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Portal:Tropical cyclones

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Tropical Cyclones Portal

Typhoon tip peak.jpg

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. 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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Hurricane Gordon (1994) near peak intensity.
Hurricane Iniki was the most powerful hurricane to strike the state of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islands in recorded history. Forming during the strong El Niño of 1991-1994, Iniki was one of eleven Central Pacific tropical cyclones during the year. The eye of Hurricane Iniki passed directly over the island of Kauai on September 11 as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It was the first hurricane to hit the state since Iwa in the 1982 season, and the first major hurricane since Hurricane Dot in 1959.

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Remnants of Tropical Storm Agnes over the northeast United States. Agnes dropped torrential and record-breaking rainfall, causing over $2 billion in damage (1972 USD) and more than 100 deaths. The name was later retired.


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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

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Did you know…

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  • … that Hurricane Faith (pictured) was tracked until it was located 600 miles (965 km) from the North Pole?
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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

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