Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tropical cyclones

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I just created this wikiproject, after several months of contemplating doing so. I hope everyone working on hurricane articles will get involved. I went ahead and wrote a bunch of guidelines, basically based on current practices...naturally since this is something I just wrote it doesn't necessarily represent community consensus and needs to be discussed. That discussion should probably go here for now...although eventually we may make these pages a little more structured. For a general TODO list, see the "tasks" item on the project page. Jdorje 23:17, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

WikiProject Tropical cyclones (Rated Project-class)
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Article up for promotion to A-Class[edit]

List any proposed A-Class assessments here. Discussion will take place on the article talk page. In general, at least two people should endorse promotion.

Source guide for tropical cyclone articles by User:Hylian Auree[edit]

All of the below is based on style guidelines per WP:MOS.
Note: The names and titles used as examples in this guide are fictional and do not represent real articles or reports unless otherwise stated


  • For news and journal articles, the title of the article needs to be written in lower case. Naturally, proper nouns, as well as names of places, people, etc., retain their capitalization. Example: Not More Than 500,000 Left Homeless in Brenden Moses County by Hurricane Julian, but More than 500,000 left homeless in Brenden Moses County by Hurricane Julian.
  • For reports, books, press releases, and conferences, the title of the text should be fully capitalized. Example: Not Rainfall report on Hurricane Julian and its tropical remnants in Brenden Moses County, but Rainfall Report on Hurricane Julian and its Tropical Remnants in Brenden Moses County.
  • For regular websites, the reference title assumes the capitalization format of the original website title. However, full-caps words or titles still need to be rewritten in lower case.
  • All titles should have proper punctuation per the WP:MOS (e.g. straight  '  rather than curly    apostrophes or quotation marks, spaced en dashes instead of misused spaced hyphens, unspaced colons, semicolons, etc.), even when the source titles may not be stylized as such. Example: Not Brenden Moses County on alert : JULIAN plays wait-and-see - Forecasters warn of storm’s “undivinable” nature, but Brenden Moses County on alert: Julian plays wait-and-see – Forecasters warn of storm's "undivinable" nature.


  • The publication date of a source is listed in the |date= field. While this can normally be found at the top of the source, it is sometimes hidden in a more obscure location (e.g. the bottom of the page, the page history, or the url of the page). For web sources that are frequently updated, use the most recent revision date. If the source is undated, this needs to be indicated by adding "n.d.", as such: |date=n.d.
  • For online sources on web pages that may be suspect to domain changes, the retrieval date (the date upon which the source was found and last accessed) is listed in the |accessdate= field. This is always the case for online newspapers or web sites, though retrieval dates should be considered for online reports as well. For books and journals, even when electronic (such as Google Books), a retrieval date is unnecessary.

Authors vs publishers in reports, press releases or documents[edit]

  • Although these all fall under the |publisher= field, it is rather cumbersome and impractical to include every single parent department (NCEP, NWS, NOAA) in |publisher= for a report or document published by the WPC. Therefore, simply listing the lowest branch as the publisher suffices (so Rainfall Report on Hurricane Julian (Report). Weather Prediction Center.  rather than Rainfall Report on Hurricane Julian (Report). Weather Prediction Center; National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NOAA.  or something).
  • Above all: DO NOT compartmentalize these branches and spread them across the fields. These are the |publisher= of reports, not the |author= or |work=. Example: NOT Hink, Andrew; Weather Prediction Center (2015). Rainfall Report on Hurricane Julian. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (Report) (College Park, MD: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). , but simply Hink, Andrew (2015). Rainfall Report on Hurricane Julian (Report). College Park, MD: Weather Prediction Center. )
  • The |work= field is often redundant here, unless the referenced report/document is part of a project, database, or contained in a separate website. In this case the project/database/website name may be listed as work, though this is often optional.
  • A recent example I came across can be found here. This is an undated rainfall report for Hurricane Earl (2010) from Météo-France published on their site, so an appropriate formatting would be {{cite report|url=|title=Earl 2010: Ouragan|publisher=Météo France|date=n.d.|accessdate=September 13, 2015}}. However, note the "Pluies Extrêmes Aux Antilles" ("Extreme Rainfall in the Antilles") at the top of the webpage and within the url; this suggests this is a separate web archive/database for extreme rainfall events in the Antilles, documented by Meteo France as an extension of their website ( In this case, the |work= parameter may serve disclose this additional information.

