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 and 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'.

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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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Wayne 1986 track.png

Unusual path of Typhoon Wayne, among the longest lasting Pacific typhoons on record. It formed to the west of the Philippines on August 16, and after looping to the northwest it attained typhoon status. Wayne turned to the northeast, striking Taiwan before turning to the southwest and weakening to tropical depression status. It then turned eastward and to the northeast, then re-attained typhoon status before changing its motion to the west. On September 5 it crossed northern Hainan Island, and the next day it dissipated after striking northern Vietnam. Typhoon Wayne caused over 71 fatalities along its path.


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Did you know…

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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Typhoon Omar 29 aug 1992 2154Z.jpg
  • August 28, 1992 - Typhoon Omar (pictured) made landfall in Guam, flooding much of the island. Omar caused about $450 million of damage there, but nevertheless only killed two people.
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Typhoon Rusa 30 aug 2002 0420Z.jpg
  • August 31, 2002 - Typhoon Rusa (pictured) made landfall in South Korea killing 113 people and causing $6 billion in damages.
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  • September 1, 1984 - Typhoon Ike (pictured) made landfall in the southeastern Philippines with winds of 230 km/h (145 mph). Ike killed between 1,000 and 3,000 people in the Philippines and China.


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