Questions tagged [tropical-cyclone]

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly-rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and cyclone.

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97
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6answers
20k views

How can a storm drop 40 inches (1 metre) of rain?

Hurricane Harvey dumped more that 20 inches (500 mm) of rain over a large region, with 40+ (>1000 mm) in some spots... and much more expected. How is that possible? Does the atmosphere really hold ...
86
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3answers
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Impossible or improbable? Hurricane crossing the equator

No known hurricane has ever crossed the equator. Hurricanes require the Coriolis force to develop and generally form at least 5° away from the equator since the Coriolis force is zero there. Are ...
28
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2answers
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Why are there no hurricanes in the southern Atlantic basin?

We see tropical cyclones (going by different names e.g. hurricane, typhoon, cyclone) all over the tropics, but it seems that there are never any storms in the southern Atlantic. See this map of ...
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1answer
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Why is there no middle ground between tornadoes and hurricanes?

A tornado has an effective area of destruction about the size of a city block. A hurricane spans several hundred kilometers. However, there doesn't seem to be a continuum between the two. Why are ...
19
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2answers
281 views

Will tropical cyclones form and be sustained in areas they previously were not due to global climate change?

With global climate change, is it possible that tropical cyclones (as seen in the Atlantic basin for example) are going to form and be sustained in regions where they previously did not, for example ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Why do tropical cyclones not tear themselves apart?

A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical storm. Tropical cyclones derive their energy from evaporation of water at the ocean surface which ultimately recondenses ...
16
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1answer
122 views

Is the poleward migration of the maximum intensity of cyclones a result of tropical expansion or are there some other contributing factors?

In the recently published article by Kossin et al. (Nature, 2014, dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13278), they show that there is a trend toward poleward migration of the location of tropical cyclone (...
15
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2answers
4k views

Would hurricanes on an ocean planet continue indefinitely?

Hurricanes seem to run out of steam when they make landfall. If our planet were entirely covered by ocean, would hurricanes continue indefinitely? Would they keep gathering energy and increasing in ...
14
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2answers
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Why is the Atlantic Hurricane Season defined as being between June 1 and November 30?

Historically, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has shifted, as close as June 15 to October 31, but since 1965, it has been between June 1 and November 30(1). Why is the Atlantic Hurricane Season defined ...
12
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4answers
5k views

Do hurricanes cool the earth?

I noticed that temperature drops in the surrounding area of a hurricane. Is the heat converted into kinetic energy? Could the shape of the hurricanes reflect sunlight? Do they create more lightning ...
12
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3answers
257 views

How is it possible that a Hurricane such as Alex forms in the Atlantic in winter?

Hurricane Alex (developed from an area of low pressure which began in the Atlantic near Bahamas in January 2016, and developed subtropical and later tropical storm characteristics to the south of the ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Can an Atlantic hurricane enter Mediterranean sea?

I can't find any examples, has it just never happened before or is it impossible because of environmental factors?
12
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1answer
529 views

Two severe cyclones connected by a monsoonal trough

At the time of writing, areas around the Northern Territory (TC Lam) and Queensland (TC Marcia) in Australia are in the path of severe cyclones (category 4 at the moment, with the Queensland one - TC ...
12
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1answer
453 views

Relation between direction of shear and tropical cyclone formation

In an earlier question/answer Why are there no cyclones in the southern Atlantic basin there was a point raised about direction of shear(abetting/retarding) cyclone formation. It appears ...
11
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1answer
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Winds in a northern hemisphere hurricane

In the Northern Hemisphere, do surface winds around the center of a hurricane move counterclockwise and inward or counterclockwise and outward? I'm guessing they move inward.
11
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1answer
2k views

Why do tropical cyclones around Australia have erratic paths?

According to the Australia Bureau of Meterology: Research has shown that cyclones in the Australian region exhibit more erratic paths than cyclones in other parts of the world. A tropical ...
10
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2answers
33k views

Have two hurricanes ever merged? And what was the result?

