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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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The Bhola cyclone on November 11, 1970, at 0858 UTC

The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) on November 12, 1970. It was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, and one of the deadliest natural disasters of modern times. At least 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, mostly as a result of the storm surge that flooded many of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season and was also the most powerful, reaching a strength equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.

The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal on November 8 and moved north, intensifying as it did so. It reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on November 12 and made landfall on the East Pakistan coast that night. The storm surge devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. In the most severely affected Thana, Tazumuddin, over 45% of the population of 167,000 was killed by the storm.

The Pakistani government was severely criticised for its handling of the relief operations following the storm, both by local political leaders in East Pakistan and in the international media. The opposition Awami League gained a landslide victory in the province and continuing unrest between East Pakistan and the central government trigged the Bangladesh Liberation War, which concluded with the creation of the state of Bangladesh.


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Hurricane Katrina Eye viewed from Hurricane Hunter.jpg

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.


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)
Tropical Storm Claudette
East and Central Pacific (2021)
No active systems
West Pacific (2021)
Tropical Depression 06W
North Indian Ocean (2021)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2020–21)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2020–21)
No active systems
Australian region (2020–21)
No active systems
South Pacific (2020–21)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2020–21)
No active systems

Last updated: 11:56, 21 June 2021 (UTC)

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