Terms to Know

  • Hurricane – Intense low pressure with winds rotating about the center in a counterclockwise direction at speeds of 74 mph or more.
  • Hurricane Warning – An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected in a specific coastal area within 24 hours.  If the hurricane's path is unusual or erratic, the warning may be issued only a few hours before the beginning of hurricane conditions.
  • Hurricane Watch – An announcement for specific areas where hurricane conditions threaten a coastal area.  When a hurricane watch is issued, all precautions should be taken immediately.
  • Tropical Depression – Counterclockwise air rotation at speeds of 38 mph or less.  A clearly defined low-pressure area is emerging.
  • Tropical Disturbance – No strong wind.  Area of showers and thunderstorms.  Common throughout the tropics.
  • Tropical Storm – A low-pressure system with 39-73 mph wind speeds.  The storm receives a name.
  • Tropical Storm Warning – A warning that tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained winds of 39-73 mph, are expected in a specific coastal region within 24 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Watch – An announcement for specific areas that tropical storm winds pose a possible threat to coastal areas.