Hurricane Related Terms

By: Glen B. Stewart

Hurricanes have constant wind speed of 74 miles per hours (64 knots) or more. 

Hurricane Related Terms & Words to Know
Here are some very important words and terminologies used in hurricanes, storms and typhoons

  • Hurricane Watch
    Issued for a coastal area when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning
    Issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles an hour (64 knots) and/or dangerously high tides and waves. Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately when the warning is issued.
  • Flash Flood Warning
    Means a flash flood is imminent; take immediate action.
  • Flash Flood Watch
    Means a flash flood is possible in the area; stay alert.

  • Small craft cautionary statements.
    When a tropical cyclone threatens a coastal area, small craft operators are advised to remain in port or not to venture into the open sea.
  • Storm Warnings
    May be issued when winds of 55-73 miles an hour (48-63 knots) are expected. If a hurricane is expected to strike a coastal area, gale or storm warnings will not usually precede hurricane warnings.
  • Tropical cyclone
    General term for all cyclone circulations that originate over tropical waters.
  • Tropical disturbance
    Moving area of thunder storms in the tropics that maintain an identity for 24hours or more.
  • Tropical depression
    Rotary circulation at surface highest constant wind speed 38 miles per hour (33 knots).
  • Tropical storm
    Distinct rotary circulation, constant wind speed ranges 39 -73 miles per hour (34-63 knots).
  • Typhoon
    A typhoon is a large and powerful tropical cyclone, a low pressure area rotating counterclockwise and containing rising warm air that forms over warm water in the Western Pacific Ocean. Less powerful tropical cyclones are called Tropical Depressions and Tropical Storms.
  • Super Typhoon 
    The Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies typhoons with wind speeds of 150 mph or more (the equivalent to a strong Category 4 storm) as a Super Typhoon

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