Tropical cyclone

Cyclone Catarina, a rare South Atlantic tropical cyclone viewed from the International Space Station on March 26, 2004.

In meteorology, a tropical cyclone (also referred to as a tropical depression, tropical storm, typhoon, or hurricane depending on strength and geographical context) is a type of low pressure system which generally forms in the tropics. While they can be highly destructive, tropical cyclones are an important part of the atmospheric circulation system, which moves heat from the equatorial region toward the higher latitudes.

Terms for tropical cyclones

Eye of Typhoon Odessa, Pacific Ocean, August 1985

Terms used in weather reports for tropical cyclones that have surface winds over 64 knots (73.6 mph) or 32 m/s vary by region:

  • Hurricane: Atlantic basin and North Pacific Ocean east of the dateline
  • Typhoon: Northwest Pacific west of the dateline
  • Severe tropical cyclone: Southwest Pacific west of 160°E and the southeast Indian Ocean east of 90°E
  • Severe cyclonic storm: North Indian Ocean
  • Tropical cyclone: Southwest Indian Ocean and the South Pacific east of 160°E.
  • Cyclone (unofficially): South Atlantic Ocean

There are many regional names for tropical cyclones, including Bagyo in the Philippines and Taino in Haiti.

Etymology

The word typhoon has two possible origins:

  • From the Chinese 大風 (daaih fūng (Cantonese); dà fēng (Mandarin)) which means "great wind". (The Chinese term as 颱風 táifēng, and 台風 taifu in Japanese, has an independent origin traceable variously to 風颱, 風篩 or 風癡 hongthai, going back to Song 宋 (960-1278) and Yuan 元(1260-1341) dynasties. The first record of the character 颱 appeared in 1685's edition of Summary of Taiwan 臺灣記略).
  • From Urdu, Persian or Arabic ţūfān (طوفان) < Greek tuphōn (Τυφών).

Portuguese tufão is also related to typhoon. See tuphōn for more information.

The word hurricane is derived from the name of a native Caribbean Amerindian storm god, Huracan, via Spanish huracán.

The word cyclone is from the Greek "κύκλος", meaning "circle." An Egyptian word Cykline meaning to "to spin" has been cited as a possible origin. [citation needed]

Mechanics of tropical cyclones

Hurricanes form when the energy released by the condensation of moisture in rising air causes a positive feedback loop. The air heats up, rising further, which leads to more condensation. The air flowing out of the top of this “chimney” drops towards the ground, forming powerful winds.

Structurally, a tropical cyclone is a large, rotating system of clouds, wind and thunderstorms. Its primary energy source is the release of the heat of condensation from water vapor condensing at high altitudes, the heat ultimately derived from the sun. Therefore, a tropical cyclone can be thought of as a giant vertical heat engine supported by mechanics driven by physical forces such as the rotation and gravity of the Earth. Continued condensation leads to higher winds, continued evaporation, and continued condensation, feeding back into itself. This gives rise to factors that give the system enough energy to be self-sufficient and cause a positive feedback loop where it can draw more energy as long as the source of heat, warm water, remains. Factors such as a continued lack of equilibrium in air mass distribution would also give supporting energy to the cyclone. The orbital revolution of the Earth causes the system to spin, an effect known as the Coriolis force, giving it a cyclone characteristic and affecting the trajectory of the storm.

The factors to form a tropical cyclone include a pre-existing weather disturbance, warm tropical oceans, moisture, and relatively light winds aloft. If the right conditions persist and allow it to create a feedback loop by maximizing the energy intake possible, for example, such as high winds to increase the rate of evaporation, they can combine to produce the violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods associated with this phenomenon.

Condensation as a driving force is what primarily distinguishes tropical cyclones from other meteorological phenomena, and because this is strongest in a tropical climate, this defines the initial domain of the tropical cyclone. By contrast, mid-latitude cyclones, for example, draw their energy mostly from pre-existing horizontal temperature gradients in the atmosphere. In order to continue to drive its heat engine, a tropical cyclone must remain over warm water, which provides the atmospheric moisture needed. The evaporation of this moisture is accelerated by the high winds and reduced atmospheric pressure in the storm, resulting in a positive feedback loop. As a result, when a tropical cyclone passes over land, its strength diminishes rapidly.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimate that a hurricane releases heat energy at the rate of 50 to 200 trillion watts -- about the amount of energy released by exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes [1].

While the most obvious motion of clouds is toward the center, tropical cyclones also develop an upper-level (high-altitude) outward flow of clouds. These originate from air that has released its moisture and is expelled at high altitude through the "chimney" of the storm engine. This outflow produces high, thin cirrus clouds that spiral away from the center. The high cirrus clouds may be the first signs of an approaching hurricane.

Formation

Waves in the trade winds in the Atlantic Ocean—areas of converging winds that move along the same track as the prevailing wind—create instabilities in the atmosphere that may lead to the formation of hurricanes.

The formation of tropical cyclones is the topic of extensive ongoing research, and is still not fully understood. Five factors are necessary to make tropical cyclone formation possible:

  1. Sea surface temperatures above 26.5 degrees Celsius (79.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to at least a depth of 50 meters (164 feet). The moisture in the air above the warm water is the energy source for tropical cyclones.
  2. Upper-atmosphere conditions conducive to thunderstorm formation. Temperature in the atmosphere must decrease quickly with height, and the mid-troposphere must be relatively moist.
  3. A pre-existing weather disturbance. This is most frequently provided by tropical waves—non-rotating areas of thunderstorms that move through tropical oceans.
  4. A distance of approximately 10 degrees or more from the equator, so that the Coriolis effect is strong enough to initiate the cyclone's rotation. (2004's Hurricane Ivan was the strongest storm to form closer than 10 degrees from the equator; it started forming at 9.7 degrees north.)
  5. Low vertical wind shear (change in wind speed or direction over height). High wind shear can break apart the vertical structure of a tropical cyclone.

Tropical cyclones occasionally form despite not meeting these conditions.

Only specific weather disturbances can result in tropical cyclones. These include:

  1. Tropical waves, or easterly waves, which, as mentioned above, are westward moving areas of convergent winds. This often assists in the development of thunderstorms, which can develop into tropical cyclones. Most tropical cyclones form from these. A similar phenomenon to tropical waves are West African disturbance lines, which are squally lines of convection that form over Africa and move into the Atlantic.
  2. Tropical upper tropospheric troughs, which are cold-core upper level lows. A warm-core tropical cyclone may result when one of these (on occasion) works down to the lower levels and produces deep convection.
  3. Decaying frontal boundaries may occasionally stall over warm waters and produce lines of active convection. If a low level circulation forms under this convection, it may develop into a tropical cyclone.

Times of formation

Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity peaks in late summer when water temperatures are warmest. However, each particular basin has its own seasonal patterns.

In the North Atlantic, a distinct hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September. The statistical peak of the North Atlantic hurricane season is September 10. The Northeast Pacific has a broader period of activity, but in a similar timeframe to the Atlantic. The Northwest Pacific sees tropical cyclones year-round, with a minimum in February and a peak in early September. In the North Indian basin, storms are most common from April to December, with peaks in May and November.

In the Southern Hemisphere, tropical cyclone activity begins in late October and ends in May. Southern Hemisphere activity peaks in mid-February to early March.

Worldwide, an average of 80 tropical cyclones form each year.

Locations of formation

Most tropical cyclones form in a worldwide band of thunderstorm activity called the Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

Nearly all of them form between 10 and 30 degrees of the equator and 87% form within 20 degrees of it. Because the Coriolis effect initiates and maintains tropical cyclone rotation, such cyclones almost never form or move within about 10 degrees of the equator [2], where the Coriolis effect is weakest. However, it is possible for tropical cyclones to form within this boundary if there is another source of initial rotation. These conditions are extremely rare, and such storms are believed to form at most once per century. Hurricane Ivan of 2004 developed within 10 degrees of the equator. A combination of a pre-existing disturbance, upper level divergence and a monsoon-related cold spell led to Typhoon Vamei at only 1.5 degrees north of the equator in 2001. It is estimated that such conditions occur only once every 400 years.

Major basins

There are seven main basins of tropical cyclone formation:

  • North Atlantic Basin: The most-studied of all tropical basins, it includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical cyclone formation here varies widely from year to year, ranging from over twenty to one per year. The average is about ten. The United States Atlantic coast, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands and Bermuda are frequently affected by storms in this basin. Venezuela, the south-east of Canada and Atlantic "Macaronesian" islands are also occasionally affected. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) based in Miami, Florida, issues forecasts for storms for all nations in the region; the Canadian Hurricane Centre, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, also issues forecasts and warnings for storms expected to affect Canadian territory and waters. Hurricanes that strike Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean island nations, often do intense damage, as hurricanes are deadlier over warmer water. Additionally, they can hit the coast of the U.S., especially Florida, North Carolina, the U.S. Gulf Coast and occasionally New Jersey, New York and New England (usually hurricanes weaken to tropical storms before they reach these northern regions). The coast of Atlantic Canada receives hurricane landfalls on rare occasion, such as Hurricane Juan in 2003. Many of the more intense Atlantic storms are Cape Verde-type hurricanes, which form off the west coast of Africa near the Cape Verde islands.
  • Western North Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm activity in this region frequently affects China, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan, but also many other countries in South-East Asia, such as Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia, plus numerous Oceanian islands. This is by far the most active basin, accounting for one-third of all tropical cyclone activity in the world. The eastern coasts of Taiwan and Philippines also have the highest tropical cyclone landfall frequency in the world. National meteorology organizations and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) are responsible for issuing forecasts and warnings in this basin.
  • Eastern North Pacific Ocean: This is the second most active basin in the world, and the most dense (a large number of storms for a small area of ocean). Storms that form here can affect western Mexico, Hawaii, northern Central America, and on extremely rare occasions, California. In the U.S., the Central Pacific Hurricane Center is responsible for forecasting the western part of this area while the National Hurricane Center is responsible for the eastern part.
  • South Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical activity in this region largely affects Australia and Oceania, and is forecast by Australia and Papua New Guinea.
  • Northern Indian Ocean: This basin is divided into two areas, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, with the Bay of Bengal dominating (5 to 6 times more activity). This basin's season has an interesting double peak; one in April and May before the onset of the monsoon, and another in October and November just after. Hurricanes which form in this basin have historically cost the most lives — most notably, the 1970 Bhola cyclone killed 200,000. Nations affected by this basin include India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, and Pakistan, and all of these countries issue regional forecasts and warnings. Rarely, a tropical cyclone formed in this basin will affect the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Southeastern Indian Ocean: Tropical activity in this region affects Australia and Indonesia, and is forecast by those nations.
  • Southwestern Indian Ocean: This basin is the least understood, due to a lack of historical data. Cyclones forming here impact Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, and Kenya, and these nations issue forecasts and warnings for the basin.

Unusual formation areas

Hurricane Vince on October 9, 2005 at 2300 UTC near the Madeira Islands.

The following areas spawn tropical cyclones only very rarely.

  • South Atlantic Ocean: A combination of cooler waters, the lack of an ITCZ, and wind shear makes it very difficult for the South Atlantic to support tropical activity. However, three tropical cyclones have been observed here — a weak tropical storm in 1991 off the coast of Africa, Cyclone Catarina (sometimes also referred to as Aldonça), which made landfall in Brazil in 2004 at Category 1 strength, and a smaller storm in January 2004, east of Salvador, Brazil. The January storm is thought to have reached tropical storm intensity based on scatterometre winds.
  • Central North Pacific: Shear in this area of the Pacific Ocean severely limits tropical development. However, this region is commonly frequented by tropical cyclones that form in the much more favorable Eastern North Pacific Basin.
  • Eastern South Pacific: Tropical cyclone formation is rare in this region; when they do form, it is frequently linked to El Niño episodes. Most of the storms that enter this region formed farther west in the Southwest Pacific. They affect the islands of Polynesia in exceptional instances.
  • Mediterranean Sea: Storms which appear similar to tropical cyclones in structure sometimes occur in the Mediterranean basin. Such cyclones formed in September 1947, September 1969, January 1982, September 1983, and January 1995. However, there is debate on whether these storms were tropical in nature.
  • Northeastern Atlantic Ocean: In October 2005, Hurricane Vince formed near Madeira, then moved northeastward, passing south of the Portuguese south coast, and made landfall in southwestern Spain as a tropical depression. Vince's origin was the northeasternmost in the eastern Atlantic ever recorded, and Vince was the first storm in recorded history to reach the Iberian Peninsula as a tropical cyclone, i.e. before being transformed into an extratropical low or absorbed into other systems of low pressure.
  • Australia: SW Pacific Basin includes the eastern part of Australia and the Fiji area.
  • Australia: SE Indian Basin includes the eastern part of the Indian ocean and the northern and western part of the Australian basin.
  • Southern South China Sea Tropical cyclones normally do not develop in the Southern South China Sea due to its close proximity to the equator. Areas within ten degrees laditude of the equator do not experience a significant coriolis force, a vital ingredient in tropical cyclone formation. However, in December 2001, Typhoon Vamei formed in the Southern South China Sea and made landfall in Malaysia. It caused flooding in southern Malaysia and some damage in Singapore. It formed from a thunderstorm formation in Borneo that moved into the South China Sea.
  • The Great Lakes A storm system that appeared similar to a tropical cyclone formed in 1996 on Lake Huron it formed an eye and could have breifly been sub-tropical.

