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Portal:Tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones portal

Satellite photograph of Typhoon Tip

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".

Pictured: Typhoon Tip

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Hurricane Mitch at peak intensity

Hurricane Mitch was one of the most powerful hurricanes ever observed, with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph (290 km/h). The storm was the thirteenth tropical storm, ninth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. At the time, Mitch was the strongest hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic Ocean in the month of October, though it has since been surpassed by Hurricane Wilma of the 2005 season. Mitch formed in the western Caribbean Sea, eventually reaching Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It remained nearly stationary over water for several days, and eventually weakened, striking Honduras as a minimal hurricane.

Though Mitch weakened before striking land, it drifted just off the coast of Central America from October 29 to November 3, dropping historic amounts of rainfall, with unofficial reports of up to 75 inches (1,900 mm). Deaths due to catastrophic flooding made it the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history; nearly 11,000 people were killed with over 8,000 left missing by the end of 1998. The flooding caused extreme damage, amounting to around $7 billion (2005 USD), though exact totals will likely never be known.

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Inigo 2003-04-04 0255Z.jpg

Cyclone Inigo near peak intensity, as a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone on the Australian region scale, with 10-minute sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (240 km/h) and 1-minute sustained winds of 160 miles per hour (260 km/h). This image was taken from by one of NASA's EOSDIS satellites on April 4, 2003, while the cyclone was to the south of Indonesia.


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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.

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Currently active tropical cyclones

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2019)
No active systems
East and Central Pacific (2019)
No active systems
West Pacific (2019)
No active systems
North Indian Ocean (2019)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2018–19)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2018–19)
No active systems
Australian region (2018–19)
No active systems
South Pacific (2018–19)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2018–19)
No active systems

Last updated 03:00, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Did you know…


Hina Mar 16 1985 0319Z.png
  • …that according to an 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


Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Tropical Storm Alice's track
Linfa May 30 2003 0508Z.jpg
Lucille 1960 track.png


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