What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:


Tropical Depression
An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 kt) or less. Sustained winds are a 1-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface. While 1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour or 1.15 statute miles per hour and is abbreviated as "kt".

Tropical Storm
An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)

An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher


Hurricanes are categorized according to the strength of their winds using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. A Category 1 storm has the lowest wind speeds, while a Category 5 hurricane has the strongest. These are relative terms, because lower category storms can sometimes inflict greater damage than higher category storms, depending on where they strike and the particular hazards they bring. In fact, tropical storms can also produce significant damage and loss of life, mainly due to flooding.

Hurricane Names

When the the winds from these storms reach 39 mph (34 kts), the cyclones are given names. Years ago, an international committee developed names for Atlantic cyclones (The History of Naming Hurricanes). In 1979 a six year rotating list of Atlantic storm names was adopted — alternating between male and female hurricane names. Storm names are used to facilitate geographic referencing, for warning services, for legal issues, and to reduce confusion when two or more tropical cyclones occur at the same time. Through a vote of the World Meteorological Organization Region IV Subcommittee, Atlantic cyclone names are retired usually when hurricanes result in substantial damage or death or for other special circumstances.

(Thanks to the NHC.)

Hurricane & Tropical Storm


NHC Atlantic

Active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook-
ABNT20 KNHC 302306

800 PM EDT THU OCT 30 2014

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days.

Forecaster Pasch

There are no tropical cyclones at this time.-No tropical cyclones as of Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:10:38 GMT
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The hurricane and tropical cyclone information displayed here is based on the latest NOAA, NHC, NASA and other official reports received here and may or may not be the most current forecast available from these official forecasting agencies. We attempt to keep everything current, but remember to use this as a supplement to official sources. This information is for the general public's viewing, but is not responsible for its ultimate use in the forecasting of tropical cyclones and/or the use of public watches/warnings. Customers should confirm these prognostications with official sources (see our links section) and follow local recommendations. Our advice is to always plan for the worst and get out of the way of a storm! Use of this site constitutes acceptance of these terms. One should always rely on OFFICIAL SOURCES. Email can be delayed or not delivered, servers may not be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Official forecasts are available via NOAA Weather Radio, NOAA Weather Wire, NOAAPORT, your local National Weather Service office and more. Use of information is at your own risk and can not be guaranteed.Please note that data and material from the National Hurricane Center and the NOAA is not subject to copyright.