Tropical cyclone track forecasting

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Track errors for the Atlantic Basin NHC Atlantic Forecast Error Trends.png
Track errors for the Atlantic Basin

Tropical cyclone track forecasting involves predicting where a tropical cyclone is going to track over the next five days, every 6 to 12 hours. The history of tropical cyclone track forecasting has evolved from a single-station approach to a comprehensive approach which uses a variety of meteorological tools and methods to make predictions. The weather of a particular location can show signs of the approaching tropical cyclone, such as increasing swell, increasing cloudiness, falling barometric pressure, increasing tides, squalls, and heavy rainfall.

Tropical cyclone Rotating storm system with a closed, low-level circulation

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain or squalls. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Squall sudden, sharp increase in the sustained winds over a short time interval

A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed lasting minutes, contrary to a wind gust lasting seconds. They are usually associated with active weather, such as rain showers, thunderstorms, or heavy snow. Squalls refer to the increase to the sustained winds over that time interval, as there may be higher gusts during a squall event. They usually occur in a region of strong sinking air or cooling in the mid-atmosphere. These force strong localized upward motions at the leading edge of the region of cooling, which then enhances local downward motions just in its wake.


The forces that affect tropical cyclone steering are the higher-latitude westerlies, the subtropical ridge, and the beta effect caused by changes of the coriolis force within fluids such as the atmosphere. Accurate track predictions depend on determining the position and strength of high- and low-pressure areas, and predicting how those areas will migrate during the life of a tropical system. Computer forecast models are used to help determine this motion as far out as five to seven days in the future.

Coriolis force A force on objects moving within a reference frame that rotates with respect to an inertial frame.

In physics, the Coriolis force is an inertial or fictitious force that acts on objects that are in motion within a frame of reference that rotates with respect to an inertial frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the force acts to the left of the motion of the object. In one with anticlockwise rotation, the force acts to the right. Deflection of an object due to the Coriolis force is called the Coriolis effect. Though recognized previously by others, the mathematical expression for the Coriolis force appeared in an 1835 paper by French scientist Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, in connection with the theory of water wheels. Early in the 20th century, the term Coriolis force began to be used in connection with meteorology.

Atmosphere The layer of gases surrounding an astronomical body held by gravity

An atmosphere is a layer or a set of layers of gases surrounding a planet or other material body, that is held in place by the gravity of that body. An atmosphere is more likely to be retained if the gravity it is subject to is high and the temperature of the atmosphere is low.

Low-pressure area region where the atmospheric pressure is lower than that of surrounding locations

A low-pressure area, low, depression or cyclone is a region on the topographic map where the atmospheric pressure is lower than that of surrounding locations. Low-pressure systems form under areas of wind divergence that occur in the upper levels of the troposphere. The formation process of a low-pressure area is known as cyclogenesis. Within the field of meteorology, atmospheric divergence aloft occurs in two areas. The first area is on the east side of upper troughs, which form half of a Rossby wave within the Westerlies. A second area of wind divergence aloft occurs ahead of embedded shortwave troughs, which are of smaller wavelength. Diverging winds aloft ahead of these troughs cause atmospheric lift within the troposphere below, which lowers surface pressures as upward motion partially counteracts the force of gravity.


The methods through which tropical cyclones are forecast have changed with the passage of time. The first known forecasts in the Western Hemisphere were made by Lt. Col. William Reed of the Corps of Royal Engineers at Barbados in 1847. Reed mostly utilized barometric pressure measurements as the basis of his forecasts. Benito Viñes, S.J., introduced a forecast and warning system based on cloud cover changes in Havana during the 1870s. Forecasting hurricane motion was based on tide movements, as well as cloud and barometer changes over time. In 1895, it was noted that cool conditions with unusually high pressure preceded tropical cyclones in the West Indies by several days. Before the early 1900s, most forecasts were done by direct observations at weather stations, which were then relayed to forecast centers via telegraph. It was not until the advent of radio in the early twentieth century that observations from ships at sea were available to forecasters. Despite the issuance of hurricane watches and warnings for systems threatening the coast, forecasting the path of tropical cyclones did not occur until 1920. [1] By 1922, it was known that the winds at 3 kilometres (9,800 ft) to 4 kilometres (13,000 ft) in height above the sea surface within the storms' right front quadrant were representative of a storm's steering, and that hurricanes tended to follow the outermost closed isobar of the subtropical ridge. [2]

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Havana Capital city of Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

West Indies Island region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean

The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.

