Powerful and Deadly Hurricanes, As Seen From Outer Space

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nasa tropical storm fay photo
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Hurricanes begin as clusters of thunderstorms. As these thunderstorms combine into an organized cluster, they fall into a rotation, forming a system known as a "tropical depression."

If a tropical depression continues to grow in size and intensity, it will eventually become a "tropical storm"—like Tropical Storm Fay. Tropical storms may not have an "eye" in the center, but they usually begin to form the iconic spiraling shape of hurricanes.

SLIDESHOW: Thunderstorms: The Dark and Stormy Drama Between Heaven and Earth

Tropical Storm Fay. Photo credit: NASA Goddard