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Tropical cyclone

Tropical cyclone
windstorms such as nor’easters, European windstorms, and polar lows, leading to their classification as "warm core" storm systems. 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 counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by many other names, such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. While tropical cyclones can produce extremely powerful winds and torrential rain, they are also able to produce high waves and damaging storm surge as well as spawning tornadoes. They develop over large bodies of warm water, and lose their strength if they move over land. This is the reason coastal regions can receive significant damage from a tropical cyclone, while inland regions are relatively safe from receiving strong winds. Heavy rains, however, can produce significant flooding inland, and storm surges can produce extensive coastal flooding up to 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the coastline. Although their effects on human populations can be devastating, tropical cyclones can also relieve drought conditions. They also carry heat and energy away from the tropics and transport it toward temperate latitudes, which makes them an important part of the global atmospheric circulation mechanism. As a result, tropical cyclones help to maintain equilibrium in the Earth’s troposphere, and to maintain a relatively stable and warm temperature worldwide. Many tropical cyclones develop when the atmospheric conditions around a weak disturbance in the atmosphere are favorable. Others form when other types of cyclones acquire tropical characteristics. Tropical systems are then moved by steering winds in the troposphere; if the conditions remain favorable, the tropical disturbance intensifies, and can even develop an eye. On the other end of

Cyclone Catarina, a rare South Atlantic tropical cyclone, viewed from the International Space Station in March 2004

Tropical cyclones
Formation and naming Development - Structure Naming - Seasonal lists - Full list Effects Effects Watches and warnings Storm surge - Notable storms Retired names (Atlantic - Eastern Pacific Western Pacific)

Climatology and tracking Basins - RSMCs - TCWCs - Scales Observation - Forecasting Rainfall forecasting Rainfall climatology
Part of the Nature series: Weather

A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. They are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic


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Size descriptions of tropical cyclones ROCI Less than 2 degrees latitude 2 to 3 degrees of latitude 3 to 6 degrees of latitude 6 to 8 degrees of latitude Over 8 degrees of latitude the spectrum, if the conditions around the system deteriorate or the tropical cyclone makes landfall, the system weakens and eventually dissipates. It is not possible to artificially induce the dissipation of these systems with current technology. Type Very small/midget Small Medium/Average Large Very large[10]

Tropical cyclone

Physical structure
See also: Eye (cyclone)

Structure of a tropical cyclone All tropical cyclones are areas of low atmospheric pressure near the Earth’s surface. The pressures recorded at the centers of tropical cyclones are among the lowest that occur on Earth’s surface at sea level.[1] Tropical cyclones are characterized and driven by the release of large amounts of latent heat of condensation, which occurs when moist air is carried upwards and its water vapour condenses. This heat is distributed vertically around the center of the storm. Thus, at any given altitude (except close to the surface, where water temperature dictates air temperature) the environment inside the cyclone is warmer than its outer surroundings.[2]

Eye and center
A strong tropical cyclone will harbor an area of sinking air at the center of circulation. If this area is strong enough, it can develop into an eye. Weather in the eye is normally calm and free of clouds, although the sea may be extremely violent.[3] The eye is normally

circular in shape, and may range in size from 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to 370 kilometres (230 mi) in diameter.[4][5] Intense, mature tropical cyclones can sometimes exhibit an outward curving of the eyewall’s top, making it resemble a football stadium; this phenomenon is thus sometimes referred to as the stadium effect.[6] There are other features that either surround the eye, or cover it. The central dense overcast is the concentrated area of strong thunderstorm activity near the center of a tropical cyclone;[7] in weaker tropical cyclones, the CDO may cover the center completely.[8] The eyewall is a circle of strong thunderstorms that surrounds the eye; here is where the greatest wind speeds are found, where clouds reach the highest, and precipitation is the heaviest. The heaviest wind damage occurs where a tropical cyclone’s eyewall passes over land.[3] Eyewall replacement cycles occur naturally in intense tropical cyclones. When cyclones reach peak intensity they usually have an eyewall and radius of maximum winds that contract to a very small size, around 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to 25 kilometres (16 mi). Outer rainbands can organize into an outer ring of thunderstorms that slowly moves inward and robs the inner eyewall of its needed moisture and angular momentum. When the inner eyewall weakens, the tropical cyclone weakens (in other words, the maximum sustained winds weaken and the central pressure rises.) The outer eyewall replaces the inner one completely at the end of the cycle. The storm can be of the same intensity as it was previously or even stronger after the eyewall replacement cycle finishes. The storm may strengthen again as it builds a new outer ring for the next eyewall replacement.[9]

