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Portal:Tropical cyclones

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Tropical Cyclones Portal

Typhoon tip peak.jpg

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, and 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 can be referred to by names such as 'hurricane', 'typhoon', 'tropical storm', 'cyclonic storm', 'tropical depression', or simply 'cyclone'.

Pictured: Typhoon Tip

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Hurricane Isabel approaching North Carolina's Outer Banks

Hurricane Isabel was the costliest and deadliest hurricane in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. The ninth tropical storm, fifth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, Isabel formed from a tropical wave on September 6 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It moved northwestward, and within an environment of light wind shear and warm waters it steadily strengthened to reach peak winds of 165 mph (265 km/h) on September 11. After fluctuating in intensity for four days, Isabel gradually weakened and made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) on September 18. It quickly weakened over land and became extratropical over western Pennsylvania the next day.

In North Carolina, the storm surge from Isabel washed out a portion of Hatteras Island to form what was unofficially known as Isabel Inlet. Damage was greatest along the Outer Banks, where thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed. The worst of the effects of Isabel occurred in the state of Virginia, which reported the most deaths and damage from the hurricane. About 64% of the damage and 68% of the deaths occurred in the two states alone.

Moderate to severe damage extended up the Atlantic Coastline and as far inland as West Virginia. Roughly 6 million were left without power in the eastern United States from the strong winds of Isabel. Rainfall from the storm extended from South Carolina to Maine, and westward to Michigan. Throughout the path of Isabel, damage totaled about $3.6 billion (2003 USD, $3.95 billion 2006 USD). 16 deaths in seven states were directly related to the hurricane, with 35 deaths in six states and one province indirectly related to the hurricane.

Recently featured: Hurricane IwaTropical Storm BilisHurricane PaulineEffects of Hurricane Isabel in Maryland and Washington, D.C.Hurricane JuanBrowse

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Selected picture

Hurricane Alice 01 jan 1955 radar.jpg

Hurricane Alice is the only known Atlantic hurricane to span two calendar years, and one of only two named tropical cyclones to do so. This image of the PPI scope of SPS-6 radar on the USS MIDWAY shows the rare January hurricane northeast of British Virgin Islands.


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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 Meteorology is the main center point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of meteorology in general.

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Related Portals

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Currently active tropical cyclones

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Did you know…


Hina Mar 16 1985 0319Z.png
  • …that according to a unofficial reanalyisis using the Dvorak technique, Cyclone Hina (pictured) had a peak intensity of 170 kt (195 mph, 315 km/h)?
Onil 02 oct 2004 0928Z.jpg
Guba 15 nov 2007 2343Z.jpg
Hurricane Faith 1966.jpg
  • … that Hurricane Faith (pictured) was tracked until it was located 600 miles (965 km) from the North Pole?


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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Chedza 2015-01-18 0645Z.jpg

January 18,

Lingling Jan 18 2014 0510Z.jpg

January 19,

  • 1996 - The remnants of Cyclone Bonita emerged into the southern Atlantic Ocean, becoming the first known storm to move from the south-west Indian Ocean and cross Africa.
  • 2014 - Tropical Storm Lingling (pictured) starts to weaken from its peak as it causes major damages in southern Philippines, causing about 70 deaths.
Fanele Jan 20 0715Z.jpg

January 20,

  • 2002 - Cyclone Dina reached its peak intensity with winds of 215 km/h (130 mph) in the south-west Indian Ocean. It later struck Mauritius and Réunion, dropping 2,102 mm (82.8 in) of rainfall on the latter island. Dina killed 15 people along its track and left US$287 million in damage.
  • 2009 - Cyclone Fanele (pictured) reaches peak intensity as a Category 4 tropical cyclone and makes landfall over the western area of Madagascar. Fanele killed 10 people and major damages.


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