An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 MPH (33 knots) or less. Sustained winds are defined as one-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (ten meters) above the surface.
An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39–73 MPH.
An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher.
A dome of water pushed onshore by hurricane and tropical storm winds. Storm surges can reach 25 feet high and be 50–1000 miles wide.
A combination of storm surge and the normal tide (i.e., a 15-foot storm surge combined with a two foot normal high tide over the mean sea level created a 17-foot storm tide).
The part of the year having a relatively high incidence of hurricanes. The hurricane season in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico runs from June first to November 30. The season in the Eastern Pacific basin runs from May 15 to November 30. The season in the Central Pacific basin runs from June first to November 30.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch
Issued when hurricane/tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area, usually within 36 hours. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning
Issued when hurricane/tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area, usually within 24 hours.
Short Term Watches and Warnings
These warnings provide detailed information about specific hurricane threats, such as flash floods and tornadoes.
The roughly circular area of comparatively light winds that encompasses the center of a severe tropical cyclone. The eye is either completely or partially (at least 50 percent) surrounded by the eye-wall cloud, an organized band or ring of cumulonimbus clouds.
A ring of cumulonimbus clouds that swirl around the eye where the heaviest precipitation and strongest winds are found.
Bands of heavy convective showers that spiral inward toward the storm's center.