One measure of the size of a tropical cyclone is determined by measuring the distance


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from its center of circulation to its outermost closed isobar, also known as its ROCI. If the radius is less than two degrees of latitude or 222 kilometres (138 mi), then the cyclone is "very small" or a "midget". A Radius between 3 and 6 latitude degrees or 333 kilometres (207 mi) to 666 kilometres (414 mi) are considered "average sized". "Very large" tropical cyclones have a radius of greater than 8 degrees or 888 kilometres (552 mi).[10] Use of this measure has objectively determined that tropical cyclones in the northwest Pacific ocean are the largest on earth on average, with Atlantic tropical cyclones roughly half their size.[11] Other methods of determining a tropical cyclone’s size include measuring the radius of gale force winds and measuring the radius at which its relative vorticity field decreases to 1×10-5 s-1 from its center.[12][13]

Tropical cyclone
energy drives updrafts that increase the height of the storm clouds, speeding up condensation.[17] This positive feedback loop continues for as long as conditions are favorable for tropical cyclone development. Factors such as a continued lack of equilibrium in air mass distribution would also give supporting energy to the cyclone. The rotation of the Earth causes the system to spin, an effect known as the Coriolis effect, giving it a cyclonic characteristic and affecting the trajectory of the storm.[18][19] What primarily distinguishes tropical cyclones from other meteorological phenomena is deep convection as a driving force.[20] Because convection is strongest in a tropical climate, it defines the initial domain of the tropical cyclone. By contrast, mid-latitude cyclones draw their energy mostly from pre-existing horizontal temperature gradients in the atmosphere.[20] To continue to drive its heat engine, a tropical cyclone must remain over warm water, which provides the needed atmospheric moisture to keep the positive feedback loop running. When a tropical cyclone passes over land, it is cut off from its heat source and its strength diminishes rapidly.[21]


Tropical cyclones form when the energy released by the condensation of moisture in rising air causes a positive feedback loop over warm ocean waters.[14] A tropical cyclone’s primary energy source is the release of the heat of condensation from water vapor condensing at high altitudes, with solar heating being the initial source for evaporation. Therefore, a tropical cyclone can be visualized as a giant vertical heat engine supported by mechanics driven by physical forces such as the rotation and gravity of the Earth.[15] In another way, tropical cyclones could be viewed as a special type of mesoscale convective complex, which continues to develop over a vast source of relative warmth and moisture. Condensation leads to higher wind speeds, as a tiny fraction of the released energy is converted into mechanical energy;[16] the faster winds and lower pressure associated with them in turn cause increased surface evaporation and thus even more condensation. Much of the released

Chart displaying the drop in surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita passed over The passage of a tropical cyclone over the ocean can cause the upper layers of the ocean to cool substantially, which can influence subsequent cyclone development. Cooling is primarily caused by upwelling of cold water from deeper in the ocean due to the wind. The cooler water causes the storm to weaken. This is a negative feedback process that causes the storms to weaken over sea because of their own effects. Additional


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Basins and WMO Monitoring Institutions[25] Basin Northern Atlantic Northeastern Pacific North Central Pacific Northwestern Pacific Northern Indian Ocean Southwestern Indian Ocean Australian region Responsible RSMCs and TCWCs National Hurricane Center (United States) National Hurricane Center (United States)

Tropical cyclone

Central Pacific Hurricane Center (United States) Japan Meteorological Agency India Meteorological Department Météo-France Bureau of Meteorology† (Australia) Meteorological and Geophysical Agency† (Indonesia) Papua New Guinea National Weather Service† Fiji Meteorological Service Meteorological Service of New Zealand†