Average Season

Structure and classification

Structure of a hurricane

A strong tropical cyclone consists of the following components.

  • Surface low: All tropical cyclones rotate around an area of low atmospheric pressure near the Earth's surface. The pressures recorded at the centers of tropical cyclones are among the lowest that occur on Earth's surface at sea level.
  • Warm core: Tropical cyclones are characterized and driven by the release of large amounts of latent heat of condensation as moist air is carried upwards and its water vapor condenses. This heat is distributed vertically, around the center of the storm. Thus, at any given altitude (except close to the surface where water temperature dictates air temperature) the environment inside the cyclone is warmer than its outer surroundings.
  • Central Dense Overcast (CDO): The Central Dense Overcast is a dense shield of very intense thunderstorm activity that make up the inner portion of the hurricane. This contains the eye wall, and the eye itself. The classic hurricane contains a symmetrical CDO, which means that it is perfectly circular and round on all sides.
  • Eye: A strong tropical cyclone will harbor an area of sinking air at the center of circulation. Weather in the eye is normally calm and free of clouds (however, the sea may be extremely violent). Eyes are home to the coldest temperatures of the storm at the surface, and the warmest temperatures at the upper levels. The eye is normally circular in shape, and may range in size from 8 km to 200 km (5 miles to 125 miles) in diameter. In weaker cyclones, the CDO covers the circulation center, resulting in no visible eye.
  • Eyewall: A band around the eye of greatest wind speed, where clouds reach highest and precipitation is heaviest. The heaviest wind damage occurs where a hurricane's eyewall passes over land.
  • Outflow: The upper levels of a tropical cyclone feature winds headed away from the center of the storm with an anticyclonic rotation. Winds at the surface are strongly cyclonic, weaken with height, and eventually reverse themselves. Tropical cyclones owe this unique characteristic to the warm core at the center of the storm.

Intensities of tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones are classified into three main groups: tropical depressions, tropical storms, and a third group whose name depends on the region.

A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of less than 17 metres per second (33 knots, 38 mph, or 62 km/h). It has no eye, and does not typically have the spiral shape of more powerful storms. It is already becoming a low-pressure system, however, hence the name "depression".

A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds between 17 and 33 meters per second (34–63 knots, 39–73 mph, or 62–117 km/h). At this point, the distinctive cyclonic shape starts to develop, though an eye is usually not present. Government weather services assign first names to systems that reach this intensity (thus the term named storm).

At hurricane and typhoon intensity, a tropical cyclone tends to develop an eye, an area of relative calm (and lowest atmospheric pressure) at the center of the circulation. The eye is often visible in satellite images as a small, circular, cloud-free spot. Surrounding the eye is the eyewall, an area about 10 to 50 miles (16 to 80 kilometers) wide in which the strongest thunderstorms and winds circulate around the storm's center.

The circulation of clouds around a cyclone's center imparts a distinct spiral shape to the system. Bands or arms may extend over great distances as clouds are drawn toward the cyclone. The direction of the cyclonic circulation depends on the hemisphere; it is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Maximum sustained winds in the strongest tropical cyclones have been measured at more than 85 m/s (165 knots, 190 mph, 305 km/h). Intense, mature hurricanes can sometimes exhibit an inward curving of the eyewall top that resembles a football stadium: this phenomenon is thus sometimes referred to as stadium effect.

Eyewall replacement cycles naturally occur in intense tropical cyclones. When cyclones reach peak intensity they usually - but not always - have an eyewall and radius of maximum winds that contract to a very small size, around 5 to 15 miles. At this point, some of the outer rainbands may organize into an outer ring of thunderstorms that slowly moves inward and robs the inner eyewall of its needed moisture and momentum. During this phase, the tropical cyclone is weakening (i.e. the maximum winds die off a bit and the central pressure goes up). Eventually the outer eyewall replaces the inner one completely and the storm can be the same intensity as it was previously or, in some cases, even stronger.

Categories and ranking

Hurricanes are ranked according to their maximum winds using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. A Category 1 storm has the lowest maximum winds, a Category 5 hurricane has the highest. The rankings are not absolute in terms of effects. Lower-category storms can inflict greater damage than higher-category storms, depending on factors such as local terrain and total rainfall. For instance, a Category 2 hurricane that strikes a major urban area will likely do more damage than a large Category 5 hurricane that strikes a mostly rural region. In fact, tropical systems of less than hurricane strength can produce significant damage and human casualties, especially from flooding and landslides.

The National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as Major Hurricanes. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies typhoons with wind speeds of at least 150 mi/h (67 m/s or 241 km/h, equivalent to a strong Category 4 storm) as Super Typhoons.

The definition of sustained winds recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and used by most weather agencies is that of a 10-minute average. The U.S. weather service defines sustained winds based on 1-minute average speed measured about 10 meters (33 ft) above the surface.

Other storm systems

Many other forms of cyclone can form in nature. Several of these relate to the formation or dissipation of tropical cyclones.

Extratropical cyclone

An extratropical cyclone is a storm that derives energy from horizontal temperature differences, which are typical in higher latitudes. A tropical cyclone can become extratropical as it moves toward higher latitudes if its energy source changes from heat released by condensation to differences in temperature between air masses; more rarely, an extratropical cyclone can transform into a subtropical storm, and from there into a tropical cyclone. From space, extratropical storms have a characteristic "comma-shaped" cloud pattern. Extratropical cyclones can also be dangerous because their low-pressure centers cause powerful winds.

Subtropical storm

A subtropical cyclone is a weather system that has some characteristics of a tropical cyclone and some characteristics of an extratropical cyclone. They can form in a wide band of latitude, from the equator to 50°. Although subtropical storms rarely attain hurricane-force winds, they may become tropical in nature as their core warms.

European windstorms

In the United Kingdom and Europe, some severe northeast Atlantic cyclonic depressions are referred to as "hurricanes," even though they rarely originate in the tropics. These European windstorms can generate hurricane-force winds but are not given individual names. However, two powerful extratropical cyclones that ravaged France, Germany, and the United Kingdom in December 1999, "Lothar" and "Martin", were named due to their unexpected power (equivalent to a category 1 or 2 hurricane). In British Shipping Forecasts, winds of force 12 on the Beaufort scale are described as "hurricane force."

Movement and track

Large-scale winds

Although tropical cyclones are large systems generating enormous energy, their movements over the earth's surface are often compared to that of leaves carried along by a stream. That is, large-scale winds—the streams in the earth's atmosphere—are responsible for moving and steering tropical cyclones. The path of motion is referred to as a tropical cyclone's track.

The major force affecting the track of tropical systems in all areas are winds circulating around high-pressure areas. Over the North Atlantic Ocean, tropical systems are steered generally westward by the east-to-west winds on the south side of the Bermuda High, a persistent high-pressure area over the North Atlantic. Also, in the area of the North Atlantic where hurricanes form, trade winds, which are prevailing westward-moving wind currents, steer tropical waves (precursors to tropical depressions and cyclones) westward from off the African coast toward the Caribbean and North America.

Coriolis effect

The earth's rotation also imparts an acceleration (termed the Coriolis Acceleration or Coriolis Effect). This acceleration causes cyclonic systems to turn towards the poles in the absence of strong steering currents (i.e. in the north, the northern part of the cyclone has winds to the west, and the Coriolis force pulls them slightly north. The southern part is pulled south, but since it is closer to the equator, the Coriolis force is a bit weaker there). Thus, tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere, which commonly move west in the beginning, normally turn north (and are then usually blown east), and cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere are deflected south, if no strong pressure systems are counteracting the Coriolis Acceleration. The Coriolis acceleration also initiates cyclonic rotation, but it is not the driving force that brings this rotation to high speeds. (Much of that is due to the conservation of angular momentum - air is drawn in from an area much larger than the cyclone such that the tiny angular velocity of that air will be magnified greatly when the distance to the storm center shrinks.)

Interaction with high and low pressure systems

Finally, when a tropical cyclone moves into higher latitude, its general track around a high-pressure area can be deflected significantly by winds moving toward a low-pressure area. Such a track direction change is termed recurve. A hurricane moving from the Atlantic toward the Gulf of Mexico, for example, will recurve to the north and then northeast if it encounters winds blowing northwestward toward a high-pressure system passing over North Africa. Many tropical cyclones along the coast. East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico are eventually forced toward the northeast by high-pressure areas which move from west to east over North Africa.

Forecasting

Hurricane Epsilon strengthened and organized in the Central North Atlantic Ocean despite highly unfavorable conditions. This unusual system defied most NHC forecasts and demonstrated the difficulties of predicting tropical cyclones.

Because of the forces that affect tropical cyclone tracks, accurate track predictions depend on determining the position and strength of high- and low-pressure areas, and predicting how those areas will change during the life of a tropical system.

With their 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. High-speed computers and sophisticated simulation software allow forecasters to produce computer models that forecast tropical cyclone tracks based on the future position and strength of high- and low-pressure systems. But while track forecasts have become more accurate than 20 years ago, scientists say they are less skillful at predicting the intensity of tropical cyclones. They attribute the lack of improvement in intensity forecasting to the complexity of tropical systems and an incomplete understanding of factors that affect their development.

Landfall

Officially, "landfall" is when a storm's center (the center of the eye, not its edge) reaches land. Naturally, storm conditions may be experienced on the coast and inland well before landfall. In fact, for a storm moving inland, the landfall area experiences half the storm before the actual landfall. For emergency preparedness, actions should be timed from when a certain wind speed will reach land, not from when landfall will occur.

For a list of notable and unusual landfalling hurricanes, see list of notable tropical cyclones.

Dissipation

A tropical cyclone can cease to have tropical characteristics in several ways:

  • It moves over land, thus depriving it of the warm water it needs to power itself, and quickly loses strength. Most strong storms lose their strength very rapidly after landfall, and become disorganized areas of low pressure within a day or two. There is, however, a chance they could regenerate if they manage to get back over open warm water. If a storm is over mountains for even a short time, it can rapidly lose its structure. However, many storm fatalities occur in mountainous terrain, as the dying storm unleashes torrential rainfall which can lead to deadly floods and mudslides.
  • It remains in the same area of ocean for too long, drawing heat off of the ocean surface until it becomes too cool to support the storm. Without warm surface water, the storm cannot survive.
  • It experiences wind shear, causing the convection to lose direction and the heat engine to break down.
  • It can be weak enough to be consumed by another area of low pressure, disrupting it and joining to become a large area of non-cyclonic thunderstorms. (Such, however, can strengthen the non-tropical system as a whole.)
  • It enters colder waters. This does not necessarily mean the death of the storm, but the storm will lose its tropical characteristics. These storms are extratropical cyclones.
  • An outer eye wall forms (typically around 50 miles from the center of the storm), choking off the convection toward the inner eye wall. Such weakening is generally temporary unless it meets other conditions above.

Even after a tropical cyclone is said to be extratropical or dissipated, it can still have tropical storm force (or occasionally hurricane force) winds and drop several inches of rainfall. When a tropical cyclone reaches higher latitudes or passes over land, it may merge with weather fronts or develop into a frontal cyclone, also called extratropical cyclone. In the Atlantic ocean, such tropical-derived cyclones of higher latitudes can be violent and may occasionally remain at hurricane-force wind speeds when they reach Europe as a European windstorm.

Artificial dissipation

In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States government attempted to weaken hurricanes in its Project Stormfury by seeding selected storms with silver iodide. It was thought that the seeding would cause supercooled water in the outer rainbands to freeze, causing the inner eyewall to collapse and thus reducing the winds. The winds of Hurricane Debbie dropped as much as 30 percent, but then regained their strength after each of two seeding forays. In an earlier episode, disaster struck when a hurricane east of Jacksonville, Florida, was seeded, promptly changed its course, and smashed into Savannah, Georgia[citation needed]. Because there was so much uncertainty about the behavior of these storms, the federal government would not approve seeding operations unless the hurricane had a less than 10 percent chance of making landfall within 48 hours. The project was dropped after it was discovered that eyewall replacement cycles occur naturally in strong hurricanes, casting doubt on the result of the earlier attempts. Today it is known that silver iodide seeding is not likely to have an effect because the amount of supercooled water in the rainbands of a tropical cyclone is too low.[3]

Other approaches have been suggested over time, including cooling the water under a tropical cyclone by towing icebergs into the tropical oceans; dropping large quantities of ice into the eye at very early stages so that latent heat is absorbed by ice at the entrance (storm cell perimeter bottom) instead of heat energy being converted to kinetic energy at high altitudes vertically above; covering the ocean in a substance that inhibits evaporation; or blasting the cyclone apart with nuclear weapons. These approaches all suffer from the same flaw: tropical cyclones are simply too large for any of them to be practical [4].

