Portal:Tropical cyclones

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.

Mitch at peak intensity just to the northeast of Honduras on October 26

Hurricane Mitch was the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. Mitch caused 11,374 fatalities in Central America in 1998, including approximately 7,000 in Honduras and 3,800 in Nicaragua due to cataclysmic flooding from the slow motion of the storm. It was the deadliest hurricane in Central American history, surpassing Hurricane Fifi–Orlene, which killed slightly fewer people in that area in 1974. Mitch was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane in the satellite era, and the second-deadliest on record in the Atlantic, only behind the Great Hurricane of 1780 which killed at least 22,000 people.

The thirteenth named storm, ninth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season, Mitch formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22, and after responding to extremely favorable conditions, it rapidly strengthened to peak at Category 5 status, the highest possible rating on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. After drifting southwestward and weakening, the hurricane hit Honduras as a minimal Category 1 hurricane. Mitch roved through Central America, regenerated in the Bay of Campeche, and ultimately impacted Florida as a strong tropical storm. It then became extratropical and accelerated northeastward across the North Atlantic, before dissipating on November 9. At the time, Mitch was the strongest Atlantic hurricane observed in the month of October, though it has since been surpassed by Hurricane Wilma of the 2005 season. In addition, Mitch is the eighth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, tied with Hurricane Dean in 2007 in terms of pressure. (Full article...)
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The Great Hurricane of 1780 was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, as well as the deadliest tropical cyclone in the Western Hemisphere. An estimated 22,000 people died throughout the Lesser Antilles when the storm passed through the islands from October 10 to October 16. Specifics on the hurricane's track and strength are unknown, as the official Atlantic hurricane database only goes back to 1851.

The hurricane struck Barbados likely as a Category 5 hurricane, with at least one estimate of wind gusts as high as 200 mph (320 km/h), before moving past Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Sint Eustatius, and causing thousands of deaths on those islands. Coming in the midst of the American Revolution, the storm caused heavy losses to the British fleet contesting for control of the area, largely weakening British control over the Atlantic. The hurricane later passed near Puerto Rico and over the eastern portion of Hispaniola, causing heavy damage near the coastlines. It ultimately turned to the northeast and was last observed on October 20 southeast of Atlantic Canada. (Full article...)
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Flooding in New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina's landfall on Buras-Triumph, on August 29, 2005. Katrina, the most costly hurricane in recorded history, flooded 80% of the city and devastated much of the Gulf Coast of the United States.


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The 1988 Pacific hurricane season was the least active Pacific hurricane season since 1981. It officially began May 15, in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, in the central Pacific and lasted until November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The first named storm, Tropical Storm Aletta, formed on June 16, and the last-named storm, Tropical Storm Miriam, was previously named Hurricane Joan in the Atlantic Ocean before crossing Central America and re-emerging in the eastern Pacific; Miriam continued westward and dissipated on November 2.

The season produced 23 tropical depressions, of which 15 attained tropical storm status. Seven storms reached hurricane status, three of which became major hurricanes. The strongest storm of the season, Hurricane Hector, formed on July 30 to the south of Mexico and reached peak winds of 145 mph (233 km/h)—Category 4 status—before dissipating over open waters on August 9; Hector was never a threat to land. Tropical Storm Gilma was the only cyclone in the season to make landfall, crossing the Hawaiian Islands, although there were numerous near-misses. Gilma's Hawaiian landfall was unusual, but not unprecedented. There were also two systems that successfully crossed over from the Atlantic: the aforementioned Joan / Miriam and Hurricane Debby, which became Tropical Depression Seventeen-E, making the 1988 season the first on record in which more than one tropical cyclone has crossed between the Atlantic and Pacific basins intact. Three systems caused deaths: Tropical Storm Aletta caused one death in southwestern Mexico, Hurricane Uleki caused two drownings off the coast of Oahu as it passed by the Hawaiian Islands, and Hurricane Kristy caused 21 deaths in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chipas. (Full article...)
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Currently active tropical cyclones

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2024)
No active systems
East and Central Pacific (2024)
No active systems
West Pacific (2024)
No active systems
North Indian Ocean (2024)
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: 07:55, 21 June 2024 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

June 21

June 22,

June 23,


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Continental United States hurricane strikes 1950–2022

The list of United States hurricanes includes all tropical cyclones officially recorded to have produced sustained winds of greater than 74 mph (119 km/h) in the United States, which is the minimum threshold for hurricane intensity. The list, which is sorted by U.S. state, begins in 1851 with the start of the official Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT), as provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division. Since 1851, a total of 306 North Atlantic hurricanes produced hurricane-force winds in 19 states along the Atlantic coast. Some of these storms may not have made a direct landfall (i.e. remained just offshore) while producing hurricane-force winds on land; some of them may have weakened to a tropical storm or became extratropical before landfall but produced hurricane conditions on land while still a hurricane and some of them made landfall in an adjacent state but produced hurricane conditions over multiple states. This list does not include storms that only produced tropical storm conditions on land in the United States.

Additionally, three Pacific hurricanes struck Hawaii, and one Pacific tropical cyclone brought hurricane-force winds to California. The tables list hurricanes by category on the Saffir–Simpson scale, based on winds that occurred in each state. (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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