Southern Pacific

Indicates a Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

cooling may come in the form of cold water from falling raindrops (this is because the atmosphere is cooler at higher altitudes). Cloud cover may also play a role in cooling the ocean, by shielding the ocean surface from direct sunlight before and slightly after the storm passage. All these effects can combine to produce a dramatic drop in sea surface temperature over a large area in just a few days.[22] Scientists at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research estimate that a tropical cyclone releases heat energy at the rate of 50 to 200 exajoules (1018 J) per day,[17] equivalent to about 1 PW (1015 watt). This rate of energy release is equivalent to 70 times the world energy consumption of humans and 200 times the worldwide electrical generating capacity, or to exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes.[17][23] While the most obvious motion of clouds is toward the center, tropical cyclones also develop an upper-level (high-altitude) outward flow of clouds. These originate from air that has released its moisture and is expelled at high altitude through the "chimney" of the storm engine.[15] This outflow produces high, thin cirrus clouds that spiral away from the center. The clouds are thin enough for the sun to be visible through them. These high cirrus clouds may be the first signs of an approaching tropical cyclone.[24]

Major basins and related warning centers

There are six Regional Specialized Meteorological Centr ing and issuing bulletins, warnings, and advisories about that provide information to smaller regions.[26] The RSM ing Center (JTWC) issues advisories in all basins except ical Services Administration (PAGASA) issues advisories izens.[28] The Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) issues a On 26 March 2004, Cyclone Catarina became the firs Hurricane Scale. As the cyclone formed outside the auth sequently classified it as tropical.[30]


Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity peaks in late summe its own seasonal patterns. On a worldwide scale, May is ive.[31]


In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, a distinct hurricane seas hurricane season is 10 September. The Northeast Pacific year-round, with a minimum in February and March and November.[31] In the Southern Hemisphere, the tropical the end of April with peaks in mid-February to early Mar


The formation of tropical cyclones is the topic of extensi casionally form without meeting all of the following cond (160 ft);[36] waters of this temperature cause the overlyi allows the release of the heat of condensation that powe in the atmosphere, conditions are more favorable for dis cyclones generally need to form more than 555 kilometr sure center and creating a circulation.[36] Lastly, a form take place.[36]


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Season lengths and seasonal averages[31][34] Basin Season start April May June Season end January Tropical Storms (>34 knots) 26.7 20.6

Tropical cyclone

Tropical Cyclones (>63 knots) 16.9 10.3 9.0 5.9 4.8 2.2

Category 3+ TCs (>95 knots) 8.5 4.3 4.1 2.0 1.9 0.4

Northwest Pacific South Indian Northeast Pacific North Atlantic Australia Southwest Pacific North Indian

November April

November 16.3 November 10.6 9

November April April

December 5.4

Map of the cumulative tracks of all tropical cyclones during the 1985–2005 time period. The Pacific Ocean west of the International Date Line sees more tropical cyclones than any other basin, while there is almost no activity in the Atlantic Ocean south of the Equator.

Waves in the trade winds in the Atlantic Ocean—areas of converging winds that move along the same track as the prevailing wind—create instabilities in the atmosphere that may lead to the formation of hurricanes.

move within about 5 degrees of the equator, where the C 2001 and Cyclone Agni in 2004.[46][47]

Movement and track
Steering winds

Although tropical cyclones are large systems generating sphere. The path of motion is referred to as a tropical cy by a stream".[48] Tropical systems, while generally located equatorwar Map of all tropical cyclone tracks from 1945 persistent high pressure area over the world’s oceans.[4 to 2006. Equal-area projection. rents—steer tropical waves westward from the African c These waves are the precursors to many tropical cyclone strongly influenced by the seasonal movement of the Int Locations other systems, such as other low pressure systems, high Most tropical cyclones form in a worldwide band of thunderstorm activity called by several names: the In Coriolis effect trough.[38][39][40] Another important source of atmospheric instability is found in tropical waves, which c of the tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific basin.[41][42][43] The Earth’s rotation imparts an acceleration known as th Tropical cyclones move westward when equatorward of the subtropical ridge, intensifying as they The poles in the absence of strong steering currents.[49] mov 87% form no farther away than 20 degrees of latitude, north or south.[44][45] Because the Coriolis effect i erly winds on the equatorward portion of the cyclone pu


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Tropical cyclone

Infrared image of a powerful southern hemisphere cyclone, Monica, near peak intensity, showing clockwise rotation due to the Coriolis effect

Storm track of Typhoon Ioke, showing recurvature off the Japanese coast in 2006

Thus, tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere usually turn north (before being blown east), and tro east) when no other effects counteract the Coriolis effect.[19] The Coriolis effect also initiates cyclonic rotation, but it is not the driving force that brings this rotatio