Newspaper vs publisher vs agency vs author in news articles[edit]

  • In the |newspaper= field (or the more obsolete |work= field), list the name of the newspaper. Online newspapers are sometimes hard to distinguish from web or radio sites; looking for an "About us" section on the site or searching the newspaper name on Wikipedia may help in this case.
  • The |publisher= parameter is used for sources from broadcasters (i.e. BBC), news channels (i.e. CNN, Fox News), radio channels (CBS Radio), etc. For newspapers, listing the publisher is unnecessary and redundant.
  • The most frequent error I see in newspaper citation formatting is misusing the |author= field for the news agency (i.e. AFP, AP, Reuters, etc.). There is a special |agency= field to list these agencies. Again, only names of individuals should be included in the |author= field.

Poll: Current storm infobox[edit]

The previous discussion on this topic yielded no consensus, but rather a general air of "I don't mind either way". We need something more concrete than that since the current storm infoboxes have been a general staple of season articles for quite some time. Four options are present: 1) keep them, 2) remove the infobox but keep the prose section, 3) keep the infobox but remove the prose section, 4) remove both the infobox and the prose section. Add # [rationale] ~~~~ to the section you agree with. Reasoning such as "I like it" (WP:ILIKEIT), "I don't like it" (WP:IDONTLIKEIT) or "we've always had it, so why remove it" (WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS), are not helpful for this and won't be considered for the final consensus. If you think that it's useful, please explain why (WP:ITSUSEFUL), otherwise it will also be discounted. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 00:03, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Option 1: keep both[edit]

  1. The notion that we should abolish the current infoboxes because editors do not consistently update them is quite ridiculous. By that logic, we should also abolish storm sections—such as those on a page as recent as the 2015 Pacific hurricane season—that are outdated and even unsourced. Instead of removing the infoboxes altogether, we should work to ensure that they are consistently updated. In addition, some readers prefer a more visual and consolidated way of interpreting information rather than having to strictly read it. TropicalAnalystwx13 (talk) 19:55, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
  2. My thoughts exactly TAWX13; the infobox adds to the section, and it is easy to read and navigate for quick information. The notion that these are rarely updated is ridiculous; very few advisories go by without someone updating the information. It does happen occasionally, bit not like it is being stated on here. I don't see why we need to fix something that isn't broken. United States Man (talk) 22:22, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
  3. Man, the decision on which one to pick is really tough. For 10 years and longer, we have kind of prided ourselves on always being up to date with each update by the respective RSMCs. I find the current storm infoboxes really useful because it keeps all that prose in a thing that's easier to read for those who understands the jargon. The prose is beneficial, but the infobox really keeps things easy to understand. Does it disappear? Definitely, but the pictures produced for it do not. We use those for the purposes of the future infobox hurricane small that changes. While I do no think people explicitly state this, I am sure there are people who rely on us to keep the information current. I understand the opposition's reasons to why to stop using it, and if it goes that way, I have no qualms with their decision, but you know what, my preference is to keep both. Mitch32(I can have oodles of charm when I want to.) 00:47, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
  4. If it's too much work, use a bot for this. The "we are not an agency" argument is invalid, since we merely report what the JTWC and others post. Many readers come to our articles expecting the latest information. We aren't a paper encyclopedia, after all. --Jasper Deng (talk) 01:21, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  5. As I said before, I don't mind and 50/50 for keeping and removing the infoboxes. However, I still strongly believe that we should keep the infobox. Did you guys know that some people are keeping track on storms here in wikipedia because we were using the infobox? Also please, if there is no one updating it, I will do it, or someone has to do it. I have been updating infoboxes since 2014, every or most advisories for storms. It did really confuse me and kind of stressed me when some users said, remove because no one is updating it or remove because we are not an agency in the previous topic. Typhoon2013 (talk) 04:07, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  6. I agree completely with TAWX13. We indeed should try our best to update the infoboxes on time such that they do reflect the current information on storms. Also, the infoboxes provide clear and more easily interpreted information on storms—sometimes more so than the official warnings. This is a great help for readers who come to Wikipedia for storm updates and thus we should not abolish the infoboxes. If it happens that no one is able or has time to update the infoboxes, we can provide links to the RSMCs' websites, as we already do for the EPAC and ATL basins. However, I do agree that a bot would help a lot. ~ KN2731 {talk} 12:51, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  7. We may not be a news website, but we are an updating encyclopedia that presents up-to-date information to the thousands if not millions of readers that read articles on currently active systems; thus, I think the current template should be kept. Though the ineffectiveness of updating the current template is a valid concern, so far I've seen that our users are capable of putting in the effort to keep them updated. We don't have to have a current infobox (as we've seen in some basins that simply switch over to standard template), but we have users who generously put in the time and effort to maintain them, and I appreciate that. TheAustinMan(Talk·Works) 20:27, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  8. Honestly, writing a bot that handles this is not that hard. I don't really find the "not agency" argument very convincing. Titoxd(?!?) 23:00, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  9. I change my mind now. Keep both. Hurricanehink mobile (talk) 23:28, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Option 2: remove infobox[edit]

