Currently 176 Visitors Tracking The Tropics!

PLEASE DONATE TO SUPPORT

This site is AD FREE so I rely on donations to keep it running. PLEASE if you appreciate my website and the information I provide then consider a one time or recurring donation!! Donate

Track The Tropics has been the #1 source to track the tropics 24/7 since 2013! The main goal of the site is to bring all of the important links and graphics to ONE PLACE so you can keep up to date on any threats to land during the Atlantic Hurricane Season! Hurricane Season 2021 in the Atlantic starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Love Spaghetti Models? Well you've come to the right place!! Remember when you're preparing for a storm: Run from the water; hide from the wind!

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category Wind Speed Storm Surge
  mph ft
5 ≥157 >18
4 130–156 13–18
3 111–129 9–12
2 96–110 6–8
1 74–95 4–5
Additional Classifications
Tropical Storm 39–73 0–3
Tropical Depression 0–38 0
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a classification used for most Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of "tropical depressions" and "tropical storms", and thereby become hurricanes. Source: Intellicast

Hurricane Season 101

The official Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to November 30th. A tropical cyclone is a warm-core, low pressure system without any “front” attached. It develops over tropical or subtropical waters, and has an organized circulation. Depending upon location, tropical cyclones have different names around the world. The Tropical Cyclones we track in the Atlantic basin are called Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes! Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclones are classified as follows: Tropical Depression: Organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with defined surface circulation and max sustained winds of 38 mph or less. Tropical Storm: Organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph. Hurricane: Intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation. A Hurricane has max sustained winds of 74 mph or higher!

The difference between Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches, Warnings, Advisories and Outlooks

Warnings:Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials.Evacuate immediately if told to do so.
  • Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area. This is generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
  • Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.
Please note that hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings for winds on land as well as storm surge watches and warnings can be issued for storms that the NWS believes will become tropical cyclones but have not yet attained all of the characteristics of a tropical cyclone (i.e., a closed low-level circulation, sustained thunderstorm activity, etc.). In these cases, the forecast conditions on land warrant alerting the public. These storms are referred to as “potential tropical cyclones” by the NWS. Hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge watches and warnings can also be issued for storms that have lost some or all of their tropical cyclone characteristics, but continue to produce dangerous conditions. These storms are called “post-tropical cyclones” by the NWS. Watches: Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials. Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Storm Surge Watch: Storm here is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours. If you are under a storm surge watch, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Watch: Huriricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.
Advisories:
  • Tropical Cyclone Public Advisory:The Tropical Cyclone Public Advisory contains a list of all current coastal watches and warnings associated with an ongoing or potential tropical cyclone, a post-tropical cyclone, or a subtropical cyclone. It also provides the cyclone position, maximum sustained winds, current motion, and a description of the hazards associated with the storm.
  • Tropical Cyclone Track Forecast Cone:This graphic shows areas under tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings, the current position of the center of the storm, and its predicted track. Forecast uncertainty is conveyed on the graphic by a “cone” (white and stippled areas) drawn such that the center of the storm will remain within the cone about 60 to 70 percent of the time. Remember, the effects of a tropical cyclone can span hundreds of miles. Areas well outside of the cone often experience hazards such as tornadoes or inland flooding from heavy rain.
Outlooks:
  • Tropical Weather Outlook:The Tropical Weather Outlook is a discussion of significant areas of disturbed weather and their potential for development during the next 5 days. The Outlook includes a categorical forecast of the probability of tropical cyclone formation during the first 48 hours and during the entire 5-day forecast period. You can also find graphical versions of the 2-day and 5-day Outlook here
Be sure to read up on tons of more information on Hurricane knowledge, preparedness, statistics and history under the menu on the left hand side of the page! Here are your 2020 Hurricane Season Names: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine ,Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred!!!

TrackTheTropics Resource Links

CONUS Hurricane Strikes

1950-2017
[Map of 1950-2017 CONUS Hurricane Strikes]
Total Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total MAJOR Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total Major Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Western Gulf Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf MAJOR Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf Major Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf MAJOR Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Major Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Hurricane Strikes SE Coast MAJOR Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Major Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Hurricane Strikes NE Coast MAJOR Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Major Hurricane Strikes

Hurricane Damage Potential

Damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 categorization based on the hurricane’s intensity at the indicated time. The maximum sustained surface wind speed (peak 1-minute wind at 33 feet/10 meters) is the determining factor in the scale.

This scale provides examples of the type of damages and impacts in the United States associated with winds of the indicated intensity. In general, it shows damages rise by about a factor of four for every category increase.

However, this does not address the potential for such other hurricane-related impacts, such as storm surge, rainfall-induced floods, and tornadoes. When these additional factors are considered the rate of increase in damage is much higher.

When asked to rate potential damage from a category one hurricane to a category two or three storm most people’s results are often linear in increasing damage. However, since the potential damage increase from category to category is logarithmic then small increases in wind strength can dramatically increase damage.

When the cost from hurricane related damages are normalized (normalization takes into account inflation, changes in population, and changes in wealth to arrive at a common level for comparison) the result shows an eighth-power increase (1) in damages from category to category.

What this means is the potential damage from a hurricane is 28 power. For example, a doubling of the wind speed from 75 mph (121 km/h) to 150 mph (241 km/h) is not a doubling or quadrupling of potential damage but a 256 times increase (2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2=256)

This is evident in that over 85% of all damages from hurricanes come from category three, four, and five storms, yet these storms make up only 24% of all landfalling storms (2). The following table shows the rate of increase for various wind speeds in a hurricane as compared to a minimal 75 mph (121 km/h) category one hurricane.

Category One Two Three Four Five
Wind Speed
(mph)
75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 160 165 170 175 180 185 190
Multiplier 1x 1.6x 2.9x 4.3x 6.6x 10x 15x 21x 30x 43x 60x 82x 110x 147x 195x 256x 333x 429x 549x 697x 879x 1101x 1371x 1696x
These values indicate increases in damage potential ABOVE damage that occurs with a 75 mph hurricane.

 

Remember, damage WILL occur with a 75 mph (121 km/h) hurricane. The multiplier values are the potential damage increases above what could occur with a 75 mph (121 km/h) storm. Note the rapid increase in potential damage just within each category. A 95 mph hurricane can produce nearly seven times the damage as a 75 mph (121 km/h) hurricane with just a 20 mph (32 km/h) increase in wind strength. A 10 mph (16 km/h) increase in wind speed, from 100 mph (161 km/h) to 110 mph (177 km/h), results in over doubling potential damage from 10-times that of a 75 mph (121 km/h) hurricane to 21-times.

What does this mean for you? Do not be lulled into complacency if you hear of a small increase in wind speed from a hurricane. These small increases directly lead to increasingly greater damage potential. Be wise and make preparations in advance to evacuate should law enforcement officers order evacuations.

Learning Lesson: Quadraphonic Wind

(1) Nordhaus, William D. “The Economics of Hurricanes in the United States” National Bureau of Economic Research (December 2006)
(2) R. A. Pielke, Jr. and colleagues. “Normalized Hurricane Damage in the United States: 1900–2005” Natural Hazard Review(2008)

Next: Tropical Cyclone Safety

Facebook Comments