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 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 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, about 10° away from it.
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 names such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.
- Pictured: Cyclone Gafilo
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Hurricane Fabian was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that hit Bermuda in early September during the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. Fabian, the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and first major hurricane of the season, developed from a tropical wave in the tropical Atlantic Ocean on August 25. It moved west-northwestward under the influence of the subtropical ridge to its north, and steadily strengthened in an area of warm water temperatures and light wind shear. The hurricane attained a peak intensity of 145 mph (230 km/h) on September 1, and it slowly weakened as it turned northward. On September 5, Fabian made a direct hit on the island of Bermuda with wind speeds of over 120 mph (195 km/h). After passing the island, the hurricane turned to the northeast, and became extratropical on September 8.
Fabian was the strongest hurricane to hit Bermuda since Hurricane Arlene in 1963. It was both the most damaging and the first hurricane to cause a death on the island since 1926. The hurricane's powerful winds resulted in moderate damage and destroyed roofs throughout the island. A strong storm surge associated with the hurricane killed four people crossing a causeway on Bermuda, temporarily closing the only link between two islands. The endangered Bermuda Petrel was threatened by the hurricane, which destroyed ten nests, although volunteer work transported the species to a safer location. Strong swells resulted in damage in northern Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and also caused four people to drown along the United States' Atlantic coast. In all, Fabian caused around $300 million (2003 USD) in damage and eight deaths.
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View of the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, as seen from an NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft before the storm made landfall on the United States Gulf Coast.
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Tropical cyclone anniversaries
- May 26, 1953 - Tropical Storm Alice (track pictured) made landfall in Nicaragua as a minimal tropical storm.
- May 25, 1985 - Cyclone 01B (track pictured) hit Bangladesh, killing around 6,000 people.
- May 24, 1989 - Typhoon Cecil (pictured) hit central Vietnam, where it killed 52 and left over 100,000 homeless.
- May 23, 1976 - Subtropical Storm One (track pictured) hit the Florida Panhandle, bringing heavy rainfall to the southeastern United States but only minimal damage.
- May 22, 1996 - Tropical Storm Cam (track pictured) reached its peak with 110 km/h (70 mph) while moving to the east through the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and Taiwan.
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