In 1937, radiosondes were used to aide tropical cyclone forecasting. [2] The next decade saw the advent of aircraft-based reconnaissance by the military, starting with the first dedicated flight into a hurricane in 1943, and the establishment of the Hurricane Hunters in 1944. In the 1950s, coastal weather radars began to be used in the United States, and research reconnaissance flights by the precursor of the Hurricane Research Division began in 1954. [3] The launch of the first weather satellite, TIROS-I, in 1960, introduced new techniques to tropical cyclone forecasting that remain important to the present day. In the 1970s, buoys were introduced to improve the resolution of surface measurements, which until that point, were not available at all over sea surfaces. [3]

Weather radar radar used to locate and monitor meteorological conditions

Weather radar, also called weather surveillance radar (WSR) and Doppler weather radar, is a type of radar used to locate precipitation, calculate its motion, and estimate its type. Modern weather radars are mostly pulse-Doppler radars, capable of detecting the motion of rain droplets in addition to the intensity of the precipitation. Both types of data can be analyzed to determine the structure of storms and their potential to cause severe weather.

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), a federal research laboratory, is part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), located in Miami, Florida. AOML's research spans tropical cyclone and hurricanes, coastal ecosystems, oceans and human health, climate studies, global carbon systems, and ocean observations. It is one of seven NOAA Research Laboratories (RLs).

Single station forecasting of a tropical cyclone passage

Picture of the sky within the eye of a tropical cyclone Tropical cyclone eyewall P-3.jpg
Picture of the sky within the eye of a tropical cyclone

About four days in advance of a typical tropical cyclone, an ocean of 1 metre (3.3 ft) in height will roll in about every 10 seconds, moving towards the coast from the direction of the tropical cyclone's location. The ocean swell will slowly increase in height and frequency the closer a tropical cyclone gets to land. Two days in advance of the center's passage, winds go calm as the tropical cyclone interrupts the environmental wind flow. Within 36 hours of the center passage, the pressure begins to fall and a veil of white cirrus clouds approaches from the cyclone's direction. Within 24 hours of the closest approach to the center, low clouds begin to move in, also known as the bar of a tropical cyclone, as the barometric pressure begins to fall more rapidly and the winds begin to increase. Within 18 hours of the center's approach, squally weather is common, with sudden increases in wind accompanied by rain showers or thunderstorms. Winds increase within 12 hours of the center's approach, occasionally reaching hurricane force. The ocean's surface becomes whipped with foam. Small items begin flying in the wind. Within 6 hours of the center's arrival, rain becomes continuous and the storm surge begins to come inland. Within an hour of the center, the rain becomes very heavy and the highest winds within the tropical cyclone are experienced. When the center arrives with a strong tropical cyclone, weather conditions improve and the sun becomes visible as the eye moves overhead. At this point, the pressure ceases to drop as the lowest pressure within the storm's center is reached. This is also when the peak depth of the storm surge occurs. Once the system departs, winds reverse and, along with the rain, suddenly increase. The storm surge retreats as the pressure suddenly rises in the wake of its center. One day after the center's passage, the low overcast is replaced with a higher overcast, and the rain becomes intermittent. By 36 hours after the center's passage, the high overcast breaks and the pressure begins to level off. [4]

Cyclone large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low pressure

In meteorology, a cyclone is a large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure. The largest low-pressure systems are polar vortices and extratropical cyclones of the largest scale. Warm-core cyclones such as tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones also lie within the synoptic scale. Mesocyclones, tornadoes, and dust devils lie within smaller mesoscale. Upper level cyclones can exist without the presence of a surface low, and can pinch off from the base of the tropical upper tropospheric trough during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere. Cyclones have also been seen on extraterrestrial planets, such as Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune. Cyclogenesis is the process of cyclone formation and intensification. Extratropical cyclones begin as waves in large regions of enhanced mid-latitude temperature contrasts called baroclinic zones. These zones contract and form weather fronts as the cyclonic circulation closes and intensifies. Later in their life cycle, extratropical cyclones occlude as cold air masses undercut the warmer air and become cold core systems. A cyclone's track is guided over the course of its 2 to 6 day life cycle by the steering flow of the subtropical jet stream.

