There is a direct correlation between warm water and and hurricane size and strength.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1st and ends November 30th however nature does not strictly follow these rules.
Gulf hurricanes typically start to form in the area around Puerto Rico.
The development of a hurricane has three stages: Tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane. The hurricane its self is placed on the Saffir-Simpson scale to determine its strength.
Tropical Depression: A tropical depression is a cyclone with wind speeds no higher than 38 mph causing flooding.
Tropical Storm: A cyclone with wind speeds of 39-73 mph
The Saffir-Simpson is a scale from 1 to 5. Category 1 is the least powerful, with with wind speeds of 74-95 mph. These dangerous wind speeds will cause damage to roofs and small branches. As the wind speed increase, as does the category and amount of damage it causes. Category 5 is the most powerful, with wind speeds of 157 mph or higher, causing catastrophic damage and uninhabitable areas.
Hurricane Ike formed September 1st, 2008, west of Cape Verde. It reached its peak of a category 4 over open waters on September 4th. Ike made landfall in Cuba on Sep. 8th and Galveston Texas on Sep. 13th. It caused a total 195 deaths Is the 3rd costliest Atlantic cyclone costing $37.5 billion in infrastructure, agriculture and property damage.