HURRICANE - A hurricane is a tropical cyclone in which the maximum average wind speed near a centre or eye exceeds 74 mph or 119 Km/h.
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Term Definition

This has two meanings. It can be given to a group of messages (“watch” and “warning”) from the local meteorological office and the local disaster management office giving warning information with details on tropical cyclone location, intensity, movement and precautions that should be taken, or as an individual item it can be simple “heads-up” information on the development of a disturbance or cyclone to which the population should pay close attention.

Atmospheric Pressure

The pressure exerted by the atmosphere at a given point. Its measurement can be expressed in several ways (e.g. millibars, inches or millimeters of mercury (Hg)).

Aliases (separate with |): Barometric Pressure
Best Track

A subjectively smoothed path, versus a precise and very erratic fix-to-fix path, used to represent tropical cyclone movement. It is based on an assessment of all available data.

Cape Verde Islands

A group of volcanic islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa. A Cape Verde hurricane originates near here.


The vertical axis or core of a tropical cyclone. It is usually determined by cloud vorticity patterns, wind, and/or pressure distributions.

Center Fix

The location of the center of a tropical or subtropical cyclone obtained by reconnaissance aircraft penetration, satellite, radar, or synoptic data.

Aliases (separate with |): Vortex Fix
Closest Point of Approach

Point where hurricane eye makes closest contact to shore without actually making landfall.

Coastal Flood Warning

A warning that significant wind-forced flooding is to be expected along low-lying coastal areas if weather patterns develop as forecast.

Coastal Flood Watch

An announcement that significant wind-forced flooding is to be expected along low-lying coastal areas if weather patterns develop as forecast.


Atmospheric motions in the vertical direction resulting from surface heating and the subsequent rising of warm air. This lifting mechanism is capable of generating the rising motions necessary for clouds and precipitation to form.


Wind movement that results in a horizontal net inflow of air into a particular region. Convergent winds at lower levels are associated with upward motion. (Antonym- divergence).


An atmospheric circulation (low-pressure system) with rotating and converging winds, in which the center has a relative pressure minimum. It usually has a diameter of 2000 to 3000 kilometers. When developing, a cyclone typically consists of a warm front pushing northward and a cold front pushing southward with the center of low pressure (cyclone center) located at the junction of the two fronts. Cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere rotate counter-clockwise while Southern Hemisphere cyclones rotate clockwise.


In meteorology, this is another name for an area of low pressure, or trough. It also applies to a stage of tropical cyclone development and is known as a tropical depression to distinguish it from other synoptic features.


This has several applications. It can apply to a low or cyclone that is small in size and influence. It can also apply to an area that is exhibiting signs of cyclonic development. It may also apply to a stage of tropical cyclone development and is known as a tropical disturbance to distinguish it from other synoptic features

Doppler Radar

Weather radar that measures direction and speed of a moving object, such as drops of precipitation, by determining whether atmospheric motion is horizontally toward or away from the radar. Using the Doppler effect, it measures the velocity of particles.

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Hurricane season in the Atlantic lasts from June 1st to November 30th.
Tropical storms are given male and female names because this makes them easier to track. Before 1979 though, they only had female names.
A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph or higher.
Hurricanes are grouped into 5 categories according to their strength. Category 5 hurricanes are the strongest.
The “eye” is the centre of the hurricane and is the calmest part.
Slow moving hurricanes produce more rain and can cause more damage from flooding.
Putting tape on windows and glass will not stop them from breaking during a hurricane.
The word hurricane comes from the word Hurakan. Hurakan is the name of the Mayan god of wind and fire.