Interaction with the mid-latitude westerlies

See also: Westerlies When a tropical cyclone crosses the subtropical ridge axis, its general track around the high-pressure are to its north. When the cyclone track becomes strongly poleward with an easterly component, the cyclone Asia, for example, will recurve offshore of Japan to the north, and then to the northeast, if the typhoon en tem passing over China or Siberia. Many tropical cyclones are eventually forced toward the northeast by the subtropical ridge. An example of a tropical cyclone in recurvature was Typhoon Ioke in 2006, which t


See also: List of notable tropical cyclones and Unusual areas of tropical cyclone formation Officially, landfall is when a storm’s center (the center of its circulation, not its edge) crosses the coastlin landfall; in fact, a tropical cyclone can launch its strongest winds over land, yet not make landfall; if this o definition, the landfall area experiences half of a land-bound storm by the time the actual landfall occurs. speed or intensity of rainfall will reach land, not from when landfall will occur. [52]

Tropical Storm Franklin, an example of a strongly sheared tropical cyclone in the AtWhen two cyclones approach one another, their lantic Basin duringorbiting cyclonically about a point betw centers will begin 2005 ally spiral into the center point and merge. When the two vortices are of unequal size, the larger vortex w phenomenon is called the Fujiwhara effect, after Sakuhei Fujiwhara.[53] dissipation can occur if it experiences vertical wind shea Additionally, its interaction with the main belt of the We ition can take 1–3 days.[62] Even after a tropical cyclone several inches of rainfall. In the Pacific ocean and Atlant wind speeds when they reach the west coast of North Am Factors nants are an example of such a windstorm from 1995.[63 A tropical cyclone can cease to have tropical characteristics through several different ways. One such wa the resultant system, although it may no longer be a trop quickly losing strength.[54] Most strong storms lose their strength very rapidly after landfall and become lones.[64] cyclones. While there is a chance a tropical cyclone could regenerate if it managed to get back over open celerate.[55] Many storm fatalities occur in mountainous terrain, as the dying storm unleashes torrential r Artificial dissipation with Hurricane Mitch in 1998.[57] Additionally, dissipation can occur if a storm remains in the same area In the 1960s and 1970s, the the storm cannot survive. a surface temperatures more than 5 °C (9 °F).[58] Without warm surface water,United States government [5 ing would cause supercooled water in the outer rainband A tropical cyclone can dissipate when it moves over waters significantly below 26.5 °C (79.7 °F). This seeded in Project Stormfury—dropped as much as 31%, center and warm core) and become a remnant low pressure area, which can persist for several days. This

Multiple storm interaction



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Tropical cyclone

east of Jacksonville, Florida promptly changed its course after being seeded, and smashed into Savannah storms, the federal government would not approve seeding operations unless the hurricane had a less tha possible test storms. The project was dropped after it was discovered that eyewall replacement cycles oc Today, it is known that silver iodide seeding is not likely to have an effect because the amount of superco Other approaches have been suggested over time, including cooling the water under a tropical cyclone the ocean in a substance that inhibits evaporation,[70] dropping large quantities of ice into the eye at very of being converted to kinetic energy that would feed the positive feedback loop), [69] or blasting the cyclon cyclone.[71] These approaches all suffer from one flaw above many others: tropical cyclones are simply to


Tropical cyclones out at sea cause large waves, heavy rain, and high winds, disrupting international shipp cool wake behind them,which causes the region The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Gulf- cyclones. [22 to be less favourable for subsequent tropical er outside objects, turning loose debris into deadly flying projectiles. The was the costliest port, Mississippi. Katrina storm surge, or the increase in lones, historically resulting in 90% of tropical cyclone deaths.[74] The broad rotation of a landfalling tropi tropical cyclone in world history. can also be spawned as a result of eyewall mesovortices, which persist until landfall.[75] Over the past two centuries, tropical cyclones have been responsible for the deaths of about 1.9 millio tion, as well as contributing to mosquito-borne illnesses. Crowded evacuees in shelters increase the risk o leading to power outages, bridge destruction, and the hampering of reconstruction efforts. [76][77] Although cyclones take an enormous toll in lives and personal property, they may be important factors precipitation to otherwise dry regions.[78] Tropical cyclones also help maintain the global heat balance by storm surge and winds of hurricanes may be destructive to human-made structures, but they also stir up Tropical cyclone destruction spurs redevelopment, greatly increasing local property values. [80]

