The Tropical Cyclones Portal

Hurricane Isabel in 2003 as seen from the International Space Station
Hurricane Isabel

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 fueled 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".

Types of cyclone: 1. A "Typhoon" is a tropical cyclone located in the North-west Pacific Ocean which has the most cyclonic activity and storms occur year-round. 2. A "Hurricane" is also a tropical cyclone located at the North Atlantic Ocean or North-east Pacific Ocean which have an average storm activity and storms typically form between May 15 and November 30. 3. A "Cyclone" is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans.

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Amphan near peak intensity over the Bay of Bengal on 18 May

Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan was an extremely powerful and catastrophic tropical cyclone that caused widespread damage in Eastern India, specifically in West Bengal and Odisha, and in Bangladesh, in May 2020. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Ganges Delta. It was also the fourth super cyclone that hit West Bengal and Kolkata since 2015 as well as being one of the strongest storms to impact the area. Causing over US$13 billion of damage, Amphan is also the costliest cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, surpassing the record held by Cyclone Nargis of 2008.

The first tropical cyclone of the 2020 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, Amphan originated from a low-pressure area persisting a couple of hundred miles (300 km) east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 13 May 2020. Tracking northeastward, the disturbance organized over exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures; the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) upgraded the system to a tropical depression on 15 May while the India Meteorological Department (IMD) followed suit the following day. On 17 May, Amphan underwent rapid intensification and became an extremely severe cyclonic storm within 12 hours. (Full article...)
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The radius of maximum wind of a tropical cyclone lies just within the eyewall of an intense tropical cyclone, such as Hurricane Isabel from 2003
The radius of maximum wind (RMW) is the distance between the center of a cyclone and its band of strongest winds. It is a parameter in atmospheric dynamics and tropical cyclone forecasting. The highest rainfall rates occur near the RMW of tropical cyclones. The extent of a cyclone's storm surge and its maximum potential intensity can be determined using the RMW. As maximum sustained winds increase, the RMW decreases. Recently, RMW has been used in descriptions of tornadoes. When designing buildings to prevent against failure from atmospheric pressure change, RMW can be used in the calculations. (Full article...)
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Crew members on the Space Shuttle Endeavour captured this image around Noon CDT of Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean. At the time the shuttle and International Space Station passed overhead, the Category 4 storm was moving westerly at 17 mph nearing Jamaica carrying sustained winds of 150 mph.

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The 1994 Pacific hurricane season was the final season of the eastern north Pacific's consecutive active hurricane seasons that started in 1982. The season officially started on May 15, 1994, in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994, in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The first tropical cyclone formed on June 18, while the last system dissipated on October 26. This season, twenty-two tropical cyclones formed in the north Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, with all but two becoming tropical storms or hurricanes. A total of 10 hurricanes occurred, including five major hurricanes. The above average activity in 1994 was attributed to the formation of the 1994–95 El Niño.

Of note in this season is an unusual spree of very intense storms; the season was the first on record to see three Category 5 hurricanes, later tied in 2002 and 2018. Hurricanes Emilia, Gilma, John, and Olivia all reached a pressure below 930 millibars. Hurricane John was the farthest-traveling tropical cyclone on record at 13,180 km (8,190 mi). Elsewhere, Hurricane Rosa caused four casualties in Mexico as the basin's only landfalling tropical storm or hurricane, and later was responsible for flooding in Texas. (Full article...)
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Currently active tropical cyclones

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2023)
Post-Tropical Cyclone Idalia
Tropical Storm Gert
Tropical Storm Katia
East and Central Pacific (2023)
No active systems
West Pacific (2023)
Typhoon Saola (Goring)
Typhoon Haikui (Hanna)
Severe Tropical Storm Kirogi
North Indian Ocean (2023)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2023–24)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2023–24)
No active systems
Australian region (2023–24)
No active systems
South Pacific (2023–24)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2023–24)
No active systems

Last updated: 08:51, 2 September 2023 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

September 2

  • 1937 - A powerful typhoon struck Hong Kong, killing over 11,000 people in the British colony.
  • 1985 - Hurricane Elena (pictured) made landfall as a major hurricane over southern United States, killing 9 and causing $1.3 billion in damages.

September 3

September 4

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The following are images from various tropical cyclone-related articles on Wikipedia.

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This is a featured list, which represents some of the best list articles on English Wikipedia.

The 1997 Pacific hurricane season was the most active season since the 1994 season, producing 24 tropical depressions, 19 of which became tropical storms or hurricanes. The season officially started on May 15, 1997 in the Eastern Pacific—designated as the area east of 140°W—and on June 1, 1997 in the Central Pacific, which is between the International Date Line and 140°W. The season officially ended in both basins on November 30, 1997. These dates typically limit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific basin. This timeline documents all the storm formations, strengthening, weakening, landfalls, extratropical transitions, as well as dissipation. The timeline also includes information which was not operationally released, meaning that information from post-storm reviews by the National Hurricane Center, such as information on a storm that was not operationally warned on, has been included.

The first storm formed on June 1 and the final storm crossed into the western Pacific on December 6, thus ending the season. There were 24 cyclones in both the eastern and central Pacific, including 5 unnamed tropical depressions. Of these, 19 were in the east Pacific; 8 peaked at tropical storm intensity, while 10 reached hurricane status. Seven of these reached Category 3 intensity or higher on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale, including central Pacific cyclones Super Typhoons Oliwa and Paka, which became typhoons after crossing into the Western Pacific. (Full article...)
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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 Weather is the main center point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of meteorology in general, and the parent project of WikiProject Tropical cyclones. Three other branches of WikiProject Weather in particular share significant overlaps with WikiProject Tropical cyclones:

  • The Non-tropical storms task force coordinates most of Wikipedia's coverage on extratropical cyclones, which tropical cyclones often transition into near the end of their lifespan.
  • The Floods task force takes on the scope of flooding events all over the world, with rainfall from tropical cyclones a significant factor in many of them.
  • WikiProject Severe weather documents the effects of extreme weather such as tornadoes, which landfalling tropical cyclones can produce.

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