However, it has been suggested by some that we can change the course of a storm during its early stages of formation, (detailed by an article, Controlling Hurricanes, Scientific American, 2005), such as using satellite to alter the environmental conditions or, more realistically, spreading degradable film of oil over the ocean, which prevent water vapor from fueling the storm.

Monitoring, observation and tracking

Intense tropical cyclones pose a particular observation challenge. As they are a dangerous oceanic phenomenon, weather stations are rarely available on the site of the storm itself. Surface level observations are generally available only if the storm is passing over an island or a coastal area, or it has overtaken an unfortunate ship. Even in these cases, real-time measurement taking is generally possible only in the periphery of the cyclone, where conditions are less catastrophic.

It is however possible to take in-situ measurements, in real-time, by sending specially equipped reconnaissance flights into the cyclone. In the Atlantic basin, these flights are regularly flown by US government hurricane hunters [5]. The aircraft used are WC-130 Hercules and WP-3D Orions, both four-engine turboprop cargo aircraft. These aircraft fly directly into the cyclone and take direct and remote-sensing measurements. The aircraft also launch GPS dropsondes inside the cyclone. These sondes measure temperature, humidity, pressure, and especially winds between flight level and the ocean's surface.

A new era in hurricane observation began when a remotely piloted Aerosonde, a small drone aircraft, was flown through Tropical Storm Ophelia as it passed Virginia's Eastern Shore during the 2005 hurricane season. This demonstrated a new way to probe the storms at low altitudes that human pilots seldom dare[6].

Tropical cyclones far from land are tracked by weather satellites capturing visible and infrared images from space, usually at half-hour to quarter-hour intervals. As a storm approaches land, it can be observed by land-based Doppler radar. Radar plays a crucial role around landfall because it shows a storm's location and intensity minute by minute.

Recently, academic researchers have begun to deploy mobile weather stations fortified to withstand hurricane-force winds. The two largest programs are the Florida Coastal Monitoring Program [7] and the Wind Engineering Mobile Instrumented Tower Experiment [8]. During landfall, the NOAA Hurricane Research Division compares and verifies data from reconnaissance aircraft (which includes wind speed data taken at flight level and from GPS dropwindsondes and stepped-frequency microwave radiometers) to wind speed data transmitted in real time from weather stations erected near or at the coast. The National Hurricane Center uses the data to evaluate conditions at landfall and to verify forecasts.

Naming of tropical cyclones

Storms reaching tropical storm strength (winds exceeding 17 metres per second, 38 mph, or 62 km/h) are given names, to assist in recording insurance claims, to assist in warning people of the coming storm, and to further indicate that these are important storms that should not be ignored. These names are taken from lists which vary from region to region and are drafted a few years ahead of time. The lists are decided upon, depending on the regions, either by committees of the World Meteorological Organization (called primarily to discuss many other issues), or by national weather services involved in the forecasting of the storms.

Each year, the names of particularly destructive storms (if there were any) are "retired" and new names are chosen to take their place.

Naming schemes

The WMO's Regional Association IV Hurricane Committee selects the names for Atlantic Basin and central and eastern Pacific storms.

In the Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific regions, feminine and masculine names are assigned alternately in alphabetic order during a given season. The "gender" of the season's first storm also alternates year to year: the first storm of an odd-numbered year gets feminine name, while the first storm of an even-numbered year gets a masculine name. Six lists of names are prepared in advance, and each list is used once every six years. Five letters — "Q," "U," "X," "Y" and "Z" — are omitted in the Atlantic; only "Q" and "U" are omitted in the Eastern Pacific, so the format accommodates 21 or 24 named storms in a hurricane season. Names of storms may be retired by request of affected countries if they have caused extensive damage. The affected countries then decide on a replacement name of the same gender (and if possible, the same ethnicity) as the name being retired.

If there are more than 21 named storms in an Atlantic season or 24 named storms in an Eastern Pacific season, the rest are named as letters from the Greek alphabet: the 22nd storm is called "Alpha," the 23rd "Beta," and so on. This was first necessary during the 2005 season when the names Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta were all used. There is no precedent for a storm named with a Greek Letter causing enough damage to justify retirement; how this situation would be handled is unknown.

Further information: List of notable tropical cyclones

In the Central North Pacific region, the name lists are maintained by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Four lists of Hawaiian names are selected and used in sequential order without regard to year.

In the Western North Pacific, name lists are maintained by the WMO Typhoon Committee. Five lists of names are used, with each of the 14 nations on the Typhoon Committee submitting two names to each list. Names are used in the order of the countries' English names, sequentially without regard to year. Japan Meteorological Agency uses a secondary naming system in Western North Pacific that numbers a typhoon on the order it formed, resetting on December 31 of every year. The Typhoon Songda in September 2004 is internally called the typhoon number 18 and is recorded as the typhoon 0418 with 04 taken from the year.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology maintains three lists of names, one for each of the Western, Northern and Eastern Australian regions. There are also Fiji region and Papua New Guinea region names.

The Seychelles Meteorological Service maintains a list for the Southwest Indian Ocean.

History of tropical cyclone naming

For several hundred years after Europeans arrived in the West Indies, hurricanes there were named after the saint's day on which the storm struck.

The practice of giving storms people's names was introduced by Clement Lindley Wragge, an Anglo-Australian meteorologist at the end of the 19th century. He used feminine names, the names of politicians who had offended him, and names from history and mythology.

During World War II, tropical cyclones were given feminine names, mainly for the convenience of the forecasters and in a somewhat ad hoc manner. For a few years afterwards, names from the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet were used.

The modern naming convention came about in response to the need for unambiguous radio communications with ships and aircraft. As transportation traffic increased and meteorological observations improved in number and quality, several typhoons, hurricanes or cyclones might have to be tracked at any given time. To help in their identification, beginning in 1953 the practice of systematically naming tropical storms and hurricanes was initiated by the United States National Hurricane Center, and is now maintained by the WMO.

In keeping with the common English language practice of referring to inanimate objects such as boats, trains, etc., using the female pronoun "she," names used were exclusively feminine. The first storm of the year was assigned a name beginning with the letter "A", the second with the letter "B", etc. However, since tropical storms and hurricanes are primarily destructive, some considered this practice sexist. The National Weather Service responded to these concerns in 1979 with the introduction of masculine names to the nomenclature. It was also in 1979 that the practice of preparing a list of names before the season began. The names are usually of English, French or Spanish origin in the Atlantic basin, since these are the three predominant languages of the region where the storms typically form.

Renaming of tropical cyclones

In most cases, a tropical cyclone retains its name throughout its life. However, a tropical cyclone may be renamed in several occasions.

1. A tropical storm enters the southwestern Indian Ocean from the east

In the south Indian Ocean, RSMC la Reunion names a tropical storm once it crosses 90°E from the east, even though it has been named. In this case, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) will put two names together with a hyphen.

Examples: Bertie-Alvin (2005)

2. A tropical storm crosses from the Atlantic into the Pacific, or vice versa, before 2001

It was the policy of National Hurricane Center (NHC) to rename a tropical storm which crossed from Atlantic into Pacific, or vice versa.

Examples: Cesar-Douglas (1996), Joan-Miriam (1988)

In 2001, when Iris moved across Central America, NHC mentioned that Iris would retain its name if it regenerated in the Pacific. However, the Pacific tropical depression developed from the remnants of Iris was called Fifteen-E instead. The depression later became tropical storm Manuel.

NHC explained that Iris had dissipated as a tropical cyclone prior to entering the eastern North Pacific basin; the new depression was properly named Fifteen-E, rather than Iris.

In 2003, when Larry was about to move across Mexico, NHC attempted to provide greater clarity:

Up to now, there has been no tropical cyclone retaining its name during the passage from Atlantic to Pacific, or vice versa.

3. Uncertainties of the continuation

When the remnants of a tropical cyclone redevelop, the redeveloping system will be treated as a new tropical cyclone if there are uncertainties of the continuation, even though the original system may contribute to the forming of the new system.

Example: TD 10-TD 12 (2005)

4. Human faults

Sometimes, there may be human faults leading to the renaming of a tropical cyclone.

Example: Ken-Lola (1989)

Effects

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi. Katrina was the costliest tropical cyclone in United States history.

A mature tropical cyclone can release heat at a rate upwards of 6x1014 watts [9]. Tropical cyclones on the open sea cause large waves, heavy rain, and high winds, disrupting international shipping and sometimes sinking ships. However, the most devastating effects of a tropical cyclone occur when they cross coastlines, making landfall. A tropical cyclone moving over land can do direct damage in four ways.

  • High winds - Hurricane strength winds can damage or destroy vehicles, buildings, bridges, etc. High winds also turn loose debris into flying projectiles, making the outdoor environment even more dangerous.
  • Storm surge - Tropical cyclones cause an increase in sea level, which can flood coastal communities. This is the worst effect, as cyclones claim 80% of their victims when they first strike shore.
  • Heavy rain - The thunderstorm activity in a tropical cyclone causes intense rainfall. Rivers and streams flood, roads become impassable, and landslides can occur.
  • Tornado activity - The broad rotation of a hurricane often spawns tornadoes. While these tornadoes are normally not as strong as their non-tropical counterparts, they can still cause tremendous damage.
Graphic illustrating storm surge

Often, the secondary effects of a tropical cyclone are equally damaging. They include:

  • Disease - The wet environment in the aftermath of a tropical cyclone, combined with the destruction of sanitation facilities and a warm tropical climate, can induce epidemics of disease which claim lives long after the storm passes. One of the most common post-hurricane injuries is stepping on a nail in storm debris, leading to a risk of tetanus or other infection. Infections of cuts and bruises can be greatly amplified by wading in sewage-polluted water.
  • Power outages - Tropical cyclones often knock out power to tens or hundreds of thousands of people (or occasionally millions if a large urban area is affected), prohibiting vital communication and hampering rescue efforts.
  • Transportation difficulties - Tropical cyclones often destroy key bridges, overpasses, and roads, complicating efforts to transport food, clean water, and medicine to the areas that need it.

Beneficial effects of tropical cyclones

Although cyclones take an enormous toll in lives and personal property, they may bring much-needed precipitation to otherwise dry regions. Hurricane Allen ended the Texas drought of 1980. Hurricane Camille averted drought conditions and ended water deficits along much of its path. Hurricane Floyd did the same thing in New Jersey in 1999. The destruction caused by Camille on the Gulf coast spurred redevelopment as well, greatly increasing local property values. On the other hand, disaster response officials point out that redevelopment encourages more people to live in clearly dangerous areas subject to future deadly storms (as shown by the effects of Hurricane Katrina). Of course, many former residents and businesses do relocate to inland areas away from the threat of future hurricanes as well.

Hurricanes also help to maintain global heat balance by moving warm, moist tropical air to the mid-latitudes and polar regions. James Lovelock has also hypothesised that by raising nutrients from the sea floor to surface layers of the ocean, hurricanes also increase biological activity in areas where life would be difficult through nutrient loss in the deeper reaches of the ocean.

Long term trends in cyclone activity

While the number of storms in the Atlantic has increased since 1995, there seems to be no signs of a global trend; the annual global number of tropical cyclones remains about 90 ± 10. [10].

Atlantic storms are certainly becoming more destructive financially, since five of the ten most expensive storms in United States history have occurred since 1990. This can to a large extent be attributed to the number of people living in susceptible coastal area, and massive development in the region since the last surge in Atlantic hurricane activity in the 1960s.

Often in part because of the threat of hurricanes, many coastal regions had sparse population between major ports until the advent of automobile tourism; therefore, the most severe portions of hurricanes striking the coast often went unmeasured. The combined effects of ship destruction and remote landfall severely limit the number of intense hurricanes in the official record before the era of hurricane reconnaissance aircraft and satellite meteorology. Although the record shows a distinct increase in the number and strength of intense hurricanes, therefore, experts regard the early data as suspect.

The number and strength of Atlantic hurricanes may undergo a 50-70-year cycle. Although more common since 1995, few above-normal hurricane seasons occurred during 1970-1994. Destructive hurricanes struck frequently from 1926-60, including many major New England hurricanes. A record 21 Atlantic tropical storms formed in 1933, only recently exceeded in 2005. Tropical hurricanes occurred infrequently during the seasons of 1900-1925; however, many intense storms formed 1870-1899. During the 1887 season, 19 tropical storms formed, of which a record 4 occurred after 1 November and 11 strengthened into hurricanes. Few hurricanes occurred in the 1840s to 1860s; however, many struck in the early 1800s, including an 1821 storm that made a direct hit on New York City which some historical weather experts say may have been as high as Category 4 in strength.