The bar of a mature tropical cyclone is a very dark gray-black layer of cloud appearing near the horizon as seen from an observer preceding the approach of the storm, and is composed of dense stratocumulus clouds. Cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds bearing precipitation follow immediately after the passage of the wall-like bar. Altostratus, cirrostratus and cirrus clouds are usually visible in ascending order above the top of the bar, while the wind direction for an observer facing toward the bar is typically from the left and slightly behind the observer.

A storm surge, storm flood, tidal surge or storm tide is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems. Its severity is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, as well as the timing of tides. Most casualties during tropical cyclones occur as the result of storm surges. It is a measure of the rise of water beyond what would be expected by the normal movement related to tides.


The large scale synoptic scale flow determines 70 to 90 percent of a tropical cyclone's motion. The deep-layered mean flow through the troposphere is considered to be the best tool in determining track direction and speed. If storms experience significant vertical wind shear, use of a lower level wind such as the 700 hPa pressure level (at a height of 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) above sea level) will work out as a better predictor. Knowledge of the beta effect can be used to steer a tropical cyclone, since it leads to a more northwest heading for tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere due to differences in the coriolis force around the cyclone. [5] For example, the beta effect will allow a tropical cyclone to track poleward and slightly to the right of the deep layer steering flow while the system lies the south of the subtropical ridge. Northwest moving storms move quicker and left, while northeast moving storms move slower and left. The larger the cyclone, the larger the impact of the beta effect is likely to be. [6]

Troposphere The lowest layer of the atmosphere

The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, and is also where nearly all weather conditions take place. It contains approximately 75% of the atmosphere's mass and 99% of the total mass of water vapour and aerosols. The average height of the troposphere is 18 km in the tropics, 17 km in the middle latitudes, and 6 km in the polar regions in winter. The total average height of the troposphere is 13 km.

Wind shear Difference in wind speed or direction over a short distance

Wind shear, sometimes referred to as wind gradient, is a difference in wind speed or direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere. Atmospheric wind shear is normally described as either vertical or horizontal wind shear. Vertical wind shear is a change in wind speed or direction with change in altitude. Horizontal wind shear is a change in wind speed with change in lateral position for a given altitude.

Interaction of two typhoons Binaryinteraction.svg
Interaction of two typhoons

Fujiwhara effect

When two or more tropical cyclones are in proximity to one another, they begin to rotate cyclonically around the midpoint between their circulation centers. In the northern hemisphere, this is in a counterclockwise direction, and in the southern hemisphere, a clockwise direction. Usually, the tropical cyclones need to be within 1,450 kilometres (900 mi) of each other for this effect to take place. It is a more common phenomenon in the northern Pacific Ocean than elsewhere, due to the higher frequency of tropical cyclone activity which occurs in that region. [7]

Trochoidal motions

Small wobbles in a tropical cyclone's track can occur when the convection is distributed unevenly within its circulation. This can be due to changes in vertical wind shear or inner core structure. [7] Because of this effect, forecasters use a longer term (6 to 24 hours) motion to help forecast tropical cyclones, which acts to smooth out such wobbles. [6]

Forecast models

Significant errors in track still occur on occasion, as seen in one of Ernesto's (2006) early forecasts. The National Hurricane Center's official forecast is in light blue. Ernesto2006modelspread.png
Significant errors in track still occur on occasion, as seen in one of Ernesto's (2006) early forecasts. The National Hurricane Center's official forecast is in light blue.

High-speed computers and sophisticated simulation software allow meteorologists to run computer models that forecast tropical cyclone tracks based on the future position and strength of high- and low-pressure systems. Combining forecast models with increased understanding of the forces that act on tropical cyclones, and a wealth of data from Earth-orbiting satellites and other sensors, scientists have increased the accuracy of track forecasts over recent decades. [8] The addition of dropwindsonde missions around tropical cyclones in what are known as synoptic flow missions in the Atlantic Basin decreased track error by 15–20 percent. [9] Using a consensus of forecast models, as well as ensemble members of the various models, can help reduce forecast error. [7] However, regardless how small the average error becomes, large errors within the guidance are still possible. [10] An accurate track forecast is important, because if the track forecast is incorrect, forecasts for intensity, rainfall, storm surge, and tornado threat will also be incorrect.

