Storms of the Tropical Kind: Tropical Cyclones Revealed

Formation: Tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters when sea surface temperatures reach at least 26.5 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), providing the necessary heat and moisture.

Eye and Eyewall: A well-developed tropical cyclone features a clear, calm eye at its center, surrounded by a dense, rotating eyewall with intense thunderstorms.

Categories: Tropical cyclones are categorized based on sustained wind speeds using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, ranging from Category 1 (weakest) to Category 5 (strongest).

Storm Surge: The leading cause of tropical cyclone-related deaths is often storm surge, a rise in sea level due to strong winds and low pressure, resulting in coastal flooding.

Rainfall and Flooding: Tropical cyclones produce heavy rainfall, leading to widespread flooding, especially in mountainous regions. Slow-moving storms can exacerbate flooding.

Track and Predictions: Meteorologists track tropical cyclones using satellite imagery and issue predictions based on their projected path, intensity, and potential impact on coastal areas.

Naming Conventions: Tropical cyclones are given names from predefined lists for different ocean basins. Names are retired if a storm causes significant damage or loss of life.

Global Impact: Tropical cyclones impact regions worldwide, known as hurricanes in the Atlantic and northeastern Pacific, typhoons in the northwest Pacific, and cyclones in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

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