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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Hurricane Ivan was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane, the fourth major hurricane, and the strongest hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed as a Cape Verde-type hurricane in early September. Ivan reached Category 5 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, the highest possible category, becoming the ninth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record and the only Category 5 storm of the season.
Ivan caused catastrophic damage to Grenada, which it struck directly at Category 3 intensity, and heavy damage to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the western tip of Cuba. After peaking in strength, it tracked north-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico to make landfall as a strong Category 3 storm in the U.S. near Gulf Shores, Alabama, causing very heavy damage. Ivan dropped heavy rains on the Southeastern United States as it looped across Florida and back into the Gulf of Mexico. The remnant low from the storm regenerated into a new tropical system, which moved into Louisiana and Texas, causing minimal damage. Ivan caused an estimated $13 billion worth of damage in the United States, making it the third costliest hurricane to ever strike the U.S (currently fourth).
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Cyclone Inigo as a 130 mph hurricane. This image is taken from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on April 2, 2003, while the cyclone was to the south of Indonesia.
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
- May 3, 2008 - Cyclone Nargis (pictured) dissipates over Burma after making landfall the previous day and passing near Yangon, inflicting catastrophic destruction and at least 146,000 fatalities.
- 1982 - Cyclone 01B impacted southern Burma where it killed five people.
- 2009 - Typhoon Kujira (pictured) reaches peak strength as a Category 4 after killing 28 people and damaging P1.25 million (US$27 million) over in the Philippines.
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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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How cyclones form
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