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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A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically a tropical cyclone. Storm surge is caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea level. Low pressure at the center of a weather system also has a small secondary effect, as can the bathymetry of the body of water. It is this combined effect of low pressure and persistent wind over a shallow water body which is the most common cause of storm surge flooding problems. The term "storm surge" in casual (non-scientific) use is storm tide; that is, it refers to the rise of water associated with the storm, plus tide, wave run-up, and freshwater flooding. When referencing storm surge height, it is important to clarify the usage, as well as the reference point. NHC tropical storm reports reference storm surge as water height above predicted astronomical tide level, and storm tide as water height above NGVD-29.
In areas where there is a significant difference between low tide and high tide, storm surges are particularly damaging when they occur at the time of a high tide. In these cases, this increases the difficulty of predicting the magnitude of a storm surge since it requires weather forecasts to be accurate to within a few hours. Storm surges can be produced by non-tropical storms, such as the "Halloween Storm" of 1991 and the Storm of the Century (1993), but the most extreme storm surge events occur as a result of extreme weather systems, such as tropical cyclones. Factors that determine the surge heights for landfalling tropical cyclones include the speed, intensity, size of the radius of maximum winds (RMW), radius of the wind fields, angle of the track relative to the coastline, the physical characteristics of the coastline and the bathymetry of the water offshore. The SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) model is used to simulate surge from tropical cyclones.
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Crewmembers on the Space Shuttle Endeavour captured this image around Noon CDT of Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean. At the time the shuttle and International Space Station passed overhead, the Category 4 storm was moving westerly at 17 mph nearing Jamaica carrying sustained winds of 150 mph.
Currently active tropical cyclones
Tropical cyclone anniversaries
- December 19, 1990 - Typhoon Russ (pictured) reached its peak intensity with a central pressure of 915 hPa (mbar) to the southeast of Guam.
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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)
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- Stubs: 1931 Belize hurricane, History of tropical cyclone-spawned tornadoes, more...
- Update: Hurricane Stan and Tropical Depression Sixteen (2008)
What are hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones?
What are hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones? How do they form? In this video in the Weatherbytes series, James Chubb explains what hurricanes are and...
CNN Explains: Tropical cyclones
CNN Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera explains what a tropical cyclone is and why they are a necessary evil.
Tropical Cyclogenesis- Tropical Cyclone Formation
Learn the basics of tropical cyclones. This video series covers the fundamentals of tropical cyclogenesis. Text Version: http://www.brighthub.com/environment...
Super Hurricanes and Typhoons
Hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones: they are creatures of tropical seas, sweeping up heat laden waters, converting it to wind, rain, and waves. Why do a...
Matric Revision: Geography: Climatology (3/8): Tropical Cyclones
Characteristics, stages and how managed. Series brought to you by Western Cape Education Department FET Curriculum and Communication Directorates in collabor...
Cyclone Ita Hits Australia LIVE : Category 5, 285km/h Winds Deadly Storm Updates
Tropical cyclone threatens northern Australia More than 9000 people in north Queensland will be "directly impacted" by tropical cyclone Ita as the weather h...
Download the Show Notes: http://www.mindset.co.za/learn/sites/files/LXL2014/LXL_Gr12Geography_02_Tropical%20Cyclones_13Feb2014.pdf In this live Grade 12 Geog...
Anatomy of a Tropical Cyclone
Learn more about what tropical cyclones are, how they look, and what makes them grow or weaken. http://www.screenr.com/RhBH.
Tropical Cyclones: Educational Modules in the Atmospheric Sciences
Contribution by John S. Snook; John V. Zapotocny, and Donald R. Johnson. Produced by the Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madiso...
Phases of a Tropical Cyclone
An animated presentation explaining the weather conditions at different phases of a tropical cyclone.
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:55:02 -0800
The government's national weather service today launched three separate Twitter accounts for Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. The accounts will start off by focusing on tropical cyclones, which are prone to visit these ...
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 07:35:16 -0800
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel, or HS3, mission investigated four tropical cyclones in the 2014 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season: Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard and Gonzalo. The storms affected land areas in the Atlantic Ocean Basin and were at ...
Surfline.com Surf News
Surfline.com Surf News
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:37:30 -0800
For example, surfers along the East Coast remember 2013 as a very poor year for tropical swells even though the number of tropical cyclones was above average. On the flip side, above normal activity this year in the EPAC definitely produced an above ...
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 06:02:19 -0800
MANILA, Philippines - To the average observer, a tropical storm might not seem so different from a typhoon. Both bring heavy rains and strong winds anyway. The terminology used by weather forecasters and the media can also be quite confusing. Tropical ...
Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:18:45 -0800
For many people, the memories of past tropical cyclones that hit the country are still very much alive. While many people have experienced either one or two cyclones in any season, there were four in one year that shattered the country. Today, The Fiji ...
Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:26:15 -0800
The increasing number of powerful tropical cyclones to strike India in recent years inflicted catastrophic destruction, but they have also brought a bonanza to some fishermen along the Bay of Bengal coast. The day after Cyclone Hudhud slammed into the ...
Hawaii 24/7 (press release)
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 06:20:00 -0800
Further, scientists have observed that El Nino greatly influences the yearly variations of tropical cyclones (a general term that includes hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones) in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. However, there is a mismatch in both ...
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:37:30 -0800
One year ago, the Southeast of Asia was devastated by the terrible Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded by humanity. A month before Christmas, people in the Philippines found themselves obliged to deal with the ...
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