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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!
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season had a record breaking 30 named storms this season, 13 developed into hurricanes, and six further intensified into major hurricanes!!!!! WHAT A SEASON #2020!!!!
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.
  • 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.
  • 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!!!

CONUS Hurricane Strikes

[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

What are Spaghetti Models?

Example of Spaghetti Models Spaghetti models (also called spaghetti plots, spaghetti charts and spaghetti diagrams) is the nickname given to the computer models that show potential tropical cyclone paths. When shown together, the individual model tracks can somewhat resemble strands of spaghetti noodles, hence the coining of this term! In short, spaghetti models give you a way to see where a tropical storm or hurricane may head. It can also give insight into whether the models are in agreement on the path of the storm or if there is a wide differing opinion on where the storm may go.

Spaghetti models are also useful in the case of a developing storm system that has not officially become a tropical depression or a tropical storm, meaning that no agency has released an official path but the system has tagged as an investigation area (Also called an invest). In these instances, spaghetti models can serve to give you an early heads up as to where a future tropical storm or hurricane may head.

However, once a tropical disturbance has officially become a tropical cyclone, different government agencies (e.g. the National Hurricane Center for the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic basins) release an official best guess path based on their analysis of the different model data and other factors. These forecasts should be used for official planning, though the spaghetti plots can still be quite useful for seeing how confident all of the models are.

Please note that these models do not speak to whether a storm will bring rainfall, hurricane-force winds, surge, or other data; they just contain information about the center of a storm’s future track. An additional limitation spaghetti models have is that they don’t show any representation of intensity or size of a particular storm. These are represented on different charts, usually for individual storms.

A list of the most popular hurricane spaghetti models
AVNO – NWS / American Global Forecast System (GFS model)
BAMS – Trajectory Model, Beta and Advection Model, shallow layer (NHC)
BAMM – Trajectory Model, Beta and Advection Model, medium layer (NHC)
BAMD – Trajectory Model, Beta and Advection Model, deep layer (NHC)
CLIP – CLImatology and PERsistance model 3-day
CLP5 – CLImatology and PERsistance model 5-day (CLIPER5)
CMC – Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) model from the Canadian Meteorological Centre (Canadian model)
COTC – NRL COAMPS-TC model (Navy Regional Hurricane Model)
ECM – European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)(EURO) global model
FIM9 – ESRL FIM (Flow-Following Finite-Volume Icosahedral Model)
GFDL – NWS / Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL model)
H3GP – NCEP/AOML High-Resolution Triple Nested HWRF 3km model
HMON – Hurricane Multi-scale Ocean-coupled Non-hydrostatic model
HWRF – Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model
NVGM – Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM)
OFCL – National Hurricane Center (NHC) official forecast
TABS – Trajectory and Beta Model, shallow layer (NHC)
TABM – Trajectory and Beta Model, medium layer (NHC)
TABD – Trajectory and Beta Model, deep layer (NHC)
TCLP – Trajectory CLImatology and PERsistance (CLIPER) model 7-day
XTRP – A simple extrapolation using past 12-hr motion
A fantastic list of ALL the models can be found on

Most models have the goal to be the very best, but each one has a different way of getting to that result. Some weather models are built on statistics, some on atmospheric dynamics, others are built on other models and others yet are built entirely on climatology and persistence of the current atmosphere.

It is important to note that two of these models above, called the CLP5 (the CLImatology and PERsistence model) and the XTRP (Extrapolated), seem to always get found on model plots, but neither contains any useful information about the forecast! These 2 models tend to mislead the general public if you do not understand what they are there for! The CLP5 uses past weather situations, or analogs, to diagnose what similar storms have done in the past. The XTRP simply extends the storm’s recent forward motion out to five days and is always a straight line. This batch of models is often called the pure statistical models.

Some models just follow the winds, and they are collectively called the TABs (or Trajectory and Beta models). These three models — shallow, medium and deep — are slightly more useful because the closer they are together, they indicate that there is less wind shear in the atmosphere. On the contrary, if they are spread out, this is indicative that there’s more wind shear and the system will likely stay weak. A weak system should not be monitored using the deep version of the TABs — called the TABD — since those systems do not usually tap the upper portions of the atmosphere.

The most complex are the dynamical weather models, which take into account the current state of the atmosphere using observations from the ground, ocean and air, as well as complex physics equations, to forecast the atmosphere. This suite of models includes the AVNO (GFS), ECM (EURO) and the hurricane models (HWRF and HMON), among many others.

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