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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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Typhoon Tip at its record peak intensity on October 12, 1979

Typhoon Tip was the largest and most intense tropical cyclone on record. The nineteenth tropical storm, twelfth typhoon, and third super typhoon of the 1979 Pacific typhoon season, Tip developed out of a disturbance in the monsoon trough on October 4 near Pohnpei. Initially, a tropical storm to its northwest hindered the development and motion of Tip, though after it tracked further north Tip was able to intensify. After passing Guam, it rapidly intensified and reached peak winds of 305 km/h (190 mph) and a worldwide record low pressure of 870 mbar (hPa) on October 12. At its peak strength, it was also the largest tropical cyclone on record with a diameter of 2220 km (1380 mi). It slowly weakened as it continued west-northwestward, and later turned to the northeast under the influence of an approaching trough. Tip made landfall on southern Japan on October 19, and became an extratropical cyclone shortly thereafter.

Air Force Reconnaissance flew into the typhoon for 60 missions, making Tip one of the most closely observed tropical cyclones of all time. Rainfall from the typhoon breached a flood-retaining wall at a United States Marine Corps training camp in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, leading to a fire which injured 68 and killed 13 marines. Elsewhere in the country, it led to widespread flooding and 42 deaths. 44 were killed or left unaccounted for due to shipwrecks offshore.

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Selected picture

Allison 2001 rainfall.gif

Rainfall total map of Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001. The rainfall caused severe flooding along its path, particularly near Dallas, Texas, resulting in over $6 billion in damage. Map provided by David Roth, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.


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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Did you know…

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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

01B May 23 1985 0814Z.png
Tropical Storm Alice's track
Linfa May 30 2003 0508Z.jpg
Lucille 1960 track.png
Phyllis 1958 track.png
  • May 29, 1958 - Typhoon Phyllis reached its peak intensity with 295 km/h (185 mph) winds, becoming the strongest typhoon ever recorded in the month of May.

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