Length of forecast period

A three-day National Hurricane Center track forecast for Katrina in 2005 Katrina2005forecast.GIF
A three-day National Hurricane Center track forecast for Katrina in 2005

Forecasts within hurricane advisories were issued one day into the future in 1954 before being extended to two days into the future in 1961, and three days into the future in 1964. [11] Starting in the mid to late 1990s, research into tropical cyclones and how forecast models handle the systems led to substantial improvements in track error. [12] By 2001, the error had reduced sufficiently to extend track out to 5 days in the future on public advisories. In addition, at 1700 UTC during the hurricane season, a medium-range coordination call takes place between the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center and the National Hurricane Center to coordinate tropical cyclone placement on the medium-range pressure forecasts 6 and 7 days into the future for the northeast Pacific and Atlantic basins. Every so often, even at this time range, successful predictions can be made. [13]

In forecasts, the National Hurricane Center uses a track forecast cone for the graphical representation of the uncertainty in its forecasts of a tropical cyclone's future location. The cone represents the probable position of a tropical cyclone's circulation center, and is made by drawing a set of circles centered at each forecast point—12, 24, 36, 48, and 72 hours for a three-day forecast, as well as 96 and 120 hours for a five-day forecast. The radius of each circle is equal to encompass two-thirds of the historical official forecast errors for the preceding five-year period. The cone is then constructed by drawing a tangent line that connects the outside boundary of all the circles. The National Hurricane Center states that the entire track of the tropical cyclone "can be expected to remain within the cone roughly 60–70% of the time." [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tropical cyclone warnings and watches are two levels of alert issued by national weather forecasting bodies to coastal areas threatened by the imminent approach of a tropical cyclone of tropical storm or hurricane intensity. They are notices to the local population and civil authorities to make appropriate preparation for the cyclone, including evacuation of vulnerable areas where necessary. It is important that interests throughout the area of an alert make preparations to protect life and property, and do not disregard it on the strength of the detailed forecast track. Tropical cyclones are not points, and forecasting their track remains an uncertain science.

Hurricane Linda (1997) Category 5 Pacific hurricane in 1997

Hurricane Linda was the second-strongest eastern Pacific hurricane on record. Forming from a tropical wave on September 9, 1997, Linda steadily intensified and reached hurricane status within 36 hours of developing. The storm rapidly intensified, reaching sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h) and an estimated central pressure of 902 millibars (26.6 inHg); both were records for the eastern Pacific until Hurricane Patricia surpassed them in 2015. The hurricane was briefly forecast to move toward southern California, but instead, it turned out to sea and lost its status as a tropical cyclone on September 17, before dissipating on September 21. Linda was the fifteenth tropical cyclone, thirteenth named storm, seventh hurricane, and fifth major hurricane of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season.

Tropical cyclone forecast model

A tropical cyclone forecast model is a computer program that uses meteorological data to forecast aspects of the future state of tropical cyclones. There are three types of models: statistical, dynamical, or combined statistical-dynamic. Dynamical models utilize powerful supercomputers with sophisticated mathematical modeling software and meteorological data to calculate future weather conditions. Statistical models forecast the evolution of a tropical cyclone in a simpler manner, by extrapolating from historical datasets, and thus can be run quickly on platforms such as personal computers. Statistical-dynamical models use aspects of both types of forecasting. Four primary types of forecasts exist for tropical cyclones: track, intensity, storm surge, and rainfall. Dynamical models were not developed until the 1970s and the 1980s, with earlier efforts focused on the storm surge problem.

Tropical Storm Chantal (2001) Atlantic tropical storm in 2001

Tropical Storm Chantal was a North Atlantic tropical cyclone that moved across the Caribbean Sea in August 2001. Chantal developed from a tropical wave on August 14 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It tracked rapidly westward for much of its duration, and after degenerating into a tropical wave, it passed through the Windward Islands. Chantal reached a peak intensity of 70 mph (110 km/h) twice in the Caribbean Sea, and each time it was anticipated to attain hurricane status; however, wind shear and later land interaction prevented strengthening to hurricane status. On August 21 Chantal, moved ashore near the border of Mexico and Belize, before dissipating on the next day.

Tropical cyclone observation

Tropical cyclone observation has been carried out over the past couple of centuries in various ways. The passage of typhoons, hurricanes, as well as other tropical cyclones have been detected by word of mouth from sailors recently coming to port or by radio transmissions from ships at sea, from sediment deposits in near shore estuaries, to the wiping out of cities near the coastline. Since World War II, advances in technology have included using planes to survey the ocean basins, satellites to monitor the world's oceans from outer space using a variety of methods, radars to monitor their progress near the coastline, and recently the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles to penetrate storms. Recent studies have concentrated on studying hurricane impacts lying within rocks or near shore lake sediments, which are branches of a new field known as paleotempestology. This article details the various methods employed in the creation of the hurricane database, as well as reconstructions necessary for reanalysis of past storms used in projects such as the Atlantic hurricane reanalysis.