These unusually active hurricane seasons predated satellite coverage of the Atlantic basin that now enables forecasters to see all tropical cyclones. Before the satellite era began in 1961, tropical storms or hurricanes went undetected unless a ship reported a voyage through the storm. The official record, therefore, probably misses many storms in which no ship experienced gale-force winds, recognized it as a tropical storm (as opposed to a high-latitude extra-tropical cyclone, a tropical wave, or a brief squall), returned to port, and reported the experience.

Global warming?

A common question is whether global warming can or will cause more frequent or more fierce tropical cyclones. So far, virtually all climatologists seem to agree that a single storm, or even a single season, cannot clearly be attributed to a single cause such as global warming or natural variation [11]. The question is thus whether a statistical trend in frequency or strength of cyclones exists. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in their Hurricane FAQ that "it is highly unlikely that global warming has (or will) contribute to a drastic change in the number or intensity of hurricanes." [12].

Regarding strength, a similar conclusion was consensus until recently. This consensus is now questioned by K. Emanuel (2005) (Nature 436, 686–688, preprint). In this article, K. Emanuel states that the potential hurricane destructiveness, a measure which combines strength, duration, and frequency of hurricanes, "is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multidecadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming." K. Emanuel further predicts "a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century".

Along similar lines, P.J. Webster et al. published an article in Science 309, 1844-1846 examining "changes in tropical cyclone number, duration, and intensity" over the last 35 years, a period where satellite data is available. The main finding is that while the number of cyclones "decreased in all basins except the North Atlantic during the past decade" there is a "large increase in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5". I.e., while the number of cyclones decreased overall, the number of very strong cyclones increased.

Both Emanuel and Webster et al., consider the sea surface temperature as of key importance in the development of cyclones. The question then becomes: what caused the observed increase in sea surface temperatures? In the Atlantic, it could be due to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), a 50–70 year pattern of temperature variability. K. Emanuel, however, found the recent temperature increase was outside the range of previous oscillations. So, both a natural variation (such as the AMO) and global warming could have made contributions to the warming of the tropical Atlantic over the past decades, but an exact attribution is so far impossible to make. [13]

While Emanuel analyzes total annual energy dissipation, Webster et al. analyze the slightly less relevant percentage of hurricanes in the combined categories 4 and 5, and find that this percentage has increased in each of six distinct hurricane basins: North Atlantic, North East and North West Pacific, South Pacific, and North and South Indian. Because each individual basin may be subject to intra-basin oscillations similar to the AMO, any single-basin statistic remains open to question. But if the local oscillations are not synchronized by some as-yet-unidentified global oscillation, the independence of the basins allows joint statistical tests that are more powerful than any set of individual basin tests. Unfortunately Webster et al. do not undertake any such test.

Under the assumption that the six basins are statistically independent except for the effect of global warming, Stoft has carried out the obvious paired t-test and found that the null-hypothesis of no impact of global warming on the percentage of category 4 & 5 hurricanes can be rejected at the 0.1% level—there is only a 1 in 1000 chance of simultaneously finding the observed six increases in the cat-4&5 percentages. This statistic needs refining because the variables being tested are not normally distributed with equal variances, but it may provide the best evidence yet that the impact of global warming on hurricane intensity has been detected.

Notable cyclones

Tropical cyclones that cause massive destruction are fortunately rare, but when they happen, they can cause damage in the thousands of lives and the billions of dollars.

The deadliest tropical cyclone on record hit the densely populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) on November 13, 1970, likely as a Category 3 tropical cyclone. It killed an estimated 500,000 people. The North Indian basin has historically been the deadliest, with three storms since 1900 killing over 100,000 people, each in Bangladesh. [14]

In the Atlantic basin, at least two storms have killed more than 10,000 people. Hurricane Mitch during the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season caused severe flooding and mudslides in Honduras, killing about 18,000 people and changing the landscape enough that entirely new maps of the country were needed. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which made landfall at Galveston, Texas as an estimated Category 4 storm, killed 8,000 to 12,000 people, and remains the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. The deadliest Atlantic storm on record was the Great Hurricane of 1780, which killed about 22,000 people in the Antilles.

The relative sizes of Typhoon Tip, Tropical Cyclone Tracy, and the United States.

The most intense storm on record was Typhoon Tip in the northwestern Pacific Ocean in 1979, which had a minimum pressure of only 870 mbar and maximum sustained wind speeds of 190 mph (305 km/h). It weakened before striking Japan. Tip does not hold the record for fastest sustained winds in a cyclone alone; Typhoon Keith in the Pacific, and Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Allen in the North Atlantic currently share this record as well [15], although recorded wind speeds that fast are suspect, since most monitoring equipment is likely to be destroyed by such conditions.

Camille was the only storm to actually strike land while at that intensity, making it, with 190 mph (305 km/h) sustained winds and 210 mph (335 km/h) gusts, the strongest tropical cyclone of record to ever hit land. For comparison, these speeds are encountered at the center of a strong tornado, but Camille was much larger and long-lived than any tornado.

Typhoon Nancy in 1961 had recorded wind speeds of 213 mph (343 km/h), but recent research indicates that wind speeds from the 1940s to the 1960s were gauged too high, and this is no longer considered the fastest storm on record. [16] Similarly, a gust caused by Typhoon Paka over Guam was recorded at 236 mph (380 km/h); however, this reading had to be discarded, since the anemometer was damaged by the storm. Had it been confirmed, this would be the strongest non-tornadic wind ever recorded at the Earth's surface. (The current record is held by a non-hurricane wind registering 231 mph (372 km/h) at Mount Washington in New Hampshire.) [17]

Tip was also the largest cyclone on record, with a circulation 1,350 miles (2,170 km) wide. The average tropical cyclone is only 300 miles (480 km) wide. The smallest storm on record, 1974's Cyclone Tracy, which devastated Darwin, Australia, was roughly 30 miles (50 km) wide. [18]

Hurricane Iniki in 1992 was the most powerful storm to strike Hawaii in recorded history, hitting Kauai as a Category 4 hurricane, killing six and causing $3 billion in damage.

The first recorded South Atlantic hurricane

On March 26, 2004, Cyclone Catarina became the first recorded South Atlantic hurricane. Previous South Atlantic cyclones in 1991 and 2004 reached only tropical storm strength. Hurricanes may have formed there prior to 1960 but were not observed until weather satellites began monitoring the Earth's oceans in that year.

A tropical cyclone need not be particularly strong to cause memorable damage; Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001 had its name retired for killing 41 people and causing over $5 billion damage in East Texas, even though it never became a hurricane; the damage from Allison was mostly due to flooding, not winds or storm surge. Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 was only a tropical storm when it made a glancing blow on Haiti, but the flooding and mudslides it caused killed over 3,000 people.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. The U.S. National Hurricane Center, in its August review of the tropical storm season stated that Katrina is probably the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Its death toll is above 1300, mainly from flooding and the aftermath. It is also estimated to have caused an estimated $40 to $120 billion in damages. Before that, the most costly (in money, not human terms) storm had been 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which caused an estimated $25 billion in damage in Florida.


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Before that, the most costly (in money, not human terms) storm had been 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which caused an estimated $25 billion in damage in Florida. Bush. It is also estimated to have caused an estimated $40 to $120 billion in damages. This would mean that he is descended from Edward I of England, and thus is a distant relative of George W. Its death toll is above 1300, mainly from flooding and the aftermath. Burke's Peerage speculated that General Colin Powell's great-great-great-grandmother was an illegitimate child of Sir Eyre Coote — the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica — and an African slave. history. Powell underwent surgery in 2003 for prostate cancer and made a full recovery.

National Hurricane Center, in its August review of the tropical storm season stated that Katrina is probably the worst natural disaster in U.S. The character of General Casey, played by Paul Winfield, in the 1996 film Mars Attacks! is widely regarded to have been based on Colin Powell.[10] [11]. The U.S. Powell is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award for his contributions to Africa. Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 was only a tropical storm when it made a glancing blow on Haiti, but the flooding and mudslides it caused killed over 3,000 people. In 2005 Powell received the Bishop John T.

A tropical cyclone need not be particularly strong to cause memorable damage; Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001 had its name retired for killing 41 people and causing over $5 billion damage in East Texas, even though it never became a hurricane; the damage from Allison was mostly due to flooding, not winds or storm surge. The shield can be shown surrounded by the insignia of an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB), an award the General received after the first Gulf War. Hurricanes may have formed there prior to 1960 but were not observed until weather satellites began monitoring the Earth's oceans in that year. The lion may be an allusion to Scotland. Previous South Atlantic cyclones in 1991 and 2004 reached only tropical storm strength. The swords and stars refer to the former general's career, as does the crest, which is the badge of the 101st Airborne (which he served as a brigade commander in the mid-1970's). On March 26, 2004, Cyclone Catarina became the first recorded South Atlantic hurricane. And in an escrol over the same this motto, "DEVOTED TO PUBLIC SERVICE.".

Hurricane Iniki in 1992 was the most powerful storm to strike Hawaii in recorded history, hitting Kauai as a Category 4 hurricane, killing six and causing $3 billion in damage. Azure, two swords in saltire points downwards between four mullets Argent, on a chief of the Second a lion passant Gules. On a wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest the head of an American bald-headed eagle erased Proper. [18]. Blazoned as:. The smallest storm on record, 1974's Cyclone Tracy, which devastated Darwin, Australia, was roughly 30 miles (50 km) wide. Scotland's King of Arms was asked to make the grant as the family of Colin Powell's mother is from Aberdeenshire. The average tropical cyclone is only 300 miles (480 km) wide. Technically the grant was to Powell's father (a British subject) to be passed on by descent.

Tip was also the largest cyclone on record, with a circulation 1,350 miles (2,170 km) wide. The Coat of Arms of Colin Powell was granted by the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh on February 4, 2004. (The current record is held by a non-hurricane wind registering 231 mph (372 km/h) at Mount Washington in New Hampshire.) [17]. On December 15, 1993, Colin Powell was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Had it been confirmed, this would be the strongest non-tornadic wind ever recorded at the Earth's surface. Several schools and other institutions have been named in his honor and he holds honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country. [16] Similarly, a gust caused by Typhoon Paka over Guam was recorded at 236 mph (380 km/h); however, this reading had to be discarded, since the anemometer was damaged by the storm. Powell's civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal.

Typhoon Nancy in 1961 had recorded wind speeds of 213 mph (343 km/h), but recent research indicates that wind speeds from the 1940s to the 1960s were gauged too high, and this is no longer considered the fastest storm on record. In addition to being reported in the press (though generally, the expletive was censored in the US press), the quote was used by James Naughtie in his book, "The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency". For comparison, these speeds are encountered at the center of a strong tornado, but Camille was much larger and long-lived than any tornado. Powell was the subject of controversy in 2004 when, in a conversation with British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, he referred to neocons within the Bush administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld and others) as "fucking crazies"[9]. Camille was the only storm to actually strike land while at that intensity, making it, with 190 mph (305 km/h) sustained winds and 210 mph (335 km/h) gusts, the strongest tropical cyclone of record to ever hit land. However, Powell is opposed to allowing gays to serve openly in the military and played a crucial role in derailing President Clinton's 1993 plans on that matter. Tip does not hold the record for fastest sustained winds in a cyclone alone; Typhoon Keith in the Pacific, and Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Allen in the North Atlantic currently share this record as well [15], although recorded wind speeds that fast are suspect, since most monitoring equipment is likely to be destroyed by such conditions. He is pro-choice regarding abortion, in support of affirmative action, and in favor of "reasonable" gun control.

It weakened before striking Japan. A moderate Republican, Powell is well known for his willingness to support liberal or centrist causes. The most intense storm on record was Typhoon Tip in the northwestern Pacific Ocean in 1979, which had a minimum pressure of only 870 mbar and maximum sustained wind speeds of 190 mph (305 km/h). He is reportedly being considered to become a member of the Harvard Corporation after Conrad Harper. The deadliest Atlantic storm on record was the Great Hurricane of 1780, which killed about 22,000 people in the Antilles. On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the White House of former Secretaries of Defense and State to discuss United States foreign policy with Bush administration officals. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which made landfall at Galveston, Texas as an estimated Category 4 storm, killed 8,000 to 12,000 people, and remains the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. [citation needed].

Hurricane Mitch during the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season caused severe flooding and mudslides in Honduras, killing about 18,000 people and changing the landscape enough that entirely new maps of the country were needed. In September 2005, Powell slammed the US response to Hurricane Katrina. In the Atlantic basin, at least two storms have killed more than 10,000 people. In July 2005, Powell joined Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm, with the title of "strategic limited partner.". [14]. Staff members on the committee believe that Bolton was probably spying on Powell, his senior advisers and other officials reporting to him on diplomatic initiatives that Bolton opposed." [8]. The North Indian basin has historically been the deadliest, with three storms since 1900 killing over 100,000 people, each in Bangladesh. It added that "The foreign relations committee has discovered that Bolton made a highly unusual request and gained access to 10 intercepts by the National Security Agency..

