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Tropical Cyclones Portal

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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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Selected article

Hurricane Pauline at peak intensity


Hurricane Pauline was one of the strongest and deadliest Pacific hurricanes to make landfall on Mexico. The 16th tropical storm, 8th hurricane, and 7th major hurricane of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season, Pauline developed out of a tropical wave on October 5 about 250 miles (410 km) south-southwest of Huatulco in the state of Oaxaca. It initially moved eastward, then turned northwestward and quickly strengthened to reach peak winds of 135 mph. It paralleled the Mexican coastline a short distance offshore before weakening and hitting Puerto Escondido on October 9, and dissipated the next day.

Pauline produced torrential rainfall along the Mexican coastline, peaking at 16 inches in Acapulco. Intense flooding and mudslides in some of the poorest areas of Mexico killed between 230 to 400 people, making it one of the deadliest Eastern Pacific storms in recorded history. The passage of the hurricane destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of houses, leaving around 300,000 homeless and causing $7.5 billion in damage (1997 USD, 80 million 1997 MXN pesos, $9.3 billion (2006 USD).

Recently featured: Effects of Hurricane Isabel in Maryland and Washington, D.C.Hurricane JuanList of Baja California Peninsula hurricanesHurricane Gustav (2002)Effects of Hurricane Isabel in DelawareBrowse

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Selected picture

Global tropical cyclone tracks-edit2.jpg

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.


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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.

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Related Portals

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Currently active tropical cyclones

North Atlantic (2014)

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East/Central Pacific (2014)

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North Indian Ocean (2014)

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South-West Indian Ocean (2014–15)

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Australian region (2014–15)

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South Pacific (2014–15)

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Did you know…

Tracks of Atlantic-Pacific crossover storms.png
Hurricane Ida in the Yucatan Channel November 8 2009.jpg
Tropical Cyclone Agni 05A 2004.jpg
Katrina Susan Ron Jan 7 1998.png
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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

David 30 aug 1979 1906Z.jpg
Typhoon Rusa 30 aug 2002 0420Z.jpg
  • August 31, 2002 - Typhoon Rusa (pictured) made landfall in South Korea killing 113 people and causing $6 billion in damages.
Typhoon Ike 4 Sept 1984 0753z.png
  • 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.
1935 Labor Day hurricane track.png



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