Terms to Know - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Terms to Know

Tropical weather (tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) can affect our way of life here in Alabama and Georgia, even though we live far from the coast.  Heavy rain and tornadoes are always the biggest threat from a landfalling tropical system, but high winds for a sustained amount of time over a large area are big threats with the strongest storms.  Learn more about these tropical troubles below!

Terms to Know:

Tropical Depression:  A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds up to 38 miles per hour.  All tropical cyclones share some common characteristics:  a warm-core area of low pressure that lacks fronts; a well defined center of circulation with deep convection (thunderstorms) around it; and it must have its origin and draw its energy from the warm, tropical oceans.

Tropical Storm:  A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour.  Once a tropical depression becomes a tropical storm, it receives a name from a list that is determined years in advance by the World Meteorological Organization.

Hurricane:  A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater (sometimes up to 200 mph).  The term hurricane is used for Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones east of the International Dateline to the Greenwich Meridian. The term typhoon is used for Pacific tropical cyclones north of the Equator west of the International Dateline.

Hurricane Names and Ratings:

* Learn more about how hurricanes are given ratings by the Saffir-Simpson Scale 

* View a list of hurricane names from around the world through 2012

Tropical Satellite Images:

(note:  visible satellite images are only useful during the daytime hours)

Atlantic Ocean

* Visible Satellite Image * Visible Satellite Loop *

* Infrared Satellite Image * Infrared Satellite Loop *

* Water Vapor Image * Water Vapor Loop *

Gulf of Mexico

Visible Satellite Image * Visible Satellite Loop *

* Infrared Satellite Image * Infrared Satellite Loop *

* Water Vapor Image * Water Vapor Loop *

Caribbean Sea

* Visible Satellite Image * Visible Satellite Loop *

* Infrared Satellite Image * Infrared Satellite Loop *

* Water Vapor Image * Water Vapor Loop *

US East Coast

* Visible Satellite Image * Visible Satellite Loop *

* Infrared Satellite Image * Infrared Satellite Loop *

* Water Vapor Image * Water Vapor Loop *

More Images

Check out the National Hurricane Center's satellite page

Computer Model Data:

* View model output giving the possible track of all active tropical systems

Additional Information:

* Check out the National Hurricane Center's web site for more information of current tropical weather

* Another great tropical weather web site:  Crown Weather

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