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Post-tropical cyclone


Two classes of post-tropical cyclones exist:

  • Remnant low, which is non-frontal, has maximum sustained winds of less than 34 knots.[5]

Not all systems fall into the above two classes. According to the guideline, a system without frontal characteristics but with maximum winds above 34 knots may not be designated as a remnant low. It should be merely described as post-tropical.[6] A few examples falling into this grey area are listed below.

However, there has been an occasion that the United States National Hurricane Center violated the definition and designated Calvin (2011) as a 35-knot remnant low.[14]

Also, if a tropical cyclone degenerates into a tropical wave or trough, then it does not qualify as a post-tropical cyclone. It would be referred as the "remnants of (tropical cyclone name)".

Météo-France classifies systems in the South-West Indian Ocean undergoing an extratropical transition or losing tropical characteristics as “post-tropical depressions”, since the 2012–13 cyclone season. They would be re-classified as extratropical depressions after completing the process.[15]


A post-tropical cyclone is formed when the typical characteristics of a tropical cyclone are replaced with those of extratropical cyclones, otherwise known as extratropical transition.[16] After the initial formation, a post-tropical cyclone has the potential to gain strength and intensity by forming an extratropical storm.[16] If a post-tropical cyclone does become an extratropical storm, it will eventually decay through the process of occlusion.[17]


The re-intensification of a post-tropical cyclone can cause dangerous conditions in North Atlantic shipping routes with high seas and winds comparable to those of hurricanes.[16]


The terminology was initiated by Canadian Hurricane Centre in 1998 during Tropical Storm Bonnie.[18] In 2008, the National Hurricane Center used this term for Tropical Storm Laura to address the limitation of the two classes (extratropical/remnant low) mentioned above.[19] The term was later adopted by the National Weather Service on May 15, 2010.[6]


The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia refers a former tropical cyclone as an "ex-tropical cyclone".[citation needed] An example is ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.


  1. ^ "Glossary of NHC Terms".
  2. ^ "Glossary of NHC Terms".
  3. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone Dorian Forecast+Discussion". Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Glossary of NHC Terms".
  6. ^ a b "SERVICE CHANGE NOTICE 10-06". National Weather Service. January 15, 2010. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone EUGENE". National Hurricane Center.
  8. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone MICHAEL". National Hurricane Center.
  9. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone NADINE". National Hurricane Center.
  10. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone HUMBERTO".
  11. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone JOAQUIN". National Hurricane Center.
  12. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone MATTHEW". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  13. ^ "Post-Tropical Cyclone JERRY". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Saison 2012-2013" (in French). Météo-France. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  16. ^ a b c Pelissero, Jonathon; Chiao, Sen (July 5, 2013). "The influences of post-tropical reintensification and dissipation on North Atlantic shipping routes". Meteorological Applications. Royal Meteorological Society. 21 (3).
  17. ^ "Extratropical Cyclone". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Tropical Storm LAURA".