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, 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".

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam was the second most intense tropical cyclone of the South Pacific Ocean in terms of sustained winds and is regarded as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Vanuatu. A total of 15–16 people lost their lives either directly or indirectly as a result of Pam with many others injured. The storm's impacts were also felt, albeit to a lesser extent, to other islands in the South Pacific, most notably the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and New Zealand. Pam is the third most intense storm of the South Pacific Ocean according to pressure, after Winston of 2016 and Zoe of 2002. It is also the second most intense tropical cyclone in 2015, only behind Hurricane Patricia. In addition, Pam is tied with Orson, Monica, Marcus and Fantala for having the second strongest ten-minute maximum sustained winds in the Southern Hemisphere. Thousands of homes, schools and buildings were damaged or destroyed, with an estimated 3,300 people displaced as a result.

Pam formed on 6 March, east of the Solomon Islands and tracked slowly in a generally southward direction, slowly intensifying as it did so. Two days later, the disturbance reached tropical cyclone intensity and, over subsequent days, Pam gradually strengthened before reaching Category 5 cyclone status on both the Australian and Saffir–Simpson scales on 12 March. The next day, Pam's sustained winds peaked at 250 km/h (155 mph) as the storm moved through Vanuatu, passing near several constituent islands and making direct hits on others. On 14 March, Pam's winds began to slowly weaken, but its pressure dropped further to a minimum of 896 mbar (hPa; 26.46 inHg) before rising shortly afterwards. Over the next few days, the cyclone's weakening accelerated as it moved poleward. On 15 March, Pam passed northeast of New Zealand before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone that same day. (Full article...)
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Deep Depression ARB 02 was a weak tropical cyclone that caused extensive damage and loss of life in Yemen in October 2008. The sixth tropical cyclone and third deep depression of the 2008 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, ARB 02 formed on October 19 off the west coast of India from the same broader system that spawned a tropical storm in the southern Indian Ocean at the same time. Moving generally westward, the depression failed to intensify much, reaching maximum sustained winds of only 55 km/h (35 mph). It was no longer classifiable as a tropical depression by October 23, and later that day, its remnants made landfall near Ash Shihr in eastern Yemen.

The storm sent a plume of moisture throughout the Arabian Peninsula, contributing to dust storms as far north as Iraq. However, the effects were most severe in Yemen, becoming the second-worst natural disaster in the country after deadly floods in 1996. The storm dropped heavy rainfall in a normally arid region, reaching around 91 mm (3.6 in), which caused flash flooding in valleys after waterways were unable to contain the approximately 2 billion km3 (528 billion gallons) of water that fell. Poor drainage practices and an invasive species of weed contributed to the floods, which damaged or destroyed 6,505 houses, leaving about 25,000 people homeless. The floods killed 180 people and severely disrupted the livelihoods of about 700,000 residents of Hadhramaut and Al Mahrah governorates, mostly farmers whose fields were washed away. Some of the buildings at the Shibam UNESCO World Heritage Site collapsed due to the floods. Overall damage was estimated at US$874.8 million, although residual losses from damaged infrastructure were estimated to cost an additional US$726.9 million. The overall economic impact of the storm was therefore estimated at US$1.638 billion, equating to roughly 6% of the country's gross domestic product. (Full article...)
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Hurricane Dean from Space.jpg
Crew members 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.


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The 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season had no bounds, but tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. The 1970 season saw a total of seven cyclonic storms, of which three developed into severe cyclonic storms. The Bay of Bengal was more active than the Arabian Sea during 1970, with all of the three severe cyclonic storms in the season forming there. Unusually, none of the storms in the Arabian Sea made landfall this year. The most significant storm of the season was the Bhola cyclone, which formed in the Bay of Bengal and hit Bangladesh on November 12. The storm killed at least 500,000, making it the deadliest tropical cyclone in recorded history. The season was also the deadliest tropical cyclone season globally, with 500,805 fatalities, mostly due to the aforementioned Bhola cyclone.

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Currently active tropical cyclones

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Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2023)
No active systems
East and Central Pacific (2023)
No active systems
West Pacific (2023)
No active systems
North Indian Ocean (2023)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2022–23)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2022–23)
No active systems
Australian region (2022–23)
No active systems
South Pacific (2022–23)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2022–23)
No active systems

Last updated: 23:26, 30 December 2022 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

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January 29

  • 1984 - Tropical Storm Domoina struck southeastern Mozambique and later moved into South Africa. Along its path, the storm killed 242 people and left US$200 million in damage.
  • 1989 - Cyclone Firinga (pictured) passed very close to Réunion at its peak intensity with 165 km/h (105 mph) winds, causing $157 million in damage and 10 deaths.
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January 30

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January 31

  • 1994 - Cyclone Geralda (pictured) reached its peak intensity with 270 km/h (165 mph) winds. Geralda struck Madagascar soon after, killing 200 and leaving half a million people homeless.
  • 2021 - Cyclone Ana impacts Fiji, killing only 1 person and left 5 people missing. It was one of three cyclones to impact Fiji within January of 2021.


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The 2010 Pacific hurricane season was one of the least active seasons on record, featuring the fewest named storms since 1977. The season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific—east of 140°W—and on June 1 in the central Pacific—between the International Date Line and 140°W—and lasted until November 30. These dates typically cover the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific basin. The season's first storm, Tropical Storm Agatha, developed on May 29; the season's final storm, Tropical Storm Omeka, degenerated on December 21.

The season began with record-breaking activity with four named storms, including two major hurricanes, developing by the end of June. Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) values exceeded 300 percent of the average for the month of June. Activity abruptly diminished thereafter, with July, August, and September seeing record low storm development. The Eastern Pacific season proper ended with Tropical Storm Georgette's dissipation on September 23, a month before the climatological mean. The year's final cyclone, Omeka, developed in the off-season on December 18, marking a record-late formation date in the satellite-era. Although there were relatively few storms, the season proved exceptionally deadly and destructive. Torrential rains associated with Agatha and Eleven-E killed well over 200 people in Central America and Mexico and left more than $1.5 billion in damage. (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!

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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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