Observation and forecasting

Intense tropical cyclones pose a particular observation challenge, as they are a dangerous oceanic pheno Sunset view of only if the storm is passing over an island of the storm itself. Surface observations are generally availableHurricane Isidore’s rainbands photographed at 7,000 feet (2,100 m) taken in the periphery of the cyclone, where conditions are less catastrophic and its true strength cannot path of tropical cyclones to help evaluate their strength at the point of landfall. [81] Tropical cyclones far from land are tracked by weather satellites capturing visible and infrared images land, it can be observed by land-based Doppler radar. Radar plays a crucial role around landfall by showi In-situ measurements, in real-time, can be taken by sending specially equipped reconnaissance flights States government hurricane hunters.[83] The aircraft used are WC-130 Hercules and WP-3D Orions, bot and take direct and remote-sensing measurements. The aircraft also launch GPS dropsondes inside the c between flight level and the ocean’s surface. A new era in hurricane observation began when a remotely as it passed Virginia’s Eastern Shore during the 2005 hurricane season. A similar mission was also compl probe the storms at low altitudes that human pilots seldom dare. [84]


See also: Tropical cyclone track forecasting, Tropical cyclone prediction model, and Tropical cyclone rain Because of the forces that affect tropical cyclone tracks, accurate track predictions depend on determinin those areas will change during the life of a tropical system. The deep layer mean flow, or average wind th direction and speed. If storms are significantly sheared, use of wind speed measurements at a lower altitu A general also consider smoothing out short-term wobble level) will produce better predictions. Tropical forecastersdecrease in error trends in tropical cyclone path prediction is evident since the [85] High-speed computers and sophisticated simulation software allow forecasters to produce compu ory. 1970s strength of high- and low-pressure systems. Combining forecast models with increased understanding of orbiting satellites and other sensors, scientists have increased the accuracy of track forecasts over recen ical cyclones.[87] The lack of improvement in intensity forecasting is attributed to the complexity of tropic development.

Classifications, terminology, an
Intensity classifications


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Tropical cyclone

strongest thunderstorms and winds circulate around the (165 kn) or 195 miles per hour (314 km/h).[91]

Origin of storm terms

The word typhoon, which is used today in the Northwest in Greek mythology responsible for hot winds.[94] The re have come from the Chinese word "dafeng" ("daifung" in The word hurricane, used in the North Atlantic and Nort also the source of the word Orcan, another word for the


Storms reaching tropical storm strength were initially gi people of the coming storm.[97] In most cases, a tropical These names are taken from lists that vary from region t of the World Meteorological Organization (called primar particularly destructive storms (if there are any) are "ret

Notable tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones that cause extreme destruction are rar liest tropical cyclone on record, killing more than 300,00 November 1970. Its powerful storm surge was responsib Nina killed nearly 100,000 in China due to a 2000-year f Three tropical cyclones at different stages of record, killing about 22,000 people in the Lesser Antilles development. The weakest (left), demonmudslides. Tropical Storm Thelma in November 1991 kil strates only the most basic circular shape. A stronger storm (top right) demonstrates spiraround 1,000 people in Central America.[104] al banding and increased centralization, Hurricane Katrina is estimated as the costliest tropica while the strongest (lower right) has de$100 billion (2005 USD).[105] Katrina killed at least 1,83 veloped an eye. structive tropical cyclone in U.S history, with damages t ical cyclone in U.S history. The Galveston Hurricane of 1 ricane based 1992 was the most depressions, tropical Tropical cyclones are classified into three main groups, Iniki inon intensity: tropicalpowerful storm to strik Other destructive Eastern Pacific hurricanes include Pau gion. For example, if a tropical storm in the Northwestern Pacific reaches hurricane-strength winds on th struck northeastern Madagascar as a powerful "hurrican benchmark in the Northeast Pacific Basin, or in the Atlantic, it is called a hurricane.[52] Neither cyclone, The most intense storm In these basins, storms of tropical nature are referred as simply "cyclones". on record was Typhoon Tip in speeds of uses a separate system of terminology, makin Additionally, as indicated in the table below, each basin 165 knots (85 m/s) or 190 miles per hour (310 Hurricanes Camille and Allen in the North Atlantic curre from the Central North Pacific sometimes cross the International Date Line into the Northwest Pacific, be [88] It should also be noted that typhoons(85 m/s) or 190 miles per hour than 67 metres 165 knots with sustained winds greater (310 km/h) sus reverse will occur. [89] Typhoon Nancy in 1961 had recorded wind speeds of 18 the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. gauged too high, and this is no longer considered the sto Tropical depression 205 knots (105 m/s) or 235 miles per hour (378 km/h). H carded and the anemometer was damaged by the storm A tropical depression is an organized system of cloudssincethunderstorms with a defined, closed surfac In addition to typically most intense tropical or the s (33 kn) or 39 miles per hour (63 km/h). It has no eye and does notbeing the have the organization cyclone [15] The practice oflest storm on record, name tropical depressions from the hence the name "depression". the Philippines is to Cyclone Tracy, was roughly 100 kil percent of houses.[116] responsibility.[90] Hurricane John is the longest-lasting tropical cyclone Tropical storm ated in their durations.[117] John is the second longest-tr A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms withdata for Southern Hemisphere cyc (12,500 km). Reliable a defined surface circulation and (63 km/h)) and 32 metres per second (62 kn) (73 miles per hour (117 km/h)). At this point, the distinctive weather services, other than the Philippines, first assign names to systems that reach this intensity (thus

