Portal:Tropical cyclones

The Tropical Cyclones Portal

Hurricane Isabel in 2003 as seen from the International Space Station
Hurricane Isabel

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 fueled 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".

Types of cyclone: 1. A "Typhoon" is a tropical cyclone located in the North-west Pacific Ocean which has the most cyclonic activity and storms occur year-round. 2. A "Hurricane" is also a tropical cyclone located at the North Atlantic Ocean or North-east Pacific Ocean which have an average storm activity and storms typically form between May 15 and November 30. 3. A "Cyclone" is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Eloise nearing landfall in Mozambique at peak intensity on 22 January 2021

Tropical Cyclone Eloise was the strongest tropical cyclone to impact the country of Mozambique since Cyclone Kenneth in 2019 and the second of three consecutive tropical cyclones to impact Mozambique in the 2020–21 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season. The seventh tropical depression, fifth named storm and the second tropical cyclone of the season, Eloise's origins can be traced to a disturbance over the central portion of the South-West Indian Ocean basin which developed into a tropical depression on 16 January, and strengthened into a tropical storm on 17 January, though the storm had limited strength and organization. On the next day, the storm entered a more favorable environment, and it soon intensified to a severe tropical storm on 18 January. Late on 19 January, Eloise made landfall in northern Madagascar as a moderate tropical storm, bringing with it heavy rainfall and flooding. The storm traversed Madagascar and entered the Mozambique Channel in the early hours of 21 January. After moving southwestward across the Mozambique Channel for an additional 2 days, Eloise strengthened into a Category 1-equivalent cyclone, due to low wind shear and high sea surface temperatures. Early on 23 January, Eloise peaked as a Category 2-equivalent tropical cyclone on the Saffir–Simpson scale as the center of the storm began to move ashore in Mozambique. Shortly afterward, Eloise made landfall just north of Beira, Mozambique, before rapidly weakening. Subsequently, Eloise weakened into a remnant low over land on 25 January, dissipating soon afterward.

Preparations for the advancing storm took place in Madagascar before Eloise's landfall and in multiple other African countries. For Madagascar, widespread warnings and alerts were issued as the storm approached northern Madagascar. For Mozambique, high alerts were put in place for central portions of the country. Humanitarian responders prepared for response after the storms passing. Beira's port also closed for about 40 hours, and limited supplies of emergency non-food items were given. Many families were sheltered in tents at accommodation centers, and received kits for food, hygiene, and COVID-19 protection. Officials in Zimbabwe warned of ravine and flash flooding, which may cause infrastructure damage. Several northern provinces of South Africa were expected to experience heavy rains, which prompted severe risk warnings for them. Disaster management teams were placed on high alert ahead of the storm. (Full article...)
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Surface analysis map of the hurricane on November 8

The 1942 Belize hurricane was one of only two known hurricanes to strike Belize in the month of November, alongside Hurricane Lisa in 2022. The thirteenth observed tropical cyclone, eleventh tropical storm, and fourth hurricane of the 1942 Atlantic hurricane season, this storm was detected in the vicinity of Turks and Caicos Islands on November 5. Initially a tropical storm, it strengthened slowly while moving westward and then south-southwestward across the Bahamas. On November 6, the storm became a Category 1 hurricane on the modern day Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. Later that day, it made landfall in Cayo Romano, Camagüey Province, Cuba. Impact in Cuba and the Bahamas was limited to lower barometric pressure readings and strong winds. While crossing Cuba, the system weakened to a tropical storm early on November 7, shortly before emerging into the Caribbean Sea. The storm re-strengthened into a hurricane later that day and headed southwestward.

Late on November 8, this system curved westward and intensified into a Category 2 hurricane. Six hours later, it peaked with winds of 110 mph (175 km/h). Early on November 9, the storm struck Caye Caulker and northern Belize District. Rapidly weakening, the system fell to tropical storm status within 12 hours of landfall. By early on November 10, it emerged into the Bay of Campeche. The storm meandered erratically until striking the Yucatán Peninsula on November 11 and dissipating hours later. Strong winds were observed in Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Severe damage was reported in the former. About 90% of structures in San Pedro Town were destroyed, while Newtown was obliterated, causing its residents to relocate and establish the village of Hopkins. Trees and crops such as coconuts also suffered heavy losses. Overall, nine deaths and approximately $4 million (1942 USD) in damage were reported. (Full article...)
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This photograph shows the bowl-shaped eye of Typhoon Yuri in the western Pacific Ocean just west of the Northern Mariana Islands. The eye wall descends almost to the sea surface, a distance of nearly 45,000 feet (13 800 meters). In this case the eye is filled with clouds, but in many cases the sea surface can be seen through the eye. Yuri grew to super typhoon status, packing maximum sustained winds estimated at 165 miles per hour (270 km/h). The storm moved west toward the Philippines before turning northeast into the north Pacific Ocean, thus avoiding any major landmass.


