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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The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters of modern times. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, mostly as a result of the storm surge that flooded many of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season and was also the most powerful, reaching a strength equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.
The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal on November 8 and moved north, intensifying as it did so. It reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on November 12 and made landfall on the East Pakistan coast that night. The storm surge devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the most severely affected Thana, Tazumuddin, over 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.
The Pakistani government was severely criticised for its handling of the relief operations following the storm, both by local political leaders in East Pakistan and in the international media. The opposition Awami League gained a landslide victory in the province and continuing unrest between East Pakistan and the central government trigged the Bangladesh Liberation War, which concluded with the creation of the state of Bangladesh.
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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
- … that Hurricane Faith (pictured) was tracked until it was located 600 miles (965 km) from the North Pole?
Tropical cyclone anniversaries
- June 30, 2015 - Cyclone Raquel (pictured) enters the Australian basin and was recognized as the only known instance of a tropical cyclone during July in the region since the satellite era began and as a byproduct of becoming a tropical cyclone on the first day of the new cyclone year, it marked the earliest start to a season in the basin on record. The system subsequently became the first tropical cyclone in the South Pacific Ocean during the month of July since reliable records started as the storm exited the basin.
- July 1, 1970 - Typhoon Olga (pictured) reached its peak intensity with 260 km/h (160 mph) winds.
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- Requests: Original-content tropical cyclone articles: 1935 Haiti hurricane, 1926 Havana-Bermuda Hurricane, Typhoon Bilis (2000), more
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- Update: Hurricane Stan and Tropical Depression Sixteen (2008)
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