In the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans intense tropical storms with wind speeds of 120 kilometres per hour or more are called hurricanes. They are called typhoons in the western Pacific and cyclones in the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and around Australia. Whatever their name, these tropical storms can extend up to thousands of square kilometres in area and last for several days.
In the North Atlantic, the hurricane season starts June 1 but most occur during August, September and October. On average, hurricanes hit the east coast of Canada less than once a year. The most famous hurricane to strike Ontario was Hurricane Hazel on October 15, 1954. In less than 18 hours, more than 178 millimetres of rain fell causing flash floods in creeks and rivers and killing 80 people. (see Eye of the storm)
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