy weather ahead

Hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, are storm systems characterized by strong winds, heavy rain and a propensity for destruction. Only about 85 hurricanes occur worldwide each year — in comparison, there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes — but during hurricane season, weather reports can make it seem like there's one storm after another.

Some storm systems blow through leaving behind little more than broken branches and flooded streets, but others leave a deadly legacy. Powerful hurricanes can cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives, and they can give names like Katrina, Andrew and Hugo a notoriety for destruction.

These violent storms both frighten us and fascinate us, and there's a lot you may not know about them. (Text: Laura Moss)