Long-term activity trends

Hurricane or typhoon

See also: Atlantic hurricane reanalysis A hurricane or typhoon (sometimes simply referred to as a tropical cyclone, as opposed to a depression or 74 miles per hour (119 km/h).[15] A cyclone of While the number ofto develop theeye, an area of relative this intensity tends storms in an Atlantic has increased the ability of climatologists to make long-term data analy ten visible in satellite images as a small, circular, cloud-free spot. Surrounding the eye is the eyewall, an spite of that, there is some evidence that the intensity of


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Tropical cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Classifications (all winds are 10-minute averages) [92][93] Beaufort 10-minute scale sustained winds (knots) N Indian Ocean IMD SW Indian Australia SW PaOcean BOM cific MF FMS NW Pacific JMA NW Pacific JTWC

NE Pa cific & N Atlantic NHC, CHC & CPHC


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0–6 <28 knots (32 mph; 52 km/h) 28–29 knots (32–33 mph; 52–54 km/h) 30–33 knots (35–38 mph; 56–61 km/h) 8–9 34–47 knots (39–54 mph; 63–87 km/h) 48–55 knots (55–63 mph; 89–102 km/h) 56–63 knots (64–72 mph; 104–117 km/h) 64–72 knots Very (74–83 mph; Severe 119–133 km/h) Cyclonic Storm 73–85 knots (84–98 mph; 135–157 km/h) 86–89 knots (99–102 mph; 159–165 km/h) 90–99 knots (100–110 mph; 170–180 km/h) 100–106 knots (120–120 mph; 190–200 km/h) 107–114 knots (123–131 mph; 198–211 km/h) 115–119 knots (132–137 mph; 213–220 km/h) >120 knots (140 mph; 220 km/h) Super Cyclonic Storm Very Intense Tropical Cyclone Severe Tropical Cyclone (5) Severe Tropical Cyclone (5) Intense Tropical Cyclone Severe Tropical Cyclone (4) Severe Tropical Cyclone (4) Tropical Cyclone Severe Tropical Cyclone (3) Severe Tropical Cyclone (3) Cyclonic Storm Severe Cyclonic Storm Moderate Tropical Storm Severe Tropical Storm Tropical Cyclone (1) Tropical Cyclone (2) Tropical Cyclone (1) Tropical Cyclone (2) Depression Trop. Tropical Disturbance Low Deep Depression Depression

Tropical cyclone

Tropical Tropical Tropical Tropica Depression Depression Depression Depres


Tropical Storm Tropical Storm Severe Tropical Storm Typhoon

Tropica Storm



Hurric (1)



Hurric (2) Major ricane

Major ricane

Super Typhoon Major ricane

wind speed in and the duration of hurricanes. The energy in part because of the threat of hurricanes, man Often released by the average hurricane (again consi 30 years or so, corresponding to about a 15% increaseof hurricanes striking the coast may have gone unm tions in the maximum wind speed and a 60% increase in Atlantic storms are becoming more destructive financially, since five of thebefore theexpensive storms ricanes in the official record ten most era of hurricane logical Organization, “recent increase in societal tense hurricanes, therefore, experts regard the early dat impact from tropical cyclones has largely been caused b Pielke et al. (2008) normalized mainland U.S. hurricane number and strength of Atlantic hurricanes may The damage from 1900–2005 to 2005 values and foun notable because of the extremely low amounts ofactivity back to the early 18th century and found five per damage compared to other decades. The decade 1996–2 ade 1926–1935 surpassing its costs. The most damaging single storm is the 1926 Miami hurricane, with $