  1. Infobox is redundant to the prose and unwieldy to update. We're not a warning agency so we're not required to blatantly display the current status of storms, and as such the standard prose section we have now suffices by itself. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 00:03, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
  2. For the season articles, it's more important to have the prose. That is the first draft for the section we will use one day. The current infobox won't be remembered but for people going through the edit history. Keep the current infobox for current storm articles though. Hurricanehink mobile (talk) 01:01, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
  3. I strongly feel that we need to remove the infobox hurricane current and all current storm information, unless it is a significant land impacting system. This is because it is rarely updated at times using the most current information and at times have had well out of date information sitting their because no one has been asked to update it. I also do not see it as our job to be the weather forecaster or safety expert warning on the systems, this is despite other editors potentially being in harms way.Jason Rees (talk) 18:05, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Option 3: remove prose[edit]

Option 4: remove both[edit]

  1. I am feeling lazy to update frequently... Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a meteorological blog. If people need the latest advisories and warnings, please visit the websites directly. We should not take responsibility for providing outdated information that confuses people. -- Meow 07:11, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

Further discussion[edit]

This section is for any additional comments regarding changes on how we handle active storms. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 00:03, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

I'll bring back up the discussion of using a bot to auto-fill a template with current information. I don't know how to run a bot, nor do I know how challenging it may be to program one to run this task. If someone has experience with bots could be so kind as to inform me the practicability of this idea, I'd appreciate it. Supportstorm (talk) 00:04, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
I do not think this would be workable bearing in mind the format off all the hurricane advisories differ from centre to centre.Jason Rees (talk) 00:21, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Pinging members and frequent editors, hopefully this finally works, for the discussion (apologies if I forgot anyone): @Hurricanehink:, @Juliancolton:, @Jason Rees:, @12george1:, @Jasper Deng:, @Meow:, @Typhoon2013:, @Supportstorm:, @Yellow Evan:, @Tatiraju.rishabh:, @Nino Marakot:, @TheAustinMan:, @LightandDark2000:, @Keith Edkins:, @United States Man:, @ABC paulista:, @HurricaneGonzalo:, @KN2731:, @ThE~fUtUrE~2014:, @Dustin V. S.:. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 01:17, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

  • The current information Infobox would work out much better if they were regularly updated. They are actually updated quite periodically for the Atlantic and Pacific hurricane season articles. As for the other TC seasonal articles, the current information infobox actually wasn't used there until some users began implementing them there a few years ago. Since the hurricane season articles did so well with the infoboxes (probably because they were more frequently updated than those in the other articles) I see no need to scrap them. However, for minor tropical depressions/disturbances with no land threat outside of the hurricane season basins, I believe that the current information infobox should be dropped for those minor systems. LightandDark2000 (talk) 01:27, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
I understand why we have/need infoboxes here and why people don't want them now because no one updates them, but this is Wikipedia, we share and gather information! IMO we need infoboxes in every basin and include it in named storms. Same with LightandDark2000, we don't need TDs for minor TDs, however we should infoboxes for designated TDs. Typhoon2013 (talk) 02:40, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Your concerns with information becoming out-of-date are valid. If possible, I think that having a bot auto-update infoboxes would address this issue. At one point (during Hurricane Sandy in 2012), Legoktm had been working on such a bot. I'm sure that it is possible, and if implemented, I feel like such a bot would be an excellent helper. Dustin (talk) 04:24, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm completely in favor of that! I know we regularly have edit conflicts, and people love being the first person to update for a key advisory. I'd imagine that we'd have to do the first advisory manually, but it should be very easy theoretically to have it be updated automatically. This is the best idea I've seen yet. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 04:34, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
@Dustin V. S.: Are you sure that a bot would work and have you guys already tried one? Will it really update what it says on advisories of all known agencies? Typhoon2013 (talk) 04:30, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
The IMD, unlike most other agencies, gives warnings in PDF formats. The warnings do not follow a specific format, and hence an automated bot, if even possible, would struggle to update data. The bot should sure be implemented for other basins if it is possible. Rishabh Tatiraju (talk) 19:08, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
The Atlantic and both north Pacific basins are the most actively edited, so it would be most helpful there. ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 19:14, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. I suspect that a bot would at least work for the United States-covered basins and possibly the West Pacific. Dustin (talk) 21:38, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
@Hurricanehink: A bot for the current infobox will be great for the WPac, EPac and Atl basins. But how about the SHem basins? We have Victor right now without a current infobox template. Typhoon2013 (talk) 23:59, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
Let's start one basin at a time. Given that we have five months until the official start of the EPAC season, we could use this time to develop the bot for the NHC basins. Of course, we would need agreement on having a bot automatically update wiki with the advisories. Does anyone disagree? ♫ Hurricanehink (talk) 15:39, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
The problem with the infobox not being updated is outside of the NHC Basins/Dreamworld, which is why I would rather see the bot if its workable be implemented for non NHC basins first. We can also not be reliant apon a single person.Jason Rees (talk) 21:18, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. I'd prefer to see this implemented with the NHC first as it has already been subjected to a trial-run in the past, and the United States-monitored basins certainly receive more views on the English Wikipedia than any other single basin. It would also likely be easier to implement in the East Pacific and Atlantic than in some basins which don't release data in the same format (as hinted at by Rishabh Tatiraju). After addressing the NHC basins (as a sort of proof of concept), I'd support addressing the other basins in whatever order would enable implementation to be done with the most haste. Dustin (talk) 22:11, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

