The Gulf of Mexico covers more than 700,000 square miles in Southeast North America. It is bordered by the coast of the United States from Florida to Texas and the East coast of Mexico from Tamaulipas to Yucatán. The near entrance to the Gulf at its northern edge of the island of Cuba, where Gulf connects to the Atlantic Ocean at the Straits of Florida. The Gulf Stream current is formed from waters of both the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
The Caribbean Sea is approximately a 970,000 square mile arm of the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered on the North and East by the West Indies archipelago, on the South by South America and on the West by the Central American Isthmus. The Caribbean has a counterclockwise current: water enters through the Lesser Antilles. Volcanic activity and earthquakes are common in the Caribbean, as are destructive hurricanes that originate over the sea or the Atlantic.
For more information on hurricanes in these regions, see the National Hurricane Center.
National Hurricane Center, 2005