I was just reading this about how Hurricane Ethel could have merged with Hurricane Dora in 1964. Has such a merge ever happened before in history? If so, what was the result? Would storms become ...
10
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1answer
119 views

North Indian ocean tropical cyclones

Why are tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal more frequent and stronger than those in the Arabian Sea?
10
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1answer
246 views

What is the potential impact of hurricane intensification and sea level rise on coastal flooding?

Climate change has the potential to increase flooding by hurricane intensification (magnitude and intensity) and by sea level rise. Many communities around the world are already exposed to coastal ...
9
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4answers
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Have there ever been simultaneous cyclones in the same ocean but different hemispheres?

I'm teaching a physics class, and I'm getting to the point where we are talking about the Coriolis effect. I usually show a couple of photos/videos showing a storm in the Northern Hemisphere and a ...
9
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1answer
914 views

Has a hurricane or cyclone ever reformed after passing over a large land mass?

Hurricane Michael recently hit Florida as a Category 4 storm, and after the remnants passed across a great deal of the east coast of the United States it appears to have re-emerged into the Atlantic ...
8
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1answer
179 views

Why are tropical cyclones forming earlier in the North Atlantic basin?

This tweet from Brian McNoldy includes a graph suggesting that tropical cyclones are typically getting named earlier in the year in the Atlantic: What are the causes for this?
8
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1answer
142 views

Why don't tropical cyclones hit Hawaii?

Image by Wikipedia user Citynoise using NOAA data. If you look at this map of tropical cyclone tracks, you'll notice that there's a gap in the central northern Pacific where tropical cyclones ...
8
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1answer
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Why does air subside in the Eye - the lowest pressure area of a tropical cyclone?

A low pressure area is associated with rising air while a high pressure area is associated with subsiding air. The best explanation I could come up with is either the cyclone is an exception or the ...
8
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1answer
814 views

What is the most powerful natural catastrophic event on record?

Natural catastrophic events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts releases vast amount of energy. What is the most powerful single event of such nature ever recorded ...
7
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1answer
180 views

The spiraling cyclone track - Cyclone Nathan

In the northern part of Queensland, Cyclone Nathan has had a spiral type of track, as can be seen below: Image credit: Tropical Cyclone NATHAN Forecast Track (Joint Typhoon Warning Center) As can be ...
6
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2answers
675 views

Would a hurricane increase intensity due to increasing translation speed?

For example, if a hurricane has 200km/h wind speed, and it increases the translation speed from 10km/h to 30km/h, would the intensity become 220km/h?
6
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1answer
110 views

Could we cool the ocean by reflecting away sunlight to influence hurricanes?

I was wondering if we could possibly reduce the severity of, or steer a hurricane by changing albedo (e.g. dying the part ocean with a temporary light colored dye)? My thought would be to put this ...
6
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1answer
187 views

Can strong winds significantly lower ocean surface levels, or is it really the static pressure differences?

The Washington Post article Hurricane Irma is literally sucking the water away from shorelines written by the Post's atmospheric scientist Angela Fritz describes leads with this: As a meteorologist, ...
6
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2answers
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Minimum sea-level pressure and maximum wind speed intensity relationship in Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricane to hit the US. After looking into the minimum sea-level pressure (MSLP) and maximum wind speed (MWS) intensity data from NOAA'...
6
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1answer
138 views

Does a hurricane classification exists where estimated rainfall is taken into account?

Hurricanes are classified with the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. However an extreme amount of rainfall can cause a disaster although the windspeeds are not extreme. Is there some sort of ...
6
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0answers
73 views

Using Acummulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for non-tropical cyclones

Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is used to measure and compare the activity of individual hurricanes and entire tropical cyclone seasons. It is calculated as an integral of the squares of hurricane ...
5
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1answer
558 views

What is the earliest tropical cyclone in record?

The question is simple: what is the earliest tropical cyclone (hurricane or typhoon) described in the historical record?
5
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1answer
174 views

What is the largest hurricane possible?

With Earth getting hotter and hurricanes also getting larger I wonder; Is there a limit on how big a hurricane can physically get?
5
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1answer
130 views

Why do 30% of all typhoons in the western north pacific (WNP) affect Taiwan?

