Cyclones ranked on wind speeds

What is a tropical cyclone?


A tropical cyclone is a storm system that is characterized by a low-pressure centre which produces strong winds and flooding rain. A tropical cyclone feeds on heat released by the condensation of moist arr.

The latent heat gets converted into kinetic energy and feeds the strong winds and feeds the strong w emerging out of it. Because of its warm centre, it’s often called a warm core storm system. Cyclonic storms have counter-clockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere.

They help in the global atmospheric circulation by carrying heat and energy away from the tropics towards temperate latitudes.


How is the intensity of a tropical cyclone measured?


Recently, Fiji was hit by Winston, a Category 5 tropical cy clone, strongest ever to hit the island as well as the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tropical cyclones are ranked according to their maximum winds.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is the classification system used for Atlantic and East Pacific hurricanes.

Lone that hit the island had a estimated wind speed of 185 mph.


What are the different types of tropical cyclones?


Tropical cyclones are formed in eight basins -Northern Atlantic, Northeastern Pacific, North Central Pacific, Northwestern Pacific, Northern Indian Ocean, Southwestern Indian Ocean, South and Southwestern Pacific and Southeastern Indian Ocean.

Each basin has a different naming system.

In the North Atlantic Ocean, Northwest Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line and South Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes.

Typhoon is the name given in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline.

In southwest Pacific Ocean and southeast Indian Ocean, it’s called a severe tropical cyclone. Similarly, tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean and southwest Indian Ocean are called severe cyclonic storm and tropical cyclone respectively.


What is a storm surge?


A storm surge is an offshore rise of water caused by the low-pressure system of a tropical cyclone. During the cyclone, high-speed winds start pushing on the ocean’s surface which piles the water up higher than sea level.

The low pressure center of the cyclone adds to the surge and the combined effect causes flooding.Storm surges are particularly damaging when they occur at the time of a high tide.


The Times of India,
Article Date : 02/22/2016