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Tropical Cyclones Portal

Typhoon tip peak.jpg

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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Hurricane Fabian

Hurricane Fabian was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that hit Bermuda in early September during the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. Fabian, the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and first major hurricane of the season, developed from a tropical wave in the tropical Atlantic Ocean on August 25. It moved west-northwestward under the influence of the subtropical ridge to its north, and steadily strengthened in an area of warm water temperatures and light wind shear. The hurricane attained a peak intensity of 145 mph (230 km/h) on September 1, and it slowly weakened as it turned northward. On September 5, Fabian made a direct hit on the island of Bermuda with wind speeds of over 120 mph (195 km/h). After passing the island, the hurricane turned to the northeast, and became extratropical on September 8.

Fabian was the strongest hurricane to hit Bermuda since Hurricane Arlene in 1963. It was both the most damaging and the first hurricane to cause a death on the island since 1926. The hurricane's powerful winds resulted in moderate damage and destroyed roofs throughout the island. A strong storm surge associated with the hurricane killed four people crossing a causeway on Bermuda, temporarily closing the only link between two islands. The endangered Bermuda Petrel was threatened by the hurricane, which destroyed ten nests, although volunteer work transported the species to a safer location. Strong swells resulted in damage in northern Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and also caused four people to drown along the United States' Atlantic coast. In all, Fabian caused around $300 million (2003 USD) in damage and eight deaths.

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Remnants of Tropical Storm Agnes over the northeast United States. Agnes dropped torrential and record-breaking rainfall, causing over $2 billion in damage (1972 USD) and more than 100 deaths. The name was later retired.


Related WikiProjects

WikiProject Tropical cyclones is the central point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of tropical cyclones. Feel free to help!

WikiProject Meteorology is the main center point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of meteorology in general.




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Currently active tropical cyclones

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North Indian Ocean (2015)

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South-West Indian Ocean (2015–16)

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Did you know…

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  • … that Hurricane Faith (pictured) was tracked until it was located 600 miles (965 km) from the North Pole?
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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

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Tropical Cyclone Agni 05A 2004.jpg
  • November 29, 2004 - Cyclone Agni (pictured) reached its peak inensity in the Arabian Sea. The previous day the storm was extremely close to the Equator with part of its circulation in both hemispheres.
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  • November 30, 2006 - Typhoon Durian (pictured) made several landfalls in the central Philippines killing over 720 people and causing over $100 million in damage. Durian made landfall in Vietnam a week later, killing 80 people and causing an additional $400 million in damage.
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