Hurricane definitions

Hurricane Definitions

EYE: The low-pressure center of a tropical cyclone, also called a hurricane. Winds are normally calm and sometimes the sky clears.

EYE WALL: The ring of thunderstorms that surrounds a storm's eye. The heaviest rain, strongest winds and worst turbulence are normally in the eye wall.

HURRICANE: A tropical cyclone with winds of 74 mph or more. Normally applied to such storms in the Atlantic Basin and the Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION: Has evidence of closed wind circulation around a center with sustained winds from 20 to 33 knots (23 to 38 mph).

TROPICAL STORM: Maximum sustained winds are from 34 to 63 knots (39 to 73 mph). The storm is named once it reaches tropical storm strength.

TROPICAL WAVE: A kink or bend in the normally straight flow of surface air in the tropics that forms a low-pressure trough, or pressure boundary, and showers and thunderstorms. Can develop into a tropical cyclone, i.e., a hurricane.

WATCH: A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area, generally within 36 hours. Keep listening to NOAA weather radio, local radio or local television for updated information. Hurricanes can change direction and speed, and they can gain strength very quickly. It's important to keep listening for updated information several times a day.

WARNING: A warning means sustained winds of 64 knots (74 mph) or higher associated with a hurricane are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continues, even though winds may be less than hurricane force. If told to move to a shelter or evacuate the area, do so immediately.

Sources: USA Today, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

2008 HURRICANE GUIDE

2008 HURRICANE GUIDE

2008 HURRICANE GUIDE

Hurricane definitions 05/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:55am]

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