Tropical Cyclones Portal
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rainfall. Tropical cyclones feed on the heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. They are fuelled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic windstorms such as nor'easters, European windstorms, and polar lows, leading to their classification as 'warm core' storm systems. Tropical cyclones originate in the doldrums near the Equator, approximately 10 degrees away.
The term 'tropical' refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical regions of the globe, and their formation in maritime tropical air masses. The term 'cyclone' refers to such storms' cyclonic nature, with anticlockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on its location and intensity, a tropical cyclone can be referred to by names such as 'hurricane', 'typhoon', 'tropical storm', 'cyclonic storm', 'tropical depression', or simply 'cyclone'.
- Pictured: Typhoon Tip
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The meteorological history of Hurricane Wilma, the most intense known tropical cyclone in the Western Hemisphere, began in the second week of October 2005. A large area of disturbed weather developed across much of the Caribbean Sea and gradually organized to the southeast of Jamaica. By late on October 15, the system was sufficiently organized for the National Hurricane Center to designate it as Tropical Depression Twenty-Four.
The depression drifted southwestward, and under favorable conditions, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Wilma on October 17. Initially, development was slow due to its large size, though convection steadily organized. From October 18, and through the following day, Wilma underwent explosive deepening over the open waters of the Caribbean; in a 30-hour period, the system's central atmospheric pressure dropped from 982 mbar (29.00 inHg) to the record-low value of 882 mbar (26.05 inHg), while the winds increased to 185 mph (300 km/h). At its peak intensity, the pinhole eye of Wilma was about 3 miles (5 km) in diameter, the smallest known eye in an Atlantic hurricane. After the inner eye dissipated due to an eyewall replacement cycle, Wilma weakened to Category 4 status, and on October 21, it made landfall on Cozumel and on the Mexican mainland with winds of about 150 mph (240 km/h).
Wilma weakened over the Yucatán Peninsula, and reached the southern Gulf of Mexico before accelerating northeastward. Despite increasing amounts of wind shear, the hurricane re-strengthened to hit Cape Romano, Florida as a major hurricane. Wilma weakened as it quickly crossed the state, and entered the Atlantic Ocean near Jupiter, Florida. The hurricane again re-intensified before cold air and wind shear penetrated the inner core of convection. On October 26, it transitioned into an extratropical cyclone, and the next day, the remnants of Wilma were absorbed by another extratropical storm over Atlantic Canada.
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Currently active tropical cyclones
Tropical cyclone anniversaries
- October 18, 1985 - Typhoon Dot (pictured) made landfall on Luzon in the Philippines. Dot killed over 80 people and caused more than $80 million in damage.
- October 20, 1983 - Hurricane Tico (pictured) made landfall in Mexico near the city of Mazatlán. Tico killed at least nine people and was responsible for $66 million of damage.
- October 22, 1998 - Typhoon Babs (pictured) hit the Philippines eight days after Typhoon Zeb. Babs killed 221 people in the Philippines and caused over $6.5 billion of damage, which prompted a recession in the country.
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The Weather Channel
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 04:44:34 -0700
Recurving Atlantic tropical cyclones, those curling north then northeast into the open north Atlantic Ocean steered by either the western edge of the Bermuda-Azores high and/or a southward dip in the jet stream near or off the U.S. East Coast, are ...
New Zealand Herald
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 23:53:58 -0700
New Zealand and some of its neighbours have been put on alert for a higher than usual chance of tropical cyclones striking this summer. Peak tropical cyclone season is usually from January to March. Forecasting agencies in the South Pacific said for ...
Times of India
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:22:27 -0700
"All tropical cyclones are given names only to provide easy communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, cyclone watches and warnings. Since the storms can often last a week or longer and more than one can be occurring ...
Sun, 12 Oct 2014 20:40:32 -0700
The main reason behind the forecast is El Nino-like weather patterns resulting in cooler ocean temperatures, which often lead to fewer tropical cyclones. Still, Dr Watkins said people can't be complacent. In past El Niño years, there has been at least ...
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 07:49:05 -0700
The AMS cited the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones Group for "providing the weather community with valuable tropical cyclone-related satellite information and derived products for over two decades," stating that the award is "a reflection of [their] commitment ...
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:45:00 -0700
"The poleward migration of the tropical cyclones was something we stumbled on..." Kosin said. "We kept seeing a trend that we couldn't explain unless the storms themselves were migrating away from the deep tropics. This did surprise us at first, but ...
Sat, 11 Oct 2014 03:13:11 -0700
MIAMI, Florida -- As of 5 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, October 11, 2014, NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a public advisory due presence of Sub-Tropical Storm Fay which is located about 385 miles south of Bermuda.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:45:00 -0700
September cyclones NHC has issued its September 2014 summary for the Atlantic basin. Only two tropical cyclones formed during the month – Dolly and Edouard, with Edouard becoming a major hurricane. The 30-year (1981 – 2010) climatology would ...
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