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Quick definition : A hurricane is a tropical storm which generates heavy rains and high speed winds during the summer and autumn months, typically in North America.

More information*

A tropical cyclone is a meteorological term for a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and thunderstorms that produces strong wind and flooding rain. A tropical cyclone feeds on the heat released when moist air rises and the water vapor it contains condenses. They are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic windstorms such as nor’easters, European windstorms, and polar lows, leading to their classification as “warm core” storm systems.

The adjective “tropical” refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical regions of the globe, and their formation in Maritime Tropical air masses. The noun “cyclone” refers to such storms’ cyclonic nature, with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on their location and strength, tropical cyclones are referred to by various other names, such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, and tropical depression.

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Good advice on hurricanes from

what to do

Before a hurricane

During a hurricane

During an evacuation

After a hurricane

Key Vocabulary

    • condense(s)
    • cyclone
    • depression
    • exclusively
    • generate(s)
    • mechanism
    • meterological
    • moist
    • pressure
    • rotation
    • thunderstorm
    • tropical
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