It killed an estimated 500,000 people. On 28 April The Guardian reported that Powell was in fact "conducting a campaign" against Bolton because of the acrimonious battles they had had whilst working together, which among other things had resulted in Powell cutting Bolton out of talks with Iran and Libya after complaints about Bolton's involvement from the British. The deadliest tropical cyclone on record hit the densely populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) on November 13, 1970, likely as a Category 3 tropical cyclone. The decision was viewed as potentially dealing significant damage to Bolton's chances of confirmation. Tropical cyclones that cause massive destruction are fortunately rare, but when they happen, they can cause damage in the thousands of lives and the billions of dollars. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations (Powell had clashed with him during Bush's first term). This statistic needs refining because the variables being tested are not normally distributed with equal variances, but it may provide the best evidence yet that the impact of global warming on hurricane intensity has been detected. After retiring from the role of Secretary of State, Powell returned to private life, but in April 2005 he telephoned Republican senators Lincoln Chafee and Chuck Hagel to express his opposition to the nomination of John R.

Under the assumption that the six basins are statistically independent except for the effect of global warming, Stoft has carried out the obvious paired t-test and found that the null-hypothesis of no impact of global warming on the percentage of category 4 & 5 hurricanes can be rejected at the 0.1% level—there is only a 1 in 1000 chance of simultaneously finding the observed six increases in the cat-4&5 percentages. He appeared on the networks that were broadcasting New Year's Eve specials and talked about this honor, as well as being a native of New York City, ABC, CNN, [7] and Fox News Channel. do not undertake any such test. On December 31, 2004, Powell rang in the New Year by throwing the ball in Times Square with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ushering in the year 2005. Unfortunately Webster et al. The accusation came at the same time as the settlement of an agreement between the IAEA, the European Union and Iran. But if the local oscillations are not synchronized by some as-yet-unidentified global oscillation, the independence of the basins allows joint statistical tests that are more powerful than any set of individual basin tests. The New York Times indicated that the accusation was founded on a single, unreliable source.

Because each individual basin may be subject to intra-basin oscillations similar to the AMO, any single-basin statistic remains open to question. In mid-November, Colin Powell stated that he had information indicating that Iran was adapting missiles for a nuclear delivery system. analyze the slightly less relevant percentage of hurricanes in the combined categories 4 and 5, and find that this percentage has increased in each of six distinct hurricane basins: North Atlantic, North East and North West Pacific, South Pacific, and North and South Indian. News of his resignation spurred mixed reactions from politicians around the world—some upset at the loss of a statesman seen as a moderating factor within the Bush administration, but others hoping for Powell's successor to wield more influence within the cabinet, and thus be a more credible negotiator. While Emanuel analyzes total annual energy dissipation, Webster et al. Bush nominated National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, as Powell's successor. [13]. The following day, George W.

So, both a natural variation (such as the AMO) and global warming could have made contributions to the warming of the tropical Atlantic over the past decades, but an exact attribution is so far impossible to make. He announced that he would stay on until his replacement's confirmation by Congress. Emanuel, however, found the recent temperature increase was outside the range of previous oscillations. Colin Powell announced his resignation on Monday, November 15, 2004. K. Claiming that he was unaware that some intelligence officials questioned the information prior to his presentation, Powell pushed for reform in the intelligence community, including the creation of a national intelligence director who would assure that "what one person knew, everyone else knew". The question then becomes: what caused the observed increase in sea surface temperatures? In the Atlantic, it could be due to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), a 50–70 year pattern of temperature variability. On September 13, 2004, Powell testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, [6] acknowledging that the sources who provided much of the information in his February 2003 UN presentation were "wrong" and that it was "unlikely" that any stockpiles of WMDs would be found.

Both Emanuel and Webster et al., consider the sea surface temperature as of key importance in the development of cyclones. After Saddam Hussein had been deposed, Powell's new role was to once again establish a working international coalition, this time to assist in the rebuilding of post-war Iraq. I.e., while the number of cyclones decreased overall, the number of very strong cyclones increased. At times, infighting between the Powell-led State Department, the Rumsfeld-led Defense Department, and Vice President Dick Cheney's office had the effect of paralyzing the administration on crucial issues, such as what actions to take regarding Iran and North Korea. The main finding is that while the number of cyclones "decreased in all basins except the North Atlantic during the past decade" there is a "large increase in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5". Because Powell is seen as more moderate than most figures in the administration, he has been spared many of the attacks that have been leveled at more controversial advocates of the invasion, such as Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. published an article in Science 309, 1844-1846 examining "changes in tropical cyclone number, duration, and intensity" over the last 35 years, a period where satellite data is available. It's painful now." [4][5].

Webster et al. It was painful. Along similar lines, P.J. He went on to say, "it will always be a part of my record. Emanuel further predicts "a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century". In September 2005, Powell was asked about the speech during an interview with Barbara Walters and responded that it was a "blot" on his record. Emanuel states that the potential hurricane destructiveness, a measure which combines strength, duration, and frequency of hurricanes, "is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multidecadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming." K. Reports have indicated that Powell himself was skeptical of the evidence presented to him.

In this article, K. [3] The administration is currently under fire for having acted on faulty intelligence. Emanuel (2005) (Nature 436, 686–688, preprint). Some of the claims were taken out, but others were left in, such as claims based on the yellowcake forgery. This consensus is now questioned by K. State Department analysts had found dozens of factual problems in drafts of the speech. Regarding strength, a similar conclusion was consensus until recently. A Senate report on intelligence failures would later detail the intense debate that went on behind the scenes on what to include in Powell's speech.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in their Hurricane FAQ that "it is highly unlikely that global warming has (or will) contribute to a drastic change in the number or intensity of hurricanes." [12]. While Powell's oratorical skills and personal conviction were acknowledged, there was an overall rejection of the evidence Powell offered that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The U.S. Citing "numerous" anonymous Iraqi defectors, Powell asserted that "there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more." [2] Powell also stated that there was "no doubt in my mind" that Saddam was working to obtain key components to produce nuclear weapons. The question is thus whether a statistical trend in frequency or strength of cyclones exists. To this end, Powell addressed a plenary session of the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003 to argue in favor of military action. So far, virtually all climatologists seem to agree that a single storm, or even a single season, cannot clearly be attributed to a single cause such as global warming or natural variation [11]. Powell's chief role was to garner international support for a multi-national coalition to mount the invasion.

A common question is whether global warming can or will cause more frequent or more fierce tropical cyclones. Powell was placed at the forefront of this diplomatic campaign. The official record, therefore, probably misses many storms in which no ship experienced gale-force winds, recognized it as a tropical storm (as opposed to a high-latitude extra-tropical cyclone, a tropical wave, or a brief squall), returned to port, and reported the experience. He was also successful in persuading Bush to take the case of Iraq to the United Nations, and in moderating other initiatives. Before the satellite era began in 1961, tropical storms or hurricanes went undetected unless a ship reported a voyage through the storm. The main concession Powell wanted before he would offer his full support for the Iraq War was the involvement of the international community in the invasion, as opposed to the unilateral approach some of the hawks were advocating. These unusually active hurricane seasons predated satellite coverage of the Atlantic basin that now enables forecasters to see all tropical cyclones. He had often clashed with the hawks in the administration, who were reportedly planning an Iraq invasion even before the September 11 attacks—an insight supported by testimony by former terorrism czar Richard Clarke in front of the 9/11 Commission.

Few hurricanes occurred in the 1840s to 1860s; however, many struck in the early 1800s, including an 1821 storm that made a direct hit on New York City which some historical weather experts say may have been as high as Category 4 in strength. However, Powell eventually agreed to go along with the Bush administration's determination to remove Hussein. During the 1887 season, 19 tropical storms formed, of which a record 4 occurred after 1 November and 11 strengthened into hurricanes. As was the case in the days leading up to the Persian Gulf War, Powell was initially opposed to a forcible overthrow of Hussein, preferring to continue a policy of containment. Tropical hurricanes occurred infrequently during the seasons of 1900-1925; however, many intense storms formed 1870-1899. In a press statement on February 24, 2001 he had said that sanctions against Iraq had prevented the development of any weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein. A record 21 Atlantic tropical storms formed in 1933, only recently exceeded in 2005. More recently, Powell has come under fire for his role in building the case for the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

Destructive hurricanes struck frequently from 1926-60, including many major New England hurricanes. Later investigations by human rights organizations and the United Nations confirmed the Israeli estimate for the number of Palestinians, including militants, dead in the fighting, placing the figure at 52. Although more common since 1995, few above-normal hurricane seasons occurred during 1970-1994. These critical comments came at a time when details of the events at Jenin were still unclear. The number and strength of Atlantic hurricanes may undergo a 50-70-year cycle. In April 2002, he visited the site of the alleged Jenin Massacre in the occupied West Bank and later said while testifying to Congress, "I've seen no evidence that would suggest a massacre took place." Recalling the My Lai episode, critics condemned Powell as a "company man" unwilling to confront uncomfortable realities or rock the boat. Although the record shows a distinct increase in the number and strength of intense hurricanes, therefore, experts regard the early data as suspect. However, some of his actions during the War on Terrorism have been controversial, prompting heavy criticism from some parties.

The combined effects of ship destruction and remote landfall severely limit the number of intense hurricanes in the official record before the era of hurricane reconnaissance aircraft and satellite meteorology. After September 11, Powell's job became of critical importance in managing America's relationships with foreign countries in order to secure a stable coalition in the War on Terrorism. Often in part because of the threat of hurricanes, many coastal regions had sparse population between major ports until the advent of automobile tourism; therefore, the most severe portions of hurricanes striking the coast often went unmeasured. Secretary of State in 30 years, which may have contributed to the declining image of the United States abroad. This can to a large extent be attributed to the number of people living in susceptible coastal area, and massive development in the region since the last surge in Atlantic hurricane activity in the 1960s. However, over the course of his tenure he traveled less than any other U.S. Atlantic storms are certainly becoming more destructive financially, since five of the ten most expensive storms in United States history have occurred since 1990. Powell's great asset was his tremendous popularity among the American people.

[10]. As Secretary of State in the Bush administration, Powell was perceived as moderate, his pragmatism serving as a balance to more ideology-driven hawks, such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his colleagues Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. While the number of storms in the Atlantic has increased since 1995, there seems to be no signs of a global trend; the annual global number of tropical cyclones remains about 90 ± 10. Bush eventually won, and Colin Powell was appointed as the first African American Secretary of State. James Lovelock has also hypothesised that by raising nutrients from the sea floor to surface layers of the ocean, hurricanes also increase biological activity in areas where life would be difficult through nutrient loss in the deeper reaches of the ocean. At the same time, it was often hinted that Powell might be appointed to a position within a Democratic administration, should Al Gore win. Hurricanes also help to maintain global heat balance by moving warm, moist tropical air to the mid-latitudes and polar regions. Bush, serving as a key foreign policy advisor to the campaign.

Of course, many former residents and businesses do relocate to inland areas away from the threat of future hurricanes as well. Presidential Election Powell campaigned for Texas Governor George W. On the other hand, disaster response officials point out that redevelopment encourages more people to live in clearly dangerous areas subject to future deadly storms (as shown by the effects of Hurricane Katrina). In the 2000 U.S. The destruction caused by Camille on the Gulf coast spurred redevelopment as well, greatly increasing local property values. The affair caused some controversy as it called into question the Powells' impartiality in the matter. Hurricane Floyd did the same thing in New Jersey in 1999. Powell's stock in the company reportedly increased in value by US$4 million.

Hurricane Camille averted drought conditions and ended water deficits along much of its path. Powell's son, Michael, was a member of the Federal Communications Commission at the time, and he was the only commissioner who advocated letting the AOL-Time Warner deal go through without scrutiny. Hurricane Allen ended the Texas drought of 1980. Colin Powell was serving on the board of America Online when it announced its intention to merge with Time Warner in January, 2000. Although cyclones take an enormous toll in lives and personal property, they may bring much-needed precipitation to otherwise dry regions. Powell often wears the logo of the organization in the form of a red wagon pin on his lapel. They include:. In 1997 Powell founded America's Promise with the objective of helping children from all socioeconomic sectors.

Often, the secondary effects of a tropical cyclone are equally damaging. Presidential Election, but Powell declined, it is rumored, at the advice of his wife. A tropical cyclone moving over land can do direct damage in four ways. He was touted as a possible opponent of Bill Clinton in the 1996 U.S. However, the most devastating effects of a tropical cyclone occur when they cross coastlines, making landfall. Powell eventually declared himself a Republican, and began to campaign for Republican candidates. Tropical cyclones on the open sea cause large waves, heavy rain, and high winds, disrupting international shipping and sometimes sinking ships. Many Democrats admired his moderate stance on military matters, while many Republicans saw him as a great asset associated with the successes of past Republican administrations.