Meteorological history of Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin on record, with an atmospheric pressure of 882 hPa. Wilma's destructive journey began in the second week of October 2005. A large area of disturbed weather developed across much of the Caribbean Sea and gradually organized to the southeast of Jamaica. By late on October 15, the system was sufficiently organized for the National Hurricane Center to designate it as Tropical Depression Twenty-Four.

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 nearly 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.

Hurricane Olga Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in 2001

Hurricane Olga was the largest tropical cyclone by diameter of gale-force winds on record in the Atlantic. The fifteenth named storm, ninth and final hurricane of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season, Olga formed as a subtropical cyclone on November 24. After acquiring tropical characteristics later that day, Olga meandered westward, and eventually reached hurricane status on November 26. Olga peaked as a 90 mph (150 km/h) Category 1 hurricane before the storm turned southwestward and weakening back into a tropical storm. On November 30 it deteriorated further to a tropical depression, although it re-intensified two days later to tropical storm intensity. Olga then dissipated as a tropical cyclone on December 4 east of the Bahamas. Its damaging effects were limited to ships at sea. The cyclone's remnants produced heavy rainfall across the Bahamas and Florida. It was a relatively rare storm to exist in December, which is outside of the normal Atlantic hurricane season.

Meteorological history of Hurricane Ivan

The meteorological history of Hurricane Ivan, the longest tracked tropical cyclone of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, lasted from late August through late September. The hurricane developed from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on August 31. Tracking westward due to a ridge, favorable conditions allowed it to develop into Tropical Depression Nine on September 2 in the deep tropical Atlantic Ocean. The cyclone gradually intensified until September 5, when it underwent rapid deepening and reached Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale; at the time Ivan was the southernmost major North Atlantic hurricane on record.

Hurricane Emilia (1994) Category 5 Pacific hurricane in 1994

Hurricane Emilia was, at the time, the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Central Pacific Ocean, and the second of such to be classified as a Category 5 hurricane – the highest rating on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. However, hurricanes Gilma later that year, Ioke in 2006, and hurricanes Lane and Walaka in 2018 later reached lower barometric pressures in the Central Pacific. The fifth named storm and the first of three Category 5 hurricanes of the 1994 hurricane season, Emilia developed from an area of low pressure southeast of Hawaii on July 16. Tracking westward, the initial tropical depression intensified into a tropical storm several hours after tropical cyclogenesis. Subsequently, Emilia entered the Central Pacific Ocean and moved into the area of responsibility of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC).

Meteorological history of Hurricane Jeanne

The meteorological history of Hurricane Jeanne lasted for about two weeks in September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne was the eleventh tropical cyclone, tenth named storm, seventh hurricane, and sixth major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed from a tropical wave on September 13 near the Lesser Antilles, and encountered favorable enough conditions to reach tropical storm status. Jeanne strengthened further in the eastern Caribbean Sea, becoming a strong tropical storm and developing an eye before striking Puerto Rico on September 15. Remaining well-organized, it attained hurricane status before hitting the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic on September 16.

Hurricane Kristy (2006) Category 1 Pacific hurricane in 2006

Hurricane Kristy in 2006 was a relatively long-lived tropical cyclone in the 2006 Pacific hurricane season. It developed on August 30 from a tropical wave off the southwest coast of Mexico, and quickly intensified to attain hurricane status, reaching peak winds of 80 mph (130 km/h). Subsequently, Kristy weakened from cooler waters and increased wind shear from Hurricane John to its northeast. Steering currents weakened, and turning to a southerly drift, it weakened to a tropical depression by September 2. The next day it briefly regained tropical storm status, only to again deteriorate to depression status. After turning to the west, Kristy encountered marginally favorable conditions and attained tropical storm status for a third time, though unfavorable conditions caused it to dissipate on September 9. The storm never affected land, although initially there was a slight threat to Clarion Island. Within the National Hurricane Center area of warning responsibility east of 140°W, Hurricane Kristy was the longest-lasting tropical cyclone of the season.

