The hurricanes we hear a lot about are the ones that strike land, especially along the coast of the United States. However, a majority of all Atlantic hurricanes spin away their lives entirely over the ocean and are a problem mainly to boats and fish. Many tropical systems fade away when their winds entrain dry air, which chokes them to death. Others encounter strong upper-level winds which shear them apart. Those which continue to thrive in favorable air either hit land somewhere or curve northward and fade away in the North Atlantic, where cold water slows drains their energy.

Sometimes, these storms have been known to batter the British Isles with heavy rain and strong wind. A week ago, an unusual occurrence happened when Hurricane Larry survived as a hurricane to within a few hundred miles of the southern tip of Greenland. Then, as an extratropical storm, Larry became a severe blizzard over eastern Greenland, with very heavy snow and winds over 100 mph.

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