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Tropical cyclone

Atlantic Multidecadal Cycle since 1950, using accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) Taipei 101 endures a typhoon in 2005

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Timeseries, 1856–2008 The relative sizes of Typhoon Tip, Cyclone Tracy, and the United States

Global warming

lasting 10–20years. These periods are associatedThe U.S. National multidecadal Atmospheric Administrat with the Atlantic Oceanic and oscillation. Throughout, a strength of [124] dampening the number of major hurricanes by 1–2 per year. tropical cyclones over time. The simulation c the earth’s climate seasons occurred during 1970–94. [12 Although more common since 1995, few above-normal hurricane is warmed by increasing levels of gre In storms formed in 1933, a Emanuel stated that pot New England hurricanes. Twenty-one Atlantic tropicalan article in Nature, Kerryrecord only recently exc al sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented ing the seasons of 1900–25; however, many intense storms formed during 1870–99. During the 1887 seas 11 strengthened into hurricanes. Few hurricanes"a substantial increase in hurricane-relatedmany struck i occurred in the 1840s to 1860s; however, losses in the lone storms may have been as high as over the past 35 ye York City. Some historical weather experts say these number, duration, and intensity" Category 4 in stre throughout the the Atlantic basin. Before Atlantic Ocea These active hurricane seasons predated satellite coverage ofplanet excluding the north the satellite e

sance aircraft encountered one, a ship reported a voyage through the storm, or a storm hit land in a popu experienced gale-force winds, recognized it as a tropical storm (as opposed to a high-latitude extra-tropic experience. Rank Hurri Proxy records based on paleotempestological research have revealed that major hurricane activity alo Few major hurricanes struck the Gulf coast during 3000–1400 BC and again during the most recent mille “Miami” 1 1400 BC and 1000 AD, when the Gulf coast was struck frequently by catastrophic hurricanes and their la “Galveston” 2 attributed to long-term shifts in the position of the Azores High,[128] which may also be linked to changes Katrina 3 According to the Azores High hypothesis, an anti-phase pattern is expected to exist between the Gulf o easterly position of the Azores High would result in more hurricanes being “Galveston” steered towards the Atlantic c 4 coast as the Azores High was shifted to a more southwesterly position near the Caribbean. Such a displac Andrew 5 abrupt onset of a drier climate in Haiti around 3200 14C years BP,[130] and a change towards more humid 6 pumped up the Mississippi Valley through the Gulf coast. Preliminary data “Newthe northern Atlantic coa from England” coastal lake in Cape Cod suggests that hurricane activity increased significantly during the past 500–100 “Pinar del Río” 7


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Tropical cyclone

8 9 10

“Okeechobee” Donna Camille

1928 1960 1969

Main article: List of costliest Atlant

The strength of the reported effect is surprising in light of modeling studies [134] that predict only a one h ing. Such a response would have predicted only a ~10% increase in Emanuel’s potential destructiveness Secondly, after adjusting for changes in population and inflation, and despite a more than 100% increase the monetary damages resulting from Atlantic hurricanes has been found.[122][135] Sufficiently warm sea surface temperatures are considered vital to the development of tropical cyclone increase in sea surface temperatures is believed to be due to both global warming and nature variability, tribution has not been defined.[136] However, recent temperatures are the warmest ever observed for ma In February 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fourth the climate, including atmospheric composition, global average temperatures, ocean conditions, among o ger than climate models predict. Additionally, the report considered that it is likely that storm intensity w not that there has been some human contribution to the increases in tropical cyclone intensity. [137] Howe genic global warming has on tropical cyclone formation, track, andGustav in 2002example, critics such as Subtropical Storm intensity. For [138] A statement by the American Meteorological Society on observed large natural hurricane variability". for and against the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal" in tropical cyclogenesis.[139] Although Annual seasons "hotly debated",[140] a point of agreement is that no individual tropical cyclone or season can be attribute • List of Atlantic hurricane seasons (current) Nature found that the strongest tropical cyclones are getting stronger, particularly over the North Atlant • List of North Indian Ocean cyclone seasons (current) an average of 140 miles per hour (230 km/h) in 1981 to 156 miles per hour (251 km/h) in 2006, while the • List of Pacific hurricane seasons (current) form, increased from 28.2 °C (82.8 °F) to 28.5 °C (83.3 °F) during this period.[141][142] • List of Pacific typhoon seasons (current) • List of South-West Indian Ocean cyclone seasons (cu • List of Australian region cyclone seasons (current) • List of South See also: Cyclone, Extratropical cyclone, and Subtropical cyclone Pacific cyclone seasons (current)

