Hurricanes are known for strong winds and the potential to bring heavy rainfall — but do you understand the workings of the meteorological phenomena?

Here's what you need to know as Tropical Storm Barry continues to make its way toward the Lousiana coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has detailed online how hurricanes take shape.

“These violent storms form over the ocean, often beginning as a tropical wave — a low-pressure area that moves through the moisture-rich tropics, possibly enhancing shower and thunderstorm activity,” the agency explains.

Warm air is another important factor.

“As this weather system moves westward across the tropics, warm ocean air rises into the storm, forming an area of low pressure underneath,” the NOAA adds.

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