The Caribbean is a region to the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and east of Central America comprising over 7,000 islands. Some islands in the Caribbean are volcanic in origin and possess huge, rocky mountain ranges. Others are relatively flat. The region’s tropical climate has a differing impact on the islands largely dependent on their elevation. The warm, moist tradewinds blow continually from the east, giving the mountainous islands rainforest conditions on the eastern side, and semi-desert on the western side. The combination of weather conditions and unfavourable water currents means that the Caribbean often experiences ferocious hurricanes, particularly in the primary hurricane which belt stretches northwest of Barbados into the Eastern Caribbean.