Related cyclone types

In addition to tropical cyclones, there are two other classes of cyclones within the spectrum of cyclone ty lones, can be stages a tropical cyclone passes through during its formation or dissipation.[143] An extratr ences, which are typical in higher latitudes. A tropical cyclone can become extratropical as it moves towa [1] Symonds, although not as frequently, an Lows". Wi to differences in temperature between air masses; additionally, Steve (2003-11-17). "Highs andextratropic [2] ^ Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Extra lone.[2] From space, extratropical storms have a characteristic "comma-shaped" cloud pattern.[144] Labor Atmospheric Administration. http://www.aoml.noaa. [145] powerful winds and high seas. [3] ^ National Weather Service (2005-10-19). "Tropical A subtropical cyclone is a weather system that has some characteristics of a tropical cyclone and some udes, from the equator to 50°. Although subtropical storms rarely have hurricane-force winds, they may b [4] Pasch, Richard J.; its extratropical transition. [147] tropical cyclone is usually not considered to become subtropical during Eric S. Blake, Hugh D. Cobb III, a Center. [5] Lander, Mark A. (January 1999). "A Tropical Cyclone [6] Pasch, Richard J. and Lixion media, (May 1999). "A In popular culture, tropical cyclones have made appearances in different types of A. Avilaincluding films, 1520-0493(1999)127<0581:AHSO>2.0.CO;2. http:// that are entirely fictional, or can be based on real events.[148] For example, George Rippey Stewart’s Sto [7] Another example is the hurricane in The Perfect Sto [149] American Meteorological Society. "AMS Glossary: C giving female names to Pacific tropical cyclones. [8] Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laborat Nor’easter.[150] Also, hypothetical hurricanes have been featured in parts of the plots of series such as Th Administration. Creek.[148][151][152][153][154] CSI Miami,[155] The 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow includes several me [9] Atlantic Oceanographic and Hurricane Research Div [156][157] tropical Arctic storms. hurricane’s maximum winds to weaken?". National O [10] ^ "Q: What is the average size of a tropical cyclone? [11] Merrill, Robert T (1983-12-14). "A comparison of La i1520-0493-112-7-1408.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-05-0 • Hurricane Alley [12] "Global Guide to Tropical Cyclone Forecasting: chap • Hypercane Retrieved on 2009-05-06. • List of wettest tropical cyclones by country [13] K. S. Liu and Johnny C. L. Chan (December 1999). "S • Secondary flow in tropical cyclones 1520-0493(1999)127<2992:SOTCAI>2.0.CO;2. http document&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0493(1999)127%


Tropical cyclones in popular culture

See also


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Tropical cyclone

[14] "Anthropogenic Effects on Tropical Cyclone Activity.". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2006-0 [43] Landsea, Chris (June 1993). "A Climatology of Intens [15] ^ National Weather Service (September 2006). "Hurricanes... Unleashing Nature’s Fury: A Prepared 1520-0493(1993)121<1703:ACOIMA>2.0.CO;2. http Retrieved on 2006-12-02. loc&uri=urn%3Aap%3Apdf%3Adoi%3A10.1175%2F [16] ^ Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division. "Frequently [44] ^ Neumann, Charles J.. "Worldwide Tropical Cyclon National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Re ch1/figures_ch1/figure1.9.htm. Retrieved on 2006-12 [17] ^ "NOAA Question of the Month: How much [45] "TropicalaCyclones and Global Climate Change: A& energy does hurricane release?". National Oceanic Po question_082900.html. Retrieved on 2006-03-31.index.html. Retrieved on 2009-05-07. [18] "Coriolis force (physics).". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2008-02-25. 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