A mature tropical cyclone can release heat at a rate upwards of 6x1014 watts [9]. Colin Powell's experience in military matters made him a very popular figure with both American political parties. Example: Ken-Lola (1989). In addition, he pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad. Sometimes, there may be human faults leading to the renaming of a tropical cyclone. Following his retirement from the armed services, Powell wrote a best-selling memoir, My American Journey. Human faults. Another controversial part of his career is that Powell also had an operational role in the illegal Iran-Contra affair, acting as the initial coordinator for selling missiles to Iran in exchange for American hostages.

4. Powell's response was largely seen as a cover-up; he wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent.". Example: TD 10-TD 12 (2005). During the Vietnam War, Powell, as deputy assistant chief of staff at the Americal (the 23rd Infantry Division) with the rank of Major, was charged with investigating a detailed letter by Tom Glen (a soldier from the 11th Light Infantry Brigade), which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai massacre. When the remnants of a tropical cyclone redevelop, the redeveloping system will be treated as a new tropical cyclone if there are uncertainties of the continuation, even though the original system may contribute to the forming of the new system. Powell's successful career within the military has not been entirely free of controversy, however. Uncertainties of the continuation. Thus, while initially opposing the plan that would become Operation Desert Storm, Powell nevertheless supported it once it became official policy, and gave it his full dedication.

3. As an officer, Powell also valued loyalty very highly, and as a result, did not usually undermine policies he disagreed with after they were implemented. Up to now, there has been no tropical cyclone retaining its name during the passage from Atlantic to Pacific, or vice versa. Bush Administration officials who advocated the deployment of troops to the Middle East to force Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to withdraw his armies from neighbouring Kuwait, believing the dictator could instead be contained through sanctions and a buildup of forces around Kuwait, a plan soon dubbed Powell doctrine. In 2003, when Larry was about to move across Mexico, NHC attempted to provide greater clarity:. He was opposed to the majority of George H.W. NHC explained that Iris had dissipated as a tropical cyclone prior to entering the eastern North Pacific basin; the new depression was properly named Fifteen-E, rather than Iris. Charles Gettys, the commander of the Americal Division.

The depression later became tropical storm Manuel. Gen. However, the Pacific tropical depression developed from the remnants of Iris was called Fifteen-E instead. He single-handedly rescued several men from a burning helicopter, one of them being Maj. In 2001, when Iris moved across Central America, NHC mentioned that Iris would retain its name if it regenerated in the Pacific. It was also during his Vietnam service, his second tour, that Powell was decorated for bravery. Examples: Cesar-Douglas (1996), Joan-Miriam (1988). The massive infection nearly killed him and it shortened his first tour.

It was the policy of National Hurricane Center (NHC) to rename a tropical storm which crossed from Atlantic into Pacific, or vice versa. Powell served a tour in Vietnam as a military advisor, and was badly injured when he stepped on a bamboo "punji stick". A tropical storm crosses from the Atlantic into the Pacific, or vice versa, before 2001. He felt the leadership was very ineffective. 2. Powell mentioned in his autobiography that he is haunted by the nightmare of the Vietnam War. Examples: Bertie-Alvin (2005). He rarely advocated military intervention as the first solution to an international dispute, and instead usually prescribed diplomacy and containment.

In this case, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) will put two names together with a hyphen. During these events, Powell earned a reputation as being a very dovish military leader. In the south Indian Ocean, RSMC la Reunion names a tropical storm once it crosses 90°E from the east, even though it has been named. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. A tropical storm enters the southwestern Indian Ocean from the east. His last military assignment, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. 1. At the age of 49, Powell left the army to become Ronald Reagan's last National Security Advisor, from 1987 to 1989.

However, a tropical cyclone may be renamed in several occasions. Many of Powell's supporters have said this was pettiness and spite on Hudachek's part. In most cases, a tropical cyclone retains its name throughout its life. Hudachek said in an efficiency evaluation that Powell was a poor leader who should not be promoted. The names are usually of English, French or Spanish origin in the Atlantic basin, since these are the three predominant languages of the region where the storms typically form. It was there that he had a major clash with General John Hudachek his commander. It was also in 1979 that the practice of preparing a list of names before the season began. In the early 1980s, Powell served at Fort Carson, Colorado.

The National Weather Service responded to these concerns in 1979 with the introduction of masculine names to the nomenclature. Ward Churchill is one of those who has accused Powell of being reponsible for the 'cover-up'. However, since tropical storms and hurricanes are primarily destructive, some considered this practice sexist. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored." [1]. The first storm of the year was assigned a name beginning with the letter "A", the second with the letter "B", etc. I got there after My Lai happened. In keeping with the common English language practice of referring to inanimate objects such as boats, trains, etc., using the female pronoun "she," names used were exclusively feminine. Powell said to Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai.

To help in their identification, beginning in 1953 the practice of systematically naming tropical storms and hurricanes was initiated by the United States National Hurricane Center, and is now maintained by the WMO. On May 4, 2004, United States Secretary of State Colin L. As transportation traffic increased and meteorological observations improved in number and quality, several typhoons, hurricanes or cyclones might have to be tracked at any given time. Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Later, Powell's refutation would be called an act of "white-washing" the news of the Massacre, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. The modern naming convention came about in response to the need for unambiguous radio communications with ships and aircraft. He was then a US Army Major, charged with investigating the massacre. For a few years afterwards, names from the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet were used. Powell is connected with the My Lai Massacre.

During World War II, tropical cyclones were given feminine names, mainly for the convenience of the forecasters and in a somewhat ad hoc manner. Powell always professed, however, that what set Emerson apart was his great love of his soldiers and concern for their welfare. He used feminine names, the names of politicians who had offended him, and names from history and mythology. For example, he insisted his troops train only at night and made them repeatedly watch the television film Brian's Song to promote racial harmony. The practice of giving storms people's names was introduced by Clement Lindley Wragge, an Anglo-Australian meteorologist at the end of the 19th century. Emerson was somewhat eccentric personally. For several hundred years after Europeans arrived in the West Indies, hurricanes there were named after the saint's day on which the storm struck. Powell said he regarded this man as one of the most caring officers he ever served under.

The Seychelles Meteorological Service maintains a list for the Southwest Indian Ocean. As a young Lieutenant-Colonel serving in South Korea, for example, Powell was very close to General Henry "Gunfighter" Emerson. There are also Fiji region and Papua New Guinea region names. In his autobiography My American Journey, Powell mentioned several officers he served under that inspired and mentored him. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology maintains three lists of names, one for each of the Western, Northern and Eastern Australian regions. Powell obtained an MBA from George Washington University in 1971 and then served a White House fellowship under President Richard Nixon. The Typhoon Songda in September 2004 is internally called the typhoon number 18 and is recorded as the typhoon 0418 with 04 taken from the year. Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held a variety of command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star General.

Japan Meteorological Agency uses a secondary naming system in Western North Pacific that numbers a typhoon on the order it formed, resetting on December 31 of every year. Even after Powell became a four star general, he still kept on his desk a pen set that he won for a drill team competition. Names are used in the order of the countries' English names, sequentially without regard to year. This was the elite ROTC drill team named after General of the Army John Pershing. Five lists of names are used, with each of the 14 nations on the Typhoon Committee submitting two names to each list. Cadet Powell joined the Pershing Rifles. In the Western North Pacific, name lists are maintained by the WMO Typhoon Committee. He later described it as one of the happiest experiences of his life finding something he loved and could do well.

Four lists of Hawaiian names are selected and used in sequential order without regard to year. He later spoke of how he "found himself" when he joined ROTC. In the Central North Pacific region, the name lists are maintained by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. An indifferent student, Powell attended the City College of New York and obtained a degree in geology. There is no precedent for a storm named with a Greek Letter causing enough damage to justify retirement; how this situation would be handled is unknown. He wrote in his autobiography "Its the luck of the draw when you are given parents and I couldn't have been luckier". This was first necessary during the 2005 season when the names Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta were all used. Powell always spoke warmly of his parents as loving and hard working.

If there are more than 21 named storms in an Atlantic season or 24 named storms in an Eastern Pacific season, the rest are named as letters from the Greek alphabet: the 22nd storm is called "Alpha," the 23rd "Beta," and so on. His parents had immigrated from Jamaica. The affected countries then decide on a replacement name of the same gender (and if possible, the same ethnicity) as the name being retired. Colin Powell was born in The Bronx, New York City in 1937. Names of storms may be retired by request of affected countries if they have caused extensive damage. . Five letters — "Q," "U," "X," "Y" and "Z" — are omitted in the Atlantic; only "Q" and "U" are omitted in the Eastern Pacific, so the format accommodates 21 or 24 named storms in a hurricane season. As a general in the United States Army, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987–1989) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993).

Six lists of names are prepared in advance, and each list is used once every six years. Nominated by Bush on December 16, 2000 and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, Powell became the highest ranking African American government official in the history of the United States (now having been tied by his successor, Condoleezza Rice). The "gender" of the season's first storm also alternates year to year: the first storm of an odd-numbered year gets feminine name, while the first storm of an even-numbered year gets a masculine name. Bush. In the Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific regions, feminine and masculine names are assigned alternately in alphabetic order during a given season. Colin Luther Powell, KCB, (born April 5, 1937) was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving from January 20, 2001 to January 23, 2005 under President George W. The WMO's Regional Association IV Hurricane Committee selects the names for Atlantic Basin and central and eastern Pacific storms. Vietnam Gallantry Cross Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm.

Each year, the names of particularly destructive storms (if there were any) are "retired" and new names are chosen to take their place. Vietnam Campaign Medal. The lists are decided upon, depending on the regions, either by committees of the World Meteorological Organization (called primarily to discuss many other issues), or by national weather services involved in the forecasting of the storms. Army Staff Identification Badge. These names are taken from lists which vary from region to region and are drafted a few years ahead of time. Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge. Storms reaching tropical storm strength (winds exceeding 17 metres per second, 38 mph, or 62 km/h) are given names, to assist in recording insurance claims, to assist in warning people of the coming storm, and to further indicate that these are important storms that should not be ignored. Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.

The National Hurricane Center uses the data to evaluate conditions at landfall and to verify forecasts. Presidential Service Badge. During landfall, the NOAA Hurricane Research Division compares and verifies data from reconnaissance aircraft (which includes wind speed data taken at flight level and from GPS dropwindsondes and stepped-frequency microwave radiometers) to wind speed data transmitted in real time from weather stations erected near or at the coast. Parachutist Badge. The two largest programs are the Florida Coastal Monitoring Program [7] and the Wind Engineering Mobile Instrumented Tower Experiment [8]. Air Assault Badge. Recently, academic researchers have begun to deploy mobile weather stations fortified to withstand hurricane-force winds. Ranger Tab.

Radar plays a crucial role around landfall because it shows a storm's location and intensity minute by minute. Combat Infantryman Badge. As a storm approaches land, it can be observed by land-based Doppler radar. Army Service Ribbon. Tropical cyclones far from land are tracked by weather satellites capturing visible and infrared images from space, usually at half-hour to quarter-hour intervals. Army Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 3. This demonstrated a new way to probe the storms at low altitudes that human pilots seldom dare[6]. Vietnam Service Medal with one silver service star.

A new era in hurricane observation began when a remotely piloted Aerosonde, a small drone aircraft, was flown through Tropical Storm Ophelia as it passed Virginia's Eastern Shore during the 2005 hurricane season. National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star. These sondes measure temperature, humidity, pressure, and especially winds between flight level and the ocean's surface. Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters. The aircraft also launch GPS dropsondes inside the cyclone. Joint Service Commendation Medal. These aircraft fly directly into the cyclone and take direct and remote-sensing measurements. Air Medal.

The aircraft used are WC-130 Hercules and WP-3D Orions, both four-engine turboprop cargo aircraft. Purple Heart. In the Atlantic basin, these flights are regularly flown by US government hurricane hunters [5]. Bronze Star Medal. It is however possible to take in-situ measurements, in real-time, by sending specially equipped reconnaissance flights into the cyclone. Soldier's Medal. Even in these cases, real-time measurement taking is generally possible only in the periphery of the cyclone, where conditions are less catastrophic. Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster.

Surface level observations are generally available only if the storm is passing over an island or a coastal area, or it has overtaken an unfortunate ship. Defense Superior Service Medal. As they are a dangerous oceanic phenomenon, weather stations are rarely available on the site of the storm itself. Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster. Intense tropical cyclones pose a particular observation challenge. Defense Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters. However, it has been suggested by some that we can change the course of a storm during its early stages of formation, (detailed by an article, Controlling Hurricanes, Scientific American, 2005), such as using satellite to alter the environmental conditions or, more realistically, spreading degradable film of oil over the ocean, which prevent water vapor from fueling the storm. General: 4 April 1989.

