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Portal:Tropical cyclones

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Tropical cyclones portal

Satellite photograph of Typhoon Tip

A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center, a closed low-level circulation and a spiral arrangement of 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. Most 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, as well as to 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 may 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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Typhoon Tip at its record peak intensity on October 12, 1979

Typhoon Tip was the largest and most intense tropical cyclone on record. The nineteenth tropical storm, twelfth typhoon, and third super typhoon of the 1979 Pacific typhoon season, Tip developed out of a disturbance in the monsoon trough on October 4, near Pohnpei. Initially, a tropical storm to its northwest hindered the development and motion of Tip, though after it tracked further north Tip was able to intensify. After passing Guam, it rapidly intensified and reached peak winds of 305 km/h (190 mph) and a worldwide record low pressure of 870 mbar (hPa) on October 12. At its peak strength, it was also the largest tropical cyclone on record with a diameter of 2220 km (1380 mi). It slowly weakened as it continued west-northwestward, and later turned to the northeast under the influence of an approaching trough. Tip made landfall on southern Japan on October 19, and became an extratropical cyclone shortly thereafter.

Air Force Reconnaissance flew into the typhoon for 60 missions, making Tip one of the most closely observed tropical cyclones of all time. Rainfall from the typhoon breached a flood-retaining wall at a United States Marine Corps training camp in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, leading to a fire which injured 68 and killed 13 marines. Elsewhere in the country, it led to widespread flooding and 42 deaths. 44 were killed or left unaccounted for due to shipwrecks offshore.

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Hurricane Emily.jpg

Hurricane Emily (2005) near peak intensity on July 16, 2005. This image was captured by MODIS on the Terra satellite.


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.


WikiProject Non-tropical storms is a similar WikiProject which coordinates most of Wikipedia's coverage on notable extratropical cyclones, and the two projects share numerous overlaps.

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Currently active tropical cyclones

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2021)
Potential Tropical Cyclone Three
East and Central Pacific (2021)
Tropical Storm Dolores
West Pacific (2021)
No active systems
North Indian Ocean (2021)
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Mediterranean (2020–21)
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South-West Indian Ocean (2020–21)
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Australian region (2020–21)
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South Pacific (2020–21)
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South Atlantic (2020–21)
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Last updated: 20:48, 18 June 2021 (UTC)

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Zeta 2020-10-28 1855Z.jpg


Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Typhoon Guchol Jun 17 2012 0230Z.jpg

June 17,

  • 1971 - Hurricane Bridget passed just to the south of Acapulco, Mexico bringing gusts of 100 mph (155 km/h) to the city. Many ships, including some naval ships, were sunk killing 40 people and causing $40 million of damage.
  • 2012 - Typhoon Guchol (pictured) attains Category 4 super typhoon intensity with a minimum pressure of 930 hPa with 1-minute sustained winds of 240 km/h (150 mph).
STS 1 1982 Jun 18 1942Z.jpg

June 18,

Arlene jun 19 1993 1408Z.jpg

June 19,


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