The image above shows the current state of Hurricane Sandy, currently moving north-north west up the North American Atlantic coast. Hurricanes are tropical storms with sustained winds of over 72 mph. Hurricanes derive their power and motion from the differential of warm water and cooler air conditions.
The word hurricane has been in English since the time of Shakespeare, brought back by Spanish (and later English) explorers in the new world. In the 1550s the word appeared in adapted form as huracan from the book Historia General y Natural de las Indias which was published from 1547-1549 by Gonzalo Fernanadez de Oviedo y Valdez. The Spanish word was a transliteration of the West Indies Arawakan word. The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 3 dozen different spellings, underlining the great growth and flexibility of European languages, especially with regard to Taino and native languages. Early variants include forcane, herrycano, harrycain, hurlecane. The modern English variant of the word was hurried along to wide acceptance by use by Shakespeare:
KING LEAR: Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts, 
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, all germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man! (Act 3, Scene 2)
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Image Courtesy NOAA, in the public Domain.