These approaches all suffer from the same flaw: tropical cyclones are simply too large for any of them to be practical [4]. Lieutenant General: 1 July 1986. Other approaches have been suggested over time, including cooling the water under a tropical cyclone by towing icebergs into the tropical oceans; dropping large quantities of ice into the eye at very early stages so that latent heat is absorbed by ice at the entrance (storm cell perimeter bottom) instead of heat energy being converted to kinetic energy at high altitudes vertically above; covering the ocean in a substance that inhibits evaporation; or blasting the cyclone apart with nuclear weapons. Major General: 1 August 1983. Today it is known that silver iodide seeding is not likely to have an effect because the amount of supercooled water in the rainbands of a tropical cyclone is too low.[3]. Brigadier General: 1 June 1979. The project was dropped after it was discovered that eyewall replacement cycles occur naturally in strong hurricanes, casting doubt on the result of the earlier attempts. Colonel: 1 February 1976.

Because there was so much uncertainty about the behavior of these storms, the federal government would not approve seeding operations unless the hurricane had a less than 10 percent chance of making landfall within 48 hours. Lieutenant Colonel: 9 July 1970. In an earlier episode, disaster struck when a hurricane east of Jacksonville, Florida, was seeded, promptly changed its course, and smashed into Savannah, Georgia[citation needed]. Major: 24 May 1966. The winds of Hurricane Debbie dropped as much as 30 percent, but then regained their strength after each of two seeding forays. Captain: 2 June 1962. It was thought that the seeding would cause supercooled water in the outer rainbands to freeze, causing the inner eyewall to collapse and thus reducing the winds. First Lieutenant: 30 December 1959.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States government attempted to weaken hurricanes in its Project Stormfury by seeding selected storms with silver iodide. Second Lieutenant: 9 June 1957. In the Atlantic ocean, such tropical-derived cyclones of higher latitudes can be violent and may occasionally remain at hurricane-force wind speeds when they reach Europe as a European windstorm. When a tropical cyclone reaches higher latitudes or passes over land, it may merge with weather fronts or develop into a frontal cyclone, also called extratropical cyclone. Even after a tropical cyclone is said to be extratropical or dissipated, it can still have tropical storm force (or occasionally hurricane force) winds and drop several inches of rainfall.

A tropical cyclone can cease to have tropical characteristics in several ways:. For a list of notable and unusual landfalling hurricanes, see list of notable tropical cyclones. For emergency preparedness, actions should be timed from when a certain wind speed will reach land, not from when landfall will occur. In fact, for a storm moving inland, the landfall area experiences half the storm before the actual landfall.

Naturally, storm conditions may be experienced on the coast and inland well before landfall. Officially, "landfall" is when a storm's center (the center of the eye, not its edge) reaches land. They attribute the lack of improvement in intensity forecasting to the complexity of tropical systems and an incomplete understanding of factors that affect their development. But while track forecasts have become more accurate than 20 years ago, scientists say they are less skillful at predicting the intensity of tropical cyclones.

High-speed computers and sophisticated simulation software allow forecasters to produce computer models that forecast tropical cyclone tracks based on the future position and strength of high- and low-pressure systems. With their 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. Because of the forces that affect tropical cyclone tracks, accurate track predictions depend on determining the position and strength of high- and low-pressure areas, and predicting how those areas will change during the life of a tropical system. East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico are eventually forced toward the northeast by high-pressure areas which move from west to east over North Africa.

Many tropical cyclones along the coast. Such a track direction change is termed recurve. A hurricane moving from the Atlantic toward the Gulf of Mexico, for example, will recurve to the north and then northeast if it encounters winds blowing northwestward toward a high-pressure system passing over North Africa. Finally, when a tropical cyclone moves into higher latitude, its general track around a high-pressure area can be deflected significantly by winds moving toward a low-pressure area. (Much of that is due to the conservation of angular momentum - air is drawn in from an area much larger than the cyclone such that the tiny angular velocity of that air will be magnified greatly when the distance to the storm center shrinks.).

The Coriolis acceleration also initiates cyclonic rotation, but it is not the driving force that brings this rotation to high speeds. Thus, tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere, which commonly move west in the beginning, normally turn north (and are then usually blown east), and cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere are deflected south, if no strong pressure systems are counteracting the Coriolis Acceleration. The southern part is pulled south, but since it is closer to the equator, the Coriolis force is a bit weaker there). in the north, the northern part of the cyclone has winds to the west, and the Coriolis force pulls them slightly north.

This acceleration causes cyclonic systems to turn towards the poles in the absence of strong steering currents (i.e. The earth's rotation also imparts an acceleration (termed the Coriolis Acceleration or Coriolis Effect). Also, in the area of the North Atlantic where hurricanes form, trade winds, which are prevailing westward-moving wind currents, steer tropical waves (precursors to tropical depressions and cyclones) westward from off the African coast toward the Caribbean and North America. Over the North Atlantic Ocean, tropical systems are steered generally westward by the east-to-west winds on the south side of the Bermuda High, a persistent high-pressure area over the North Atlantic.

The major force affecting the track of tropical systems in all areas are winds circulating around high-pressure areas. The path of motion is referred to as a tropical cyclone's track.. That is, large-scale winds—the streams in the earth's atmosphere—are responsible for moving and steering tropical cyclones. Although tropical cyclones are large systems generating enormous energy, their movements over the earth's surface are often compared to that of leaves carried along by a stream.

In British Shipping Forecasts, winds of force 12 on the Beaufort scale are described as "hurricane force.". However, two powerful extratropical cyclones that ravaged France, Germany, and the United Kingdom in December 1999, "Lothar" and "Martin", were named due to their unexpected power (equivalent to a category 1 or 2 hurricane). These European windstorms can generate hurricane-force winds but are not given individual names. In the United Kingdom and Europe, some severe northeast Atlantic cyclonic depressions are referred to as "hurricanes," even though they rarely originate in the tropics.

Although subtropical storms rarely attain hurricane-force winds, they may become tropical in nature as their core warms. They can form in a wide band of latitude, from the equator to 50°. A subtropical cyclone is a weather system that has some characteristics of a tropical cyclone and some characteristics of an extratropical cyclone. Extratropical cyclones can also be dangerous because their low-pressure centers cause powerful winds.

From space, extratropical storms have a characteristic "comma-shaped" cloud pattern. A tropical cyclone can become extratropical as it moves toward higher latitudes if its energy source changes from heat released by condensation to differences in temperature between air masses; more rarely, an extratropical cyclone can transform into a subtropical storm, and from there into a tropical cyclone. An extratropical cyclone is a storm that derives energy from horizontal temperature differences, which are typical in higher latitudes. Several of these relate to the formation or dissipation of tropical cyclones.

Many other forms of cyclone can form in nature. weather service defines sustained winds based on 1-minute average speed measured about 10 meters (33 ft) above the surface. The U.S. The definition of sustained winds recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and used by most weather agencies is that of a 10-minute average.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies typhoons with wind speeds of at least 150 mi/h (67 m/s or 241 km/h, equivalent to a strong Category 4 storm) as Super Typhoons. The National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as Major Hurricanes. In fact, tropical systems of less than hurricane strength can produce significant damage and human casualties, especially from flooding and landslides. For instance, a Category 2 hurricane that strikes a major urban area will likely do more damage than a large Category 5 hurricane that strikes a mostly rural region.

Lower-category storms can inflict greater damage than higher-category storms, depending on factors such as local terrain and total rainfall. The rankings are not absolute in terms of effects. A Category 1 storm has the lowest maximum winds, a Category 5 hurricane has the highest. Hurricanes are ranked according to their maximum winds using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Eventually the outer eyewall replaces the inner one completely and the storm can be the same intensity as it was previously or, in some cases, even stronger. the maximum winds die off a bit and the central pressure goes up). During this phase, the tropical cyclone is weakening (i.e. At this point, some of the outer rainbands may organize into an outer ring of thunderstorms that slowly moves inward and robs the inner eyewall of its needed moisture and momentum.

When cyclones reach peak intensity they usually - but not always - have an eyewall and radius of maximum winds that contract to a very small size, around 5 to 15 miles. Eyewall replacement cycles naturally occur in intense tropical cyclones. Intense, mature hurricanes can sometimes exhibit an inward curving of the eyewall top that resembles a football stadium: this phenomenon is thus sometimes referred to as stadium effect. Maximum sustained winds in the strongest tropical cyclones have been measured at more than 85 m/s (165 knots, 190 mph, 305 km/h).

The direction of the cyclonic circulation depends on the hemisphere; it is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Bands or arms may extend over great distances as clouds are drawn toward the cyclone. The circulation of clouds around a cyclone's center imparts a distinct spiral shape to the system. Surrounding the eye is the eyewall, an area about 10 to 50 miles (16 to 80 kilometers) wide in which the strongest thunderstorms and winds circulate around the storm's center.

The eye is often visible in satellite images as a small, circular, cloud-free spot. At hurricane and typhoon intensity, a tropical cyclone tends to develop an eye, an area of relative calm (and lowest atmospheric pressure) at the center of the circulation. Government weather services assign first names to systems that reach this intensity (thus the term named storm). At this point, the distinctive cyclonic shape starts to develop, though an eye is usually not present.

A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds between 17 and 33 meters per second (34–63 knots, 39–73 mph, or 62–117 km/h). It is already becoming a low-pressure system, however, hence the name "depression". It has no eye, and does not typically have the spiral shape of more powerful storms. A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of less than 17 metres per second (33 knots, 38 mph, or 62 km/h).

Tropical cyclones are classified into three main groups: tropical depressions, tropical storms, and a third group whose name depends on the region. A strong tropical cyclone consists of the following components. The following areas spawn tropical cyclones only very rarely. There are seven main basins of tropical cyclone formation:.

It is estimated that such conditions occur only once every 400 years. A combination of a pre-existing disturbance, upper level divergence and a monsoon-related cold spell led to Typhoon Vamei at only 1.5 degrees north of the equator in 2001. Hurricane Ivan of 2004 developed within 10 degrees of the equator. These conditions are extremely rare, and such storms are believed to form at most once per century.

However, it is possible for tropical cyclones to form within this boundary if there is another source of initial rotation. Because the Coriolis effect initiates and maintains tropical cyclone rotation, such cyclones almost never form or move within about 10 degrees of the equator [2], where the Coriolis effect is weakest. Nearly all of them form between 10 and 30 degrees of the equator and 87% form within 20 degrees of it. Most tropical cyclones form in a worldwide band of thunderstorm activity called the Intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

Worldwide, an average of 80 tropical cyclones form each year. Southern Hemisphere activity peaks in mid-February to early March. In the Southern Hemisphere, tropical cyclone activity begins in late October and ends in May. In the North Indian basin, storms are most common from April to December, with peaks in May and November.

The Northwest Pacific sees tropical cyclones year-round, with a minimum in February and a peak in early September. The Northeast Pacific has a broader period of activity, but in a similar timeframe to the Atlantic. The statistical peak of the North Atlantic hurricane season is September 10. In the North Atlantic, a distinct hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September.

However, each particular basin has its own seasonal patterns. Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity peaks in late summer when water temperatures are warmest. These include:. Only specific weather disturbances can result in tropical cyclones.

Tropical cyclones occasionally form despite not meeting these conditions. Five factors are necessary to make tropical cyclone formation possible:. The formation of tropical cyclones is the topic of extensive ongoing research, and is still not fully understood. The high cirrus clouds may be the first signs of an approaching hurricane.

This outflow produces high, thin cirrus clouds that spiral away from the center. These originate from air that has released its moisture and is expelled at high altitude through the "chimney" of the storm engine. While the most obvious motion of clouds is toward the center, tropical cyclones also develop an upper-level (high-altitude) outward flow of clouds. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimate that a hurricane releases heat energy at the rate of 50 to 200 trillion watts -- about the amount of energy released by exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes [1].

As a result, when a tropical cyclone passes over land, its strength diminishes rapidly. The evaporation of this moisture is accelerated by the high winds and reduced atmospheric pressure in the storm, resulting in a positive feedback loop. In order to continue to drive its heat engine, a tropical cyclone must remain over warm water, which provides the atmospheric moisture needed. By contrast, mid-latitude cyclones, for example, draw their energy mostly from pre-existing horizontal temperature gradients in the atmosphere.

Condensation as a driving force is what primarily distinguishes tropical cyclones from other meteorological phenomena, and because this is strongest in a tropical climate, this defines the initial domain of the tropical cyclone. If the right conditions persist and allow it to create a feedback loop by maximizing the energy intake possible, for example, such as high winds to increase the rate of evaporation, they can combine to produce the violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods associated with this phenomenon. The factors to form a tropical cyclone include a pre-existing weather disturbance, warm tropical oceans, moisture, and relatively light winds aloft. The orbital revolution of the Earth causes the system to spin, an effect known as the Coriolis force, giving it a cyclone characteristic and affecting the trajectory of the storm.

Factors such as a continued lack of equilibrium in air mass distribution would also give supporting energy to the cyclone. This gives rise to factors that give the system enough energy to be self-sufficient and cause a positive feedback loop where it can draw more energy as long as the source of heat, warm water, remains. Continued condensation leads to higher winds, continued evaporation, and continued condensation, feeding back into itself. Therefore, a tropical cyclone can be thought of as a giant vertical heat engine supported by mechanics driven by physical forces such as the rotation and gravity of the Earth.

