Portal:Tropical Cyclones
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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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Areas affected by the hurricane

The Great Hurricane of 1780, also known as the Hurricane San Calixto II, is the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. Over 22,000 people people died when the storm passed through the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean between October 10 and October 16. The beginning of the official Atlantic hurricane database is in 1851; thus, specifics on its track and strength are unknown.

The hurricane struck Barbados with winds possibly exceeding 200 mph (320 km/h), before moving past Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Sint Eustatius; thousands of deaths were reported on each island. Coming in the midst of the American Revolution, the storm caused heavy losses to British and French fleets contesting for control of the area. The hurricane later passed near Puerto Rico and over the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic, causing heavy damage near the coastlines and ultimately turned to the northeast before being last observed on October 20 southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

The death toll from the Great Hurricane alone exceeds that for any other entire decade of Atlantic hurricanes, and is substantially higher than that of the second-deadliest Atlantic storm, Hurricane Mitch. The hurricane was part of the disastrous 1780 Atlantic hurricane season, with three other deadly storms occurring in the month of October.

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Hurricane Dean from Space.jpg

Crewmembers 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.

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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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)
Tropical Depression
North Indian Ocean (2019)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2019–20)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2019–20)
No active systems
Australian region (2019–20)
No active systems
South Pacific (2019–20)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2019–20)
No active systems

Last updated: 16:35, 19 August 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)?
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Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Fay 18 aug 2008 1850Z.jpg

August 18,

Hurricane Bob 19 aug 1991 1226Z.jpg

August 19,


August 20,

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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