The Tropical Cyclones Portal

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, approximately ten degrees from the Equator.

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".

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Hurricane Gloria was a powerful hurricane that caused significant damage along the east coast of the United States and in Atlantic Canada during the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the first significant tropical cyclone to strike the northeastern United States since Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the first major storm to affect New York City and Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960. Gloria was a powerful Cape Verde hurricane originating from a tropical wave on September 16 in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. After remaining a weak tropical cyclone for several days, Gloria intensified into a hurricane on September 22 north of the Lesser Antilles. During that time, the storm had moved generally westward, although it turned to the northwest due to a weakening of the ridge. Gloria quickly intensified on September 24, and the next day reached peak winds of 145 mph (230 km/h). The hurricane weakened before striking the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 27. Later that day, Gloria made two subsequent landfalls on Long Island and across the coastline of western Connecticut, before becoming extratropical on September 28 over New England. The remnants moved through Atlantic Canada and went on to impact Western Europe, eventually dissipating on October 4.

Before Gloria made landfall, the National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings at some point for the East Coast of the United States from South Carolina to Maine. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated, and the hurricane was described as the "storm of the century." In general, Gloria's strongest winds remained east of the center, which largely spared locations from North Carolina to New Jersey, and the passage at low tide reduced storm surge. Hurricane-force winds and gusts affected much of the path, which knocked down trees and power lines. This left over 4 million people without power, causing the worst power outage in Connecticut history related to a natural disaster. The extended power outage on Long Island, affecting 1.5 million people at some point, caused the Long Island Lighting Company to be shut down and be replaced with a public company. Fallen trees caused six of the storm's fourteen deaths. (Full article...)
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Tropical Storm Ana (2009) with its small CDO
Tropical Storm Ana (2009) with its small CDO

The central dense overcast, or CDO, of a tropical cyclone or strong subtropical cyclone is the large central area of thunderstorms surrounding its circulation center, caused by the formation of its eyewall. It can be round, angular, oval, or irregular in shape. This feature shows up in tropical cyclones of tropical storm or hurricane strength. How far the center is embedded within the CDO, and the temperature difference between the cloud tops within the CDO and the cyclone's eye, can help determine a tropical cyclone's intensity with the Dvorak technique. Locating the center within the CDO can be a problem with strong tropical storms and minimal hurricanes as its location can be obscured by the CDO's high cloud canopy. This center location problem can be resolved through the use of microwave satellite imagery.

After a cyclone strengthens to around hurricane intensity, an eye appears at the center of the CDO, defining its center of low pressure and its cyclonic wind field. Tropical cyclones with changing intensity have more lightning within their CDO than steady state storms. Tracking cloud features within the CDO using frequently updated satellite imagery can also be used to determine a cyclone's intensity. The highest maximum sustained winds within a tropical cyclone, as well as its heaviest rainfall, are usually located under the coldest cloud tops in the CDO. (Full article...)
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1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season summary.jpg

The 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season had no bounds, but tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. The 1970 season saw a total of seven cyclonic storms, of which three developed into severe cyclonic storms. The Bay of Bengal was more active than the Arabian Sea during 1970, with all of the three severe cyclonic storms in the season forming there. Unusually, none of the storms in the Arabian Sea made landfall this year. The most significant storm of the season was the Bhola cyclone, which formed in the Bay of Bengal and hit Bangladesh on November 12. The storm killed at least 500,000, making it the deadliest tropical cyclone in recorded history. The season was also the deadliest tropical cyclone season globally, with 500,805 fatalities, mostly due to the aforementioned Bhola cyclone.

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Currently active tropical cyclones

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Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2022)
No active systems
East and Central Pacific (2022)
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West Pacific (2022)
Tropical Storm Hinnamnor
North Indian Ocean (2022)
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Mediterranean (2022–23)
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South-West Indian Ocean (2022–23)
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Australian region (2022–23)
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South Pacific (2022–23)
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South Atlantic (2022–23)
No active systems

Last updated: 16:46, 28 August 2022 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Hurricane Katrina August 28 2005 NASA.jpg

August 29,

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August 30,

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August 31,

  • 1982 - Tropical Storm Akoni becomes a named tropical system, which is the first Central Pacific name to be given by the CPHC.
  • 1990 - Typhoon Abe makes landfall in China, killing an estimated 108 people.
  • 2002 - Typhoon Rusa made landfall in South Korea killing 113 people and causing $6 billion in damages.
  • 2006 - Hurricane Ioke (pictured) passes over Wake Island after its peak strength, causing $88 million in damages.


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Satellite loop of the remnants of Tropical Storm Georgette in 2010 affecting New Mexico
Satellite loop of the remnants of Tropical Storm Georgette in 2010 affecting New Mexico
The inland U.S. state of New Mexico has experienced impacts from 81 known tropical cyclones and their remnants. There have been 68 known tropical cyclones from the Eastern Pacific that affected the state, compared to only 13 such Atlantic hurricanes. The biggest threat from such storms in the state is their associated rainfall and flooding. The wettest storm was from the remnants of an Atlantic storm in 1941 that produced 11.33 in (288 mm) of precipitation. Since 1950, the highest rainfall total recorded was 9.8 in (250 mm) in Canton, also associated with an Atlantic storm in 1954. The rains in 1954 resulted in flooding in six towns that killed at least four people. Other deadly rainfall events from tropical cyclone remnants include Hurricane Dolly in 2008 and Tropical Storm Georgette in 2010. The former swept away a person along the Rio Ruidoso and caused $25 million in damage (2008 USD), which was the most damaging storm event. The floods damaged 500 buildings and destroyed 13 bridges. The latter caused heavy rains that resulted in one death in the Rio Grande. (Full article...)
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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 Weather – Non-tropical storms task force – coordinates most of Wikipedia's coverage on notable extratropical cyclones, and the two projects share numerous overlaps.

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