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The 1969 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season since the 1933 season, and was the final year of the most recent positive ("high-quality") Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) era. The hurricane season officially began on June 1, and lasted until November 30. Altogether, 12 tropical cyclones reached hurricane strength, the highest number on record at the time; a mark not surpassed until 2005. The season was above-average despite an El Niño, which typically suppresses activity in the Atlantic Ocean, while increasing tropical cyclone activity in the Pacific Ocean. Activity began with a tropical depression that caused extensive flooding in Cuba and Jamaica in early June. On July 25, Tropical Storm Anna developed, the first named storm of the season. Later in the season, Tropical Depression Twenty-Nine caused severe local flooding in the Florida Panhandle and southwestern Georgia in September.

The most significant storm of the season was Hurricane Camille, which peaked as a Category 5 hurricane on August 17 and devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States upon striking Mississippi the next day. Strong winds and storm surge heights especially impacted Mississippi and Louisiana. Later in its duration, the storm caused severe flooding Virginia and West Virginia. Camille alone was responsible for 259 deaths and $1.43 billion. It was the costliest United States hurricane at the time, until Hurricane Agnes in 1972. In early September, Hurricane Francelia caused deadly floods in Central America, with 271 people killed in Central America. Hurricane Inga had the third longest duration of an Atlantic tropical cyclone. The last storm, Hurricane Martha, was the only known tropical cyclone to make landfall in Panama. Martha caused minor flooding in the former and Costa Rica. Overall, the systems of the season collectively caused 535 deaths and over $1.5 billion in losses. (Full article...)
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Currently active tropical cyclones

Italicized basins are unofficial.

North Atlantic (2024)
No active systems
East and Central Pacific (2024)
No active systems
West Pacific (2024)
No active systems
North Indian Ocean (2024)
No active systems
Mediterranean (2023–24)
No active systems
South-West Indian Ocean (2023–24)
No active systems
Australian region (2023–24)
Tropical Cyclone Paul
South Pacific (2023–24)
No active systems
South Atlantic (2023–24)
No active systems

Last updated: 02:16, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Tropical cyclone anniversaries

April 10,

April 11,

  • 2003 - Subtropical Storm Luma reaches peak strength as a subtropical storm with winds of 130 km/h (80 mph) in the extremely southern portion of the Indian Ocean basin.
  • 2004 - Typhoon Sudal (pictured) reaches peak strength as a Category 4 super typhoon as it destroyed 90% of crops in Micronesia.
  • 2014 - Cyclone Ita reaches peak strength of 10-minute sustained winds of 215 km/h (130 mph), killing a total of 40 people and damages up to US$1.15 billion.

April 12,

  • 1983 - Cyclone Veena (pictured) reaches peak strength as a Category 3 cyclone over in the extreme Southeastern Pacific of the basin with a minimum pressure of 925 hPa.
  • 2002 - Cyclone Bonnie reached its peak intensity with 85 km/h (50 mph) winds after passing over Timor island.


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The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season was an event in the annual tropical cyclone season in the north Atlantic Ocean. It was the costliest, as well as the first above-average, Atlantic hurricane season since the 2012 season. It featured the highest number of deaths since the 2008 season and also yielded the highest number of named storm landfalls on the United States since that year. The season officially began on June 1 and concluded on November 30, dates which conventionally delimit the period during each year when a majority of tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean. The season's first cyclone, Alex, developed on January 12, while the final storm of the season, Otto, closed-out the season by exiting into the Eastern Pacific on November 25, becoming the first Atlantic–Pacific crossover hurricane since Hurricane Cesar–Douglas in 1996.

A total of 16 tropical depressions were recorded, of which 15 further intensified into tropical storms. Of those 15, a total of seven strengthened into hurricanes, while four attained their peaks as major hurricanes. Activity began with Alex which, upon making landfall in the Azores, became the first January landfalling tropical cyclone since Hurricane Alice in the 1954 season. In June, tropical storms Colin and Danielle became the earliest third and fourth named storms, respectively, on record. Hermine moved ashore the coastline of Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on September 2, ending the record hurricane drought that began in the state after the 2005 season's Hurricane Wilma. In late September and early October, Hurricane Matthew wrought destruction throughout the Caribbean Sea and Southeastern United States, resulting in $15.09 billion (2016 USD) in damage and 603 deaths. In mid-October, Hurricane Nicole developed to Category 4 intensity and remained a major hurricane while directly impacting Bermuda, the first storm of such strength to do so since Hurricane Fabian in the 2003 season. Following the 2016 season, the names Matthew and Otto were retired from reuse in the North Atlantic by the World Meteorological Organization. (Full article...)
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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 Weather is the main center point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of meteorology in general, and the parent project of WikiProject Tropical cyclones. Three other branches of WikiProject Weather in particular share significant overlaps with WikiProject Tropical cyclones:

  • The Non-tropical storms task force coordinates most of Wikipedia's coverage on extratropical cyclones, which tropical cyclones often transition into near the end of their lifespan.
  • The Floods task force takes on the scope of flooding events all over the world, with rainfall from tropical cyclones a significant factor in many of them.
  • WikiProject Severe weather documents the effects of extreme weather such as tornadoes, which landfalling tropical cyclones can produce.

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