As for a bot, @Legoktm: told me today that he has code for such a bot, but testing a bot is hard because it requires an active TC in an NHC basin to test its NHC advisory functionality. For JTWC, its data is usually made available in machine-readable best track files and should be easier.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:57, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

So first, we are likely to have a bot updating our infoboxes normally by mid this year. However as I said in my previous reply, there are 3 basins where we don't (or should I say never ) used the current infobox and those basins are the SWio, AusR and the SPac. Are we going to start using current infoboxes in those basins? Typhoon2013 (talk) 07:10, 17 January 2016 (UTC)
I haven't seen any opposition to having a bot, just differing ideas on how we would go about implementing it. Perhaps the idea for a bot should be moved to its own section? I feel that if properly implemented, this bot could be a major contribution to the project. Dustin (talk) 05:21, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Proposal: Develop a bot for performing infobox updates[edit]

I would like to solicit comments on this idea: What are your thoughts on creating a bot to automatically update infoboxes? Please post below. Dustin (talk) 20:57, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

  • I have read comments bringing up problems with infoboxes and other current storm information becoming outdated. I have also seen all too much in the way of update frenzies where individual editors attempt to rapidly update current storm information, sometimes resulting in briefly messed up information, edit conflicts, and other problems. In response to these problems, I have in the past (since at least 2014) contemplated the idea of having a bot be created to update current storm infoboxes. At one point, Legoktm went some way toward achieving this goal as can be seen here. Having a bot to automatically update current storm infoboxes and current storm information would address many problems and facilitate editing while storms are in progress, and I think it would be viable for at least North Pacific and Atlantic storms, although I would like to see a bot created for other basins as well, if possible. Dustin (talk) 20:57, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Note: I really don't want this proposal to just die due to lack of participation now, just as it did in the past. Perhaps I should notify the members / participants in this project again? Dustin (talk) 03:54, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
    • I think we're all in a general agreement that if a bot can be made, by all means go for it. I don't have any knowledge of how they work to be of use here, though. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 04:11, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
      • @Cyclonebiskit: If there is general agreement on this proposal, then perhaps a new question may be posed: Where do we start? Should I list my proposal at Wikipedia:Bot requests? Are there any people with experience with bots who are already members of WikiProject Tropical cyclones (or who (semi-)frequently edit tropical cyclone articles) who I should ask instead? @Jasper Deng:, based on your previous comments you have asked around about this, so do you have any suggestions? I really want to make this proposal work out. Thanks! Dustin (talk) 04:20, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
        • Ideally I'd like someone with time who is also in WPTC. Legoktm would be good except that he has no time for this.--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:29, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
  • WP:BOTREQ would be the way to start, but we can help them out a bit. A bot operator will want to know from WPTC:
    1. What data sources we want to parse
    2. What output data to produce
    3. Where to put the output data
  • If we have that, the bot operator has a simpler problem to tackle. Titoxd(?!?) 23:09, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I managed to forget about this for awhile, but I may take this to WP:BOTREQ when I have the time. If/when I do so, I'll make sure to mention it here. Dustin (talk) 23:43, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 7, 2016[edit]

This is an old one and the nominator is long gone, so you guys might want to check it before it hits the Main Page. Also: would anyone like to do the TFA summary? - Dank (push to talk) 03:11, 20 January 2016 (UTC)