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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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The Bhola cyclone on November 11, 1970, at 0858 UTC

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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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.




Related Portals


Currently active tropical cyclones


Did you know…

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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Alicia 17 aug 1983 2116Z.jpg
Hurricane Bob 19 aug 1991 1226Z.jpg
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1927 Atlantic hurricane 1 track.png

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2410 news items

Brevard Times

Brevard Times
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:11:15 -0700

MIAMI, Florida -- As of 2 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a tropical weather outlook due to the presence of two areas of low pressure located over the tropical Atlantic Ocean ...

Guardian Liberty Voice

Florida Today
Sat, 09 Aug 2014 18:36:03 -0700

It's exceptionally rare, though certainly not unheard of, for Hawaii to have to deal with tropical cyclones. But for two storms to hit Hawaii in a matter of a week? That's not just unheard of, it would be historic. Hawaii has never had two tropical ...

Brevard Times

Brevard Times
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:22:30 -0700

MIAMI, Florida -- As of 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a tropical weather outlook due to the presence of two areas of low pressure located over the central Atlantic Ocean that ...

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Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:52:30 -0700

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This NOAA GOES-West satellite image from Aug. 1 shows a train of 5 developing tropical systems in the Eastern and Central Pacific (l to r): System 91C, Genevieve, System 96E, Iselle, and a tropical wave. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project. A train of ...
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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 09:07:30 -0700

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Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:00:00 -0700

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