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 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".

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Hurricane John was a Category 4 hurricane that caused heavy flooding and extensive damage across most of the Pacific coast of Mexico in late August through early September 2006. John was the eleventh named storm, seventh hurricane, and fifth major hurricane of the 2006 Pacific hurricane season. Hurricane John developed on August 28 from a tropical wave to the south of Mexico. Favorable conditions allowed the storm to intensify quickly, and it attained peak winds of 130 mph (215 km/h) on August 30. Eyewall replacement cycles and land interaction with western Mexico weakened the hurricane, and John made landfall on southeastern Baja California Sur with winds of 110 mph (175 km/h) on September 1. It slowly weakened as it moved northwestward through the Baja California peninsula, and dissipated on September 4. Moisture from the remnants of the storm entered the southwest United States.

The hurricane threatened large portions of the western coastline of Mexico, resulting in the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. In coastal portions of western Mexico, strong winds downed trees, while heavy rain resulted in mudslides. Hurricane John caused moderate damage on the Baja California peninsula, including the destruction of more than 200 houses and thousands of flimsy shacks. The hurricane killed five people in Mexico, and damage totaled $663 million (2006 MXN, $60.8 million 2006 USD). In the southwest United States, moisture from the remnants of John produced heavy rainfall. The rainfall aided drought conditions in portions of northern Texas, although it was detrimental in locations that had received above-normal rainfall throughout the year. (Full article...)
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The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS), formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS), classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones – that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds.

To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have one-minute-average maximum sustained winds at 10 m above the surface of at least 74 mph (Category 1). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, consists of storms with sustained winds of at least 157 mph. See the table to the right for all five categories with wind speeds in various units. The classifications can provide some indication of the potential damage and flooding a hurricane will cause upon landfall. (Full article...)
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Hurricane Mitch near peak intensity. When this photo was taken, Mitch was in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Central America.


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The 2001–02 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season had the earliest named storm since 1992. Many storms formed in the north-east portion of the basin, and several more originated around Australia. The basin is defined as the waters of the Indian Ocean west of longitude 90°E to the coast of Africa and south of the equator. Eleven tropical storms formed, compared to an average of nine. Tropical systems were present during 73 days, which was significantly higher than the average of 58 for this basin.

Tropical cyclones in this basin are monitored by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) in Réunion. The season started on November 1, 2001, and ended on April 30, 2002; for Mauritius and the Seychelles, the season continued until May 15. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the basin; however, storms formed both before and after the designated season. The first storm was Andre, which emerged from the Australian basin as Tropical Cyclone Alex in late October. The strongest storm, Cyclone Hary, was the first very intense tropical cyclone since 2000; it hit Madagascar, where it caused lighter damage than expected but three deaths. In January, Cyclone Dina left heavy damage in the Mascarene Islands, particularly on Réunion, where it dropped 2,102 mm (82.8 in) of rainfall. The second-to-last storm was Cyclone Kesiny, which killed 33 people when it struck Madagascar in the midst of a political crisis.

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Currently active tropical cyclones

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2021)
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East and Central Pacific (2021)
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West Pacific (2021)
Severe Tropical Storm Rai
North Indian Ocean (2021)
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Mediterranean (2021–22)
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South-West Indian Ocean (2021–22)
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Australian region (2021–22)
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South Pacific (2021–22)
Tropical Cyclone Ruby
South Atlantic (2021–22)
No active systems

Last updated: 01:42, 14 December 2021 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

December 13

  • 1956 - Typhoon Polly made landfall in the Philippines killing 79 people and causing $2.5 million in damage.
  • 2013 - Cyclone Evan (pictured) nears the coast of Samoa as a strengthening Category 2 cyclone with more than US$207 million worth of damages. Evan was considered as the worst cyclone to struck Samoa since 1991.

December 14

December 15


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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.

A South American hurricane is a tropical cyclone that affects the continent of South America or its countries. The continent is rarely affected by tropical cyclones, though most storms to hit the area are formed in the North Atlantic Ocean.

  • November 4–6, 1588 – Cartagena de Indias in Colombia is affected by a hurricane.
  • September, 1672 – A hurricane affects Caracas, Venezuela.
  • October 22, 1683 – The island of Curaçao off Venezuela is impacted by a hurricane.
  • September, 1773 – A hurricane moves across Venezuela and later Colombia.
  • December 13–22, 1822 – A hurricane traverses the southeastern Caribbean Sea and makes landfall on Venezuela.
  • October 13, 1847 – Venezuela is affected by a hurricane. (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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