Its primary energy source is the release of the heat of condensation from water vapor condensing at high altitudes, the heat ultimately derived from the sun. Structurally, a tropical cyclone is a large, rotating system of clouds, wind and thunderstorms. [citation needed]. The word cyclone is from the Greek "κύκλος", meaning "circle." An Egyptian word Cykline meaning to "to spin" has been cited as a possible origin.

The word hurricane is derived from the name of a native Caribbean Amerindian storm god, Huracan, via Spanish huracán. See tuphōn for more information. Portuguese tufão is also related to typhoon. The word typhoon has two possible origins:.

There are many regional names for tropical cyclones, including Bagyo in the Philippines and Taino in Haiti. Terms used in weather reports for tropical cyclones that have surface winds over 64 knots (73.6 mph) or 32 m/s vary by region:. . While they can be highly destructive, tropical cyclones are an important part of the atmospheric circulation system, which moves heat from the equatorial region toward the higher latitudes.

In meteorology, a tropical cyclone (also referred to as a tropical depression, tropical storm, typhoon, or hurricane depending on strength and geographical context) is a type of low pressure system which generally forms in the tropics. Transportation difficulties - Tropical cyclones often destroy key bridges, overpasses, and roads, complicating efforts to transport food, clean water, and medicine to the areas that need it. Power outages - Tropical cyclones often knock out power to tens or hundreds of thousands of people (or occasionally millions if a large urban area is affected), prohibiting vital communication and hampering rescue efforts. Infections of cuts and bruises can be greatly amplified by wading in sewage-polluted water.

One of the most common post-hurricane injuries is stepping on a nail in storm debris, leading to a risk of tetanus or other infection. Disease - The wet environment in the aftermath of a tropical cyclone, combined with the destruction of sanitation facilities and a warm tropical climate, can induce epidemics of disease which claim lives long after the storm passes. While these tornadoes are normally not as strong as their non-tropical counterparts, they can still cause tremendous damage. Tornado activity - The broad rotation of a hurricane often spawns tornadoes.

Rivers and streams flood, roads become impassable, and landslides can occur. Heavy rain - The thunderstorm activity in a tropical cyclone causes intense rainfall. This is the worst effect, as cyclones claim 80% of their victims when they first strike shore. Storm surge - Tropical cyclones cause an increase in sea level, which can flood coastal communities.

High winds also turn loose debris into flying projectiles, making the outdoor environment even more dangerous. High winds - Hurricane strength winds can damage or destroy vehicles, buildings, bridges, etc. Such weakening is generally temporary unless it meets other conditions above. An outer eye wall forms (typically around 50 miles from the center of the storm), choking off the convection toward the inner eye wall.

These storms are extratropical cyclones. This does not necessarily mean the death of the storm, but the storm will lose its tropical characteristics. It enters colder waters. (Such, however, can strengthen the non-tropical system as a whole.).

It can be weak enough to be consumed by another area of low pressure, disrupting it and joining to become a large area of non-cyclonic thunderstorms. It experiences wind shear, causing the convection to lose direction and the heat engine to break down. Without warm surface water, the storm cannot survive. It remains in the same area of ocean for too long, drawing heat off of the ocean surface until it becomes too cool to support the storm.

However, many storm fatalities occur in mountainous terrain, as the dying storm unleashes torrential rainfall which can lead to deadly floods and mudslides. If a storm is over mountains for even a short time, it can rapidly lose its structure. There is, however, a chance they could regenerate if they manage to get back over open warm water. Most strong storms lose their strength very rapidly after landfall, and become disorganized areas of low pressure within a day or two.

It moves over land, thus depriving it of the warm water it needs to power itself, and quickly loses strength. Tropical cyclones owe this unique characteristic to the warm core at the center of the storm. Winds at the surface are strongly cyclonic, weaken with height, and eventually reverse themselves. Outflow: The upper levels of a tropical cyclone feature winds headed away from the center of the storm with an anticyclonic rotation.

The heaviest wind damage occurs where a hurricane's eyewall passes over land. Eyewall: A band around the eye of greatest wind speed, where clouds reach highest and precipitation is heaviest. In weaker cyclones, the CDO covers the circulation center, resulting in no visible eye. The eye is normally circular in shape, and may range in size from 8 km to 200 km (5 miles to 125 miles) in diameter.

Eyes are home to the coldest temperatures of the storm at the surface, and the warmest temperatures at the upper levels. Weather in the eye is normally calm and free of clouds (however, the sea may be extremely violent). Eye: A strong tropical cyclone will harbor an area of sinking air at the center of circulation. The classic hurricane contains a symmetrical CDO, which means that it is perfectly circular and round on all sides.

This contains the eye wall, and the eye itself. Central Dense Overcast (CDO): The Central Dense Overcast is a dense shield of very intense thunderstorm activity that make up the inner portion of the hurricane. Thus, at any given altitude (except close to the surface where water temperature dictates air temperature) the environment inside the cyclone is warmer than its outer surroundings. This heat is distributed vertically, around the center of the storm.

Warm core: Tropical cyclones are characterized and driven by the release of large amounts of latent heat of condensation as moist air is carried upwards and its water vapor condenses. The pressures recorded at the centers of tropical cyclones are among the lowest that occur on Earth's surface at sea level. Surface low: All tropical cyclones rotate around an area of low atmospheric pressure near the Earth's surface. The Great Lakes A storm system that appeared similar to a tropical cyclone formed in 1996 on Lake Huron it formed an eye and could have breifly been sub-tropical.

It formed from a thunderstorm formation in Borneo that moved into the South China Sea. It caused flooding in southern Malaysia and some damage in Singapore. However, in December 2001, Typhoon Vamei formed in the Southern South China Sea and made landfall in Malaysia. Areas within ten degrees laditude of the equator do not experience a significant coriolis force, a vital ingredient in tropical cyclone formation.

Southern South China Sea Tropical cyclones normally do not develop in the Southern South China Sea due to its close proximity to the equator. Australia: SE Indian Basin includes the eastern part of the Indian ocean and the northern and western part of the Australian basin. Australia: SW Pacific Basin includes the eastern part of Australia and the Fiji area. before being transformed into an extratropical low or absorbed into other systems of low pressure.

Vince's origin was the northeasternmost in the eastern Atlantic ever recorded, and Vince was the first storm in recorded history to reach the Iberian Peninsula as a tropical cyclone, i.e. Northeastern Atlantic Ocean: In October 2005, Hurricane Vince formed near Madeira, then moved northeastward, passing south of the Portuguese south coast, and made landfall in southwestern Spain as a tropical depression. However, there is debate on whether these storms were tropical in nature. Such cyclones formed in September 1947, September 1969, January 1982, September 1983, and January 1995.

Mediterranean Sea: Storms which appear similar to tropical cyclones in structure sometimes occur in the Mediterranean basin. They affect the islands of Polynesia in exceptional instances. Most of the storms that enter this region formed farther west in the Southwest Pacific. Eastern South Pacific: Tropical cyclone formation is rare in this region; when they do form, it is frequently linked to El Niño episodes.

However, this region is commonly frequented by tropical cyclones that form in the much more favorable Eastern North Pacific Basin. Central North Pacific: Shear in this area of the Pacific Ocean severely limits tropical development. The January storm is thought to have reached tropical storm intensity based on scatterometre winds. However, three tropical cyclones have been observed here — a weak tropical storm in 1991 off the coast of Africa, Cyclone Catarina (sometimes also referred to as Aldonça), which made landfall in Brazil in 2004 at Category 1 strength, and a smaller storm in January 2004, east of Salvador, Brazil.

South Atlantic Ocean: A combination of cooler waters, the lack of an ITCZ, and wind shear makes it very difficult for the South Atlantic to support tropical activity. Cyclones forming here impact Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, and Kenya, and these nations issue forecasts and warnings for the basin. Southwestern Indian Ocean: This basin is the least understood, due to a lack of historical data. Southeastern Indian Ocean: Tropical activity in this region affects Australia and Indonesia, and is forecast by those nations.

Rarely, a tropical cyclone formed in this basin will affect the Arabian Peninsula. Nations affected by this basin include India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, and Pakistan, and all of these countries issue regional forecasts and warnings. Hurricanes which form in this basin have historically cost the most lives — most notably, the 1970 Bhola cyclone killed 200,000. This basin's season has an interesting double peak; one in April and May before the onset of the monsoon, and another in October and November just after.

Northern Indian Ocean: This basin is divided into two areas, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, with the Bay of Bengal dominating (5 to 6 times more activity). South Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical activity in this region largely affects Australia and Oceania, and is forecast by Australia and Papua New Guinea. In the U.S., the Central Pacific Hurricane Center is responsible for forecasting the western part of this area while the National Hurricane Center is responsible for the eastern part. Storms that form here can affect western Mexico, Hawaii, northern Central America, and on extremely rare occasions, California.

Eastern North Pacific Ocean: This is the second most active basin in the world, and the most dense (a large number of storms for a small area of ocean). National meteorology organizations and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) are responsible for issuing forecasts and warnings in this basin. The eastern coasts of Taiwan and Philippines also have the highest tropical cyclone landfall frequency in the world. This is by far the most active basin, accounting for one-third of all tropical cyclone activity in the world.

Western North Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm activity in this region frequently affects China, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan, but also many other countries in South-East Asia, such as Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia, plus numerous Oceanian islands. Many of the more intense Atlantic storms are Cape Verde-type hurricanes, which form off the west coast of Africa near the Cape Verde islands. The coast of Atlantic Canada receives hurricane landfalls on rare occasion, such as Hurricane Juan in 2003. Gulf Coast and occasionally New Jersey, New York and New England (usually hurricanes weaken to tropical storms before they reach these northern regions).

Additionally, they can hit the coast of the U.S., especially Florida, North Carolina, the U.S. Hurricanes that strike Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean island nations, often do intense damage, as hurricanes are deadlier over warmer water. National Hurricane Center (NHC) based in Miami, Florida, issues forecasts for storms for all nations in the region; the Canadian Hurricane Centre, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, also issues forecasts and warnings for storms expected to affect Canadian territory and waters. The U.S.

Venezuela, the south-east of Canada and Atlantic "Macaronesian" islands are also occasionally affected. The United States Atlantic coast, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands and Bermuda are frequently affected by storms in this basin. The average is about ten. Tropical cyclone formation here varies widely from year to year, ranging from over twenty to one per year.

North Atlantic Basin: The most-studied of all tropical basins, it includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. If a low level circulation forms under this convection, it may develop into a tropical cyclone. Decaying frontal boundaries may occasionally stall over warm waters and produce lines of active convection. A warm-core tropical cyclone may result when one of these (on occasion) works down to the lower levels and produces deep convection.

Tropical upper tropospheric troughs, which are cold-core upper level lows. A similar phenomenon to tropical waves are West African disturbance lines, which are squally lines of convection that form over Africa and move into the Atlantic. Most tropical cyclones form from these. This often assists in the development of thunderstorms, which can develop into tropical cyclones.

Tropical waves, or easterly waves, which, as mentioned above, are westward moving areas of convergent winds. High wind shear can break apart the vertical structure of a tropical cyclone. Low vertical wind shear (change in wind speed or direction over height). (2004's Hurricane Ivan was the strongest storm to form closer than 10 degrees from the equator; it started forming at 9.7 degrees north.).

A distance of approximately 10 degrees or more from the equator, so that the Coriolis effect is strong enough to initiate the cyclone's rotation. This is most frequently provided by tropical waves—non-rotating areas of thunderstorms that move through tropical oceans. A pre-existing weather disturbance. Temperature in the atmosphere must decrease quickly with height, and the mid-troposphere must be relatively moist.

Upper-atmosphere conditions conducive to thunderstorm formation. The moisture in the air above the warm water is the energy source for tropical cyclones. Sea surface temperatures above 26.5 degrees Celsius (79.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to at least a depth of 50 meters (164 feet). From Urdu, Persian or Arabic ţūfān (طوفان) < Greek tuphōn (Τυφών).

The first record of the character 颱 appeared in 1685's edition of Summary of Taiwan 臺灣記略). (The Chinese term as 颱風 táifēng, and 台風 taifu in Japanese, has an independent origin traceable variously to 風颱, 風篩 or 風癡 hongthai, going back to Song 宋 (960-1278) and Yuan 元(1260-1341) dynasties. From the Chinese 大風 (daaih fūng (Cantonese); dà fēng (Mandarin)) which means "great wind". Cyclone (unofficially): South Atlantic Ocean.

Tropical cyclone: Southwest Indian Ocean and the South Pacific east of 160°E. Severe cyclonic storm: North Indian Ocean. Severe tropical cyclone: Southwest Pacific west of 160°E and the southeast Indian Ocean east of 90°E. Typhoon: Northwest Pacific west of the dateline.

Hurricane: Atlantic basin and North Pacific Ocean east of the dateline.

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