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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was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes
in the history of the United States
. It was the eleventh named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane
of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season
, and was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane
Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and becoming one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Gulf. The storm weakened considerably before making its second landfall as a Category 3 storm on the morning of August 29 in southeast Louisiana.
It is possible that Katrina was the largest hurricane of its strength to approach the United States in recorded history; its sheer size caused devastation over 100 miles from the center. The storm surge caused major or catastrophic damage along the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, including the cities of Mobile, Alabama, Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi, and Slidell, Louisiana. Levees separating Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, Louisiana were breached by the surge, ultimately flooding roughly 80% of the city and many areas of neighboring parishes. Severe wind damage was reported well inland. Katrina is estimated to be responsible for $75 billion (2005 US dollars) in damages, making it the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The storm has killed at least 1,604 people, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane.
Recently featured: List of storms in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season – List of New Jersey hurricanes – Hurricane Claudette (2003) – Browse
The map of global tropical cyclone tracks from 1985 to 2005 includes hundreds of systems that affected over a dozen countries. This picture was made using NASA imagery and data from various meteorological agencies.
Currently active tropical cyclones
Tropical cyclone anniversaries
- August 31, 2002 - Typhoon Rusa (pictured) made landfall in South Korea killing 113 people and causing $6 billion in damages.
- September 1, 1984 - Typhoon Ike (pictured) made landfall in the southeastern Philippines with winds of 230 km/h (145 mph). Ike killed between 1,000 and 3,000 people in the Philippines and China.
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- Requests: Original-content tropical cyclone articles: 1935 Haiti hurricane, 1926 Havana-Bermuda Hurricane, Typhoon Bilis (2000), more
- Copyedit: Hurricane Elida (2002), Effects of Hurricane Dennis in Florida, Criticism of government response to Hurricane Katrina
- Wikify: Make sure tropical cyclone lists, such as List of Texas hurricanes, have storm articles properly linked
- Cleanup: Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Wilma, Tropical Storm Fay (2002)
- Expand: Indianola Hurricane of 1886, Typhoon Nina (1975), Typhoon Durian
- Stubs: 1931 Belize hurricane, History of tropical cyclone-spawned tornadoes, more...
- Update: Hurricane Stan and Tropical Depression Sixteen (2008)
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