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Advisory: Official information issued by tropical cyclone warning centers describing all tropical cyclone watches and warnings in effect along with details concerning tropical cyclone locations, intensity and movement, and precautions that should be taken. Advisories are also issued to describe: (a) tropical cyclones prior to issuance of watches and warnings and (b) subtropical cyclones.
Cyclone: An atmospheric closed circulation rotating counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Eye: The roughly circular area of comparatively light winds that encompasses the center of a severe tropical cyclone. The eye is either completely or partially (at least 50%) surrounded by the eyewall cloud.
Eye Wall/Wall Cloud: An organized band or ring of cumulonimbus clouds that surround the eye, or light-wind center of a tropical cyclone. Eyewall and wall cloud are used synonymously.
Gale Warning: A warning of 1-minute sustained surface winds in the range 34 kt (39 mph or 63 km/hr) to 47 kt (54 mph or 87 km/hr) inclusive, either predicted or occurring and not directly associated with tropical cyclones.
High Wind Warning: A high wind warning is defined as 1-minute average surface winds of 35 kt (40 mph or 64 km/hr) or greater lasting for 1 hour or longer, or winds gusting to 50 kt (58 mph or 93 km/hr) or greater regardless of duration that are either expected or observed over land.
Hurricane/Typhoon: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 64 kt (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or more. The term hurricane is used for Northern Hemisphere cyclones east of the International Dateline to the Greenwich Meridian. The term typhoon is used for Pacific cyclones north of the Equator west of the International Dateline.
Hurricane Season: The portion of the year having a relatively high incidence of hurricanes. The hurricane season in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico runs from June 1 to November 30. The hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific basin runs from May 15 to November 30. The hurricane season in the Central Pacific basin runs from June 1 to November 30.
Hurricane Warning: A warning that sustained winds 64 kt (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or higher associated with a hurricane are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.
Hurricane Watch: An announcement for specific coastal areas that hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours.
Storm Surge: An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.
Storm Warning: A warning of 1-minute sustained surface winds of 48 kt (55 mph or 88 km/hr) or greater, either predicted or occurring, not directly associated with tropical cyclones.
Tropical Cyclone: A warm-core non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone, originating over tropical or subtropical waters, with organized convection and a definite closed cyclonic surface wind circulation. Once formed, a tropical cyclone is maintained by the extraction of latent heat from the ocean at high temperature and heat export at the low temperatures of the upper troposphere. In this they differ from extratropical cyclones, which derive their energy from temperature contrasts in the atmosphere (baroclinic effects).
Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 33 kt (38 mph or 62 km/hr) or less.
Tropical Disturbance: A discrete tropical weather system of apparently organized convection--generally 100 to 300 nmi in diameter---originating in the tropics or subtropics, having a nonfrontal migratory character, and maintaining its identity for 24 hours or more. It may or may not be associated with a detectable perturbation of the wind field.
Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) ranges from 34 kt (39 mph or 63 km/hr) to 63 kt (73 mph or 118 km/hr).
Tropical Storm Warning: A warning for tropical storm conditions including sustained winds within the range of 34 to 63 kt (39 to 73 mph or 63 to 118 km/hr) that are expected in a specified coastal area within 24 hours or less.
Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement for specific coastal areas that tropical storm conditions are possible within 36 hours.
Tropical Wave: A trough or cyclonic curvature maximum in the trade-wind easterlies. The wave may reach maximum amplitude in the lower middle troposphere.