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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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Allison at peak intensity
Tropical Storm Allison was a tropical storm that devastated southeast Texas in June of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. The first storm of the season, Allison had an unusually long path for a June storm, which extended from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic states. Allison was also the first storm since Tropical Storm Frances in 1998 to strike the upper Texas coastline.

The storm dropped heavy rainfall along its path, peaking at over 40 inches (1000 mm) in Texas. The worst of the flooding occurred in Houston, where nearly $5 billion (2001 USD) in damage occurred. There, 30,000 became homeless after the flooding destroyed 2,744 homes. 23 people died in Texas.

Throughout its entire path, Allison caused $5.5 billion (2001 USD) in damage and 41 deaths. Aside from Texas, the places worst hit were Louisiana and southeastern Pennsylvania. Allison is the only tropical storm to have its name retired without ever reaching hurricane strength.

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Hurricane Katrina Eye viewed from Hurricane Hunter.jpg

View of the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, as seen from an NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft before the storm made landfall on the United States Gulf Coast.


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.




Related Portals


Currently active tropical cyclones


Did you know…

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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Typhoon Herb.gif
  • July 31, 1996 - Typhoon Herb (pictured) hit Taiwan near its peak intensity with 240 km/h (150 mph) winds. Herb caused $5 billion of damage on Taiwan and killed about 500 people.
Bess 29 sep 1982 0427Z N7.jpg
  • August 1, 1982 - Typhoon Bess (pictured) made landfall on southern Honshu as a minimal typhoon. Rainfall from Bess caused over 1,000 landslides and killed 59 people.
1899 San Ciriaco hurricane track.png

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Tropical_cyclones — Please support Wikipedia.
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6273 news items

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel
Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:29:42 -0700

The hyperactive Pacific Ocean pulled off an impressive feat with six tropical cyclones spinning in the Pacific Basin at one time Sunday, July 12. Tropical Depression Six-E developed in the eastern Pacific Sunday morning becoming the sixth tropical ...


Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:11:15 -0700

Two tropical cyclones - Enrique and Dolores - continue to wind down in the Pacific and pose no threat to any land areas. Dolores has diminished to tropical storm status, down from a major hurricane just yesterday! As the storm moved north away from the ...

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 12:41:15 -0700

Do you love looking at satellite imagery of hurricanes and tropical storms? If so, an ambitious, innovative crowdsourcing project called Cyclone Center is asking for your help to improve the historical record of tropical cyclones. You don't need even ...


Mon, 20 Jul 2015 04:37:30 -0700

AIRS observes the Earth in infrared light, allowing scientists to determine the temperature structure of the atmosphere, cloud tops and surface. AIRS is one of many satellite instruments observing tropical cyclones in all the ocean basins. On July 15 ...


Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:28:18 -0700

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over two tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean on different sides of the equator today, July 2. South of the equator, Tropical Cyclone Raquel was exiting the Solomon Islands, while north of the equator Tropical Storm Chan ...

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 04:06:47 -0700

Ventrice tweeted an image Tuesday that shows the supportive phase of the MJO, depicted by green contours, propagating around the globe coincident with the formation dates of tropical cyclones from Dr. Carl Schreck, a tropical meteorologist based in ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Insurance Journal
Tue, 07 Jul 2015 03:29:21 -0700

The El Niño forming across the Pacific has been turbocharged by a series of tropical cyclones that helped to shift the direction of trade winds, potentially adding to warming that's evoking parallels with the record 1997-98 event. Several cyclones ...

Discover Magazine (blog)

Washington Post (blog)
Tue, 07 Jul 2015 09:29:28 -0700

This story has been updated. Three tropical cyclones — Linfa, Chan-hom and Ningka — are churning across the Pacific Ocean toward Asia this week in a recent spike of typhoon activity in the region. The massive Typhoon Chan-hom will prove to be the ...

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