Cyclone Gwenda Category 5 Australian region cyclone in 1999

Severe Tropical Cyclone Gwenda was tied with Cyclone Inigo as the most intense Australian tropical cyclone on record, with a barometric pressure of 900 hPa (mbar) and was the most intense storm worldwide in 1999. Forming out of a tropical disturbance over the Arafura Sea on 2 April 1999, the precursor to Gwenda tracked slowly westward and gradually became more organised. On 4 April, the system developed into a Category 1 cyclone and was named Gwenda. It began to undergo explosive intensification the following day, and in a 30-hour span ending early on 7 April, the storm's maximum 10-minute sustained wind speed increased from 75 km/h (45 mph) to 225 km/h (140 mph) and its barometric pressure decreased to 900 hPa (mbar). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that the storm had peaked as a high-end Category 4 equivalent on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale.

Hurricane Epsilon Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in 2005

Hurricane Epsilon was the final of fifteen hurricanes within the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Originating from a cold front beneath an upper-level low, Epsilon formed on November 29 about 915 mi (1470 km) east of Bermuda. Initially, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast the storm to transition into an extratropical cyclone within five days, due to conditions unfavorable for significant intensification. Epsilon continually defied forecasts, at first due to an unexpected loop to the southwest, and later due to retaining its strength despite cold waters and strong wind shear.

Glossary of tropical cyclone terms

The following is a glossary of tropical cyclone terms.

Hurricane Uleki Category 3 Pacific hurricane in 1988

Hurricane Uleki, also referred as Typhoon Uleki, was a long-lived tropical cyclone in August–September 1988 that had minimal effects on land. Originating from a disturbance in the Intertropical Convergence Zone in late-August, Uleki was identified as a tropical depression well to the southeast of Hawaii on August 28. Steady organization ensued as it moved west, becoming a tropical storm on August 30 and a hurricane on August 31. Rapid intensification took place thereafter and the storm reached its peak intensity on September 2 as a Category 3 on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. Hurricane Hunters investigating the cyclone found peak winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) and a barometric pressure of 957 mbar. Thereafter, Uleki stalled for two days to the southwest of Hawaii, resulting in heavy surf across the state. The dangerous swells killed two people on Oahu.

History of Atlantic hurricane warnings

The history of Atlantic tropical cyclone warnings details the progress of tropical cyclone warnings in the north Atlantic Ocean. The first service was set up in the 1870s from Cuba with the work of Father Benito Viñes. After his death, hurricane warning services were assumed by the US Army Signal Corps and United States Weather Bureau over the next few decades, first based in Jamaica and Cuba before shifting to Washington, D.C.. The central office in Washington, which would evolve into the National Meteorological Center and the Weather Prediction Center, assumed the responsibilities by the early 20th century. This responsibility passed to regional hurricane offices in 1935, and the concept of the Atlantic hurricane season was established in order to keep a vigilant lookout for tropical cyclones during certain times of the year. Hurricane advisories issued every six hours by the regional hurricane offices began at this time.

2019 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is an ongoing event in the annual formation of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. The season officially began on June 1, 2019, and will end on November 30, 2019. These dates historically describe the period each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin and are adopted by convention. However, tropical cyclogenesis is possible at any time of the year, as demonstrated by the formation of Subtropical Storm Andrea on May 20, marking the record fifth year in a row where a tropical or subtropical cyclone developed before the official start of the season, breaking the previous record of four years set in 1951–1954. This was also the second year in a row in which no storms formed during the month of June. The season's first hurricane, Barry, formed in July in the northern Gulf of Mexico and struck Louisiana. A series of storms developed in late August, including Hurricane Dorian, the second hurricane and first major hurricane of the season. Dorian struck the Windward Islands as a tropical storm then the United States Virgin Islands and grazed Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane, causing one indirect death, before quickly strengthening into a Category 5 hurricane, as it approached and devastated the Bahamas.

2019 Pacific hurricane season Period of formation of tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in 2019

The 2019 Pacific hurricane season is an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation, in which tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The season officially began on May 15 in the East Pacific Ocean, and on June 1 in the Central Pacific; they will both end 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. The season had a slow start, with no tropical cyclones forming in the basin during the month of May for the first time since 2016, and the first time that no storms formed before the month of June since 2011. The season became the latest-starting Pacific hurricane season on record since reliable records began in 1971, with the first tropical depression forming on June 25. For the first time since 1973, no hurricanes formed in the basin in the month of August.


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