Portal:Tropical Cyclones
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Portal:Tropical Cyclones

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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Barry 2019-07-13 1650Z.jpg

Hurricane Barry was an asymmetrical Category 1 hurricane that was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in Arkansas and the fourth-wettest in Louisiana. The second tropical or subtropical storm and first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, Barry originated as a mesoscale convective vortex over southwestern Kansas on July 2. The system eventually emerged into the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Panhandle on July 10, whereupon the National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated it as a potential tropical cyclone. Early on July 11, the system developed into a tropical depression, and strengthened into a tropical storm later that day. Dry air and wind shear caused most of the convection, or thunderstorms, to be displaced south of the center. Nevertheless, Barry gradually intensified. On July 13, Barry attained its peak intensity as Category 1 hurricane with 1-minute sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 993 millibars (29.3 inHg). At 15:00 UTC, Barry made its first landfall at Marsh Island, and another landfall in Intracoastal City, Louisiana, both times as a Category 1 hurricane. Barry quickly weakened after landfall, falling to tropical depression status on July 15. The storm finally degenerated into a remnant low over northern Arkansas on the same day, subsequently opening up into a trough on July 16. The storm's remnants persisted for another few days, while continuing its eastward motion, before being absorbed into another frontal storm to the south of Nova Scotia on July 19.

Barry was one of four hurricanes to strike Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane in the month of July, the others being Bob in 1979, Danny in 1997, and Cindy in 2005. Numerous tropical storm watches and warnings were issued for Mississippi and Louisiana ahead of the storm. Several states declared state of emergencies ahead of the storm. Though Barry only produced hurricane-force winds in a small area of Louisiana, more than 153,000 customers lost power in the state. The storm's large circulation produced heavy rainfall over a large area, reaching 23.43 in (595 mm) near Ragley, Louisiana, and 16.59 in (421 mm) near Dierks, Arkansas. The latter value was the highest amount of rainfall recorded in Arkansas related to a tropical cyclone. Many roads, including Interstate highways, were flooded. Dozens of water rescues were carried out in Louisiana and Arkansas, where the most significant flooding occurred. In parts of the Northeastern United States and Ontario, Canada, severe thunderstorms from Barry's remnants caused an additional 160,000 power outages and spawned a few weak tornadoes. The storm caused two fatalities: one in Florida from rip currents, and one in Connecticut from fallen trees and wires. Damage from Barry was estimated to be about $600 million (2019 USD). (Full article...)

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Tropical cyclone forecasting is the science of forecasting where a tropical cyclone's center, and its effects, are expected to be at some point in the future. There are several elements to tropical cyclone forecasting: track forecasting, intensity forecasting, rainfall forecasting, storm surge, tornado, and seasonal forecasting. While skill is increasing in regard to track forecasting, intensity forecasting skill remains unchanged over the past several years. Seasonal forecasting began in the 1980s in the Atlantic basin and has spread into other basins in the years since. (Full article...)
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Cyclone Catarina from the ISS on March 26 2004.JPG
Hurricane Catarina near peak intensity on March 26, 2004. This image was taken from the International Space Station.

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2002 Pacific hurricane season summary map.png

The 2002 Pacific hurricane season was an above-average season which produced fifteen named storms. Only eight hurricanes formed, including three Category 5 hurricanes, which tied for the most in a season with 1994 and 2018. Moreover, the season was a near-average season in terms of accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), with a total index of 125 units. The season officially began on May 15 in the East Pacific Ocean, and on June 1 in the Central Pacific and they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin. However, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year.

Tropical activity began with the formation of Tropical Storm Alma on May 24, before it became a major hurricane. The strongest hurricane of the season, Kenna, formed on October 22 and peaked as a Category 5 hurricane two days later. June was extremely quiet with no hurricanes forming during the month. August was active with four systems developing, of which two became hurricanes. Activity decreased appreciably in September troughout November as most of the storms remained weak and short-lived. The final storm of the season, Tropical Depression Sixteen-E, dissipated on November 16, about two weeks before the official end. (Full article...)

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Currently active tropical cyclones

WPTC Meteo task force.svg

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2021)
Tropical Storm Peter
Tropical Storm Rose
East and Central Pacific (2021)
No active systems
West Pacific (2021)
No active systems
North Indian Ocean (2021)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2021-22)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2021-22)
No active systems
Australian region (2021-22)
No active systems
South Pacific (2021-22)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2021-22)
No active systems

Last updated: 02:13, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

Ida 2015-09-22 1625Z.jpg

September 21,

Hurricane Hugo 1989 sept 21 1844Z.jpg

September 22,

Otis 23 sept 1987 2336Z.jpg

September 23,

Did you know...

Amphan 2020-05-18 0745Z.jpg
Beryl 2018-07-06 1350Z.jpg
Zeta 2020-10-28 1855Z.jpg

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The following are images from various tropical cyclone-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Map showing the highest rainfall totals measured in certain regions of the continental United States as of 2018.
Continental U.S. tropical cyclone rainfall maxima per state as of 2019 (Cristobal is now the wettest in Minnesota, with 5.06 inches of rain)

Tropical cyclones move into the contiguous United States from the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern Pacific Ocean. The highest rainfall totals in the country have been measured across the Gulf Coast and lower portions of the Eastern Seaboard. Intermediate amounts have been measured across the Southwest, New England, and the Midwest. The northern Great Plains and Pacific Northwest have received the lowest amounts, as those regions lie exceptionally far from the breeding grounds of Atlantic and Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones.

The wettest tropical cyclone in the United States storm on record is Hurricane Harvey, which dumped 60.58 in (1,539 mm) of rain on Southeast Texas in 2017. Tropical Storm Claudette holds the national 24-hour rainfall record: 42.00 in (1,067 mm) in Alvin, Texas. (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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  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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