A 300-Year Typhoon Record in Taiwan and the Relationship with Solar Activity (also here) shows that about 30% of all typhoons in the western north pacific (WNP) affect Taiwan. (Author's home page) I'm ...
5
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1answer
91 views

Are there any other sites that allow users to search for historic hurricanes within a given area?

Once upon a time I seem to remember there being a plethora of sites with very graphical interactive tools for quickly searching Atlantic hurricane data by time range, locations impacted, and storm ...
5
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0answers
135 views

Forced shallow-water equation with diabatic heating as the source term

How to obtain the divergence of velocity field $\left(\nabla.\mathbf{u}\right)$ with ${Q}$ (something proportional to the diabatic heating rate) as the source term from the thermodynamic equation? ...
4
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1answer
236 views

How did a tropical storm starting with “D” end up next to a typhoon starting with “T”?

While keeping a close eye on typhoon Talim, I noticed that tropical storm Doksuri is also on the map and has caused serious damage and loss of life. I had thought that the naming of tropical storms is ...
4
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2answers
476 views

What was the storm surge height from Hurricane Harvey?

The numbers bandied about have been 3.6 m (12 feet) and even 4.6 m (15 feet), but something told me that was unlikely. As a guy who could "almost" slam dunk a basketball, the idea of a 3 m (10 feet) ...
4
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2answers
54 views

Does storm seasonality vary with latitude?

Anecdotally, where I live in northern Europe, the weather seems to be stormier in winter, and this seems to be backed up by hard data. For example, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
4
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2answers
99 views

Is it normal for a cyclonic storm to form at the latitude of New York, USA?

I am following climate activist Greta Thunberg's sail to N America from Europe on https://tracker.borisherrmannracing.com/. The model shows a cyclonic storm forming south of Nova Scotia, east of New ...
4
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1answer
80 views

Is there any possible way that a tropical cyclone of any strength could form over land?

Most tropical cyclones rapidly weaken over land, however, given some conditions (such as very wet soil/ground cover and tropical lower atmospheric conditions) they can sustain themselves or even ...
4
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1answer
119 views

When did people first realize that hurricanes are a particular type of storm system?

To a person living on a beach in the Caribbean or crossing the Atlantic on a sailing ship, it's not obvious whether a commotion in the sky is a hurricane or some other storm system. When did people ...
4
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1answer
624 views

Are hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons in the Pacific Ocean usually larger than in Atlantic Ocean?

Just my experience of observation: hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons in the Pacific Ocean seem to look larger than those in Atlantic Ocean (by looks I mean they occupy more grids in satellite images). If ...
4
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0answers
135 views

Why is wind shear consistently high in the South Atlantic?

I have read that perhaps the largest reason that tropical cyclones are so rare in the South Atlantic is due to chronically-high vertical wind shear which inhibits their structural development. But ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Why exactly did the use of Greek letters as names for Hurricanes happen the first place, despite the fairly obvious and predictable impracticalities?

The Washington Post article Hurricanes Eta and Iota brought disaster to Central America. Officials can’t retire their names. describes a complicated situation, aspects of which are: Eta roared ashore ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Why do hurricanes hitting the US East Coast seem to go north once hitting land?

Question says it all really. It appears that every hurricane hitting the US East Coast directs itself north once on land. Hurricane Florence is predicted to hit North Carolina then turn toward Canada ...
3
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1answer
518 views

Website that contains the maps of atmospheric pressure and wind speeds

Is there a website that contains the maps of atmospheric pressure and wind speeds for specific climatic events such as hurricanes day after day ?
3
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1answer
106 views

Why did Hurricane Harvey have so much lightning associated with it?

Hurricane Harvey (Category 4 hurricane, in August 2017) was a prodigious lightning producer when it hit Houston/SE Texas. But I thought hurricanes don't have much lightning (with the eyewall being the ...
3
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1answer
57 views

How would a particle travel in a hurricane?

How would a particle other then water travel in a hurricane? At what buoyancy or height would a small air born life preserver be safe from the ground in a hurricane? How fun would that be?