With the turn of the calendar, a new year starts, and a new tropical cyclone season starts. Usually, the Real World has a thread just for the atlantic, but I figured we could include the rest of the world in one thread :D.
Here are the names for this year:
Tropical Storm Arlene, made landfall in Mexico in Veracruz. Caused flooding in Central America and Mexico, June 29 - July 1
Tropical Storm Bret, impacted the Northern Bahamas, July 17 - July 22
Tropical Storm Cindy, July 20 - July 23
Tropical Storm Don, minimally impacted Southern Texas, July 27 - July 30
Tropical Storm Emily, impacted the Lesser Antilles, severely impacted Puerto Rico, caused flooding in the Dominican Republic, and minimally affected Bermuda, August 1 - August 7
Tropical Storm Franklin, August 12 - August 14
Tropical Storm Gert, minimally impacted Bermuda, August 14 - August 16
Tropical Storm Harvey, impacted Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras, August 18 - August 22
Hurricane Irene, impacted the Lesser Antilles, slammed Puerto Rico, caused flooding in Hispaniola, severely impacted the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, and caused record flooding and many blackouts on the East Coast of the United States, August 20 - August 29
Tropical Depression 10, August 25 - August 27
Tropical Storm Jose, August 28 - 29
Hurricane Katia, August 29 -
Tropical Storm Lee, caused flooding in Mississippi and Louisiana, winds sparked wildfires in Texas, September 1 - September 5
Hurricane Adrian, June 7 - June 12
Hurricane Beatriz, never made landfall but caused flooding in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, and Oaxaca, June 19 - June 22
Hurricane Calvin, July 7 - July 10
Hurricane Dora, storm surge caused minimal flooding in Southwest Mexico, July 18 - July 24
Hurricane Eugene, July 31 - August 6
Tropical Storm Fernanda, August 15 - August 20
Hurricane Greg, August 16 - August 21
Tropical Depression 8-E, made landfall in Southwestern Mexico, August 31 - September 1
Central Pacific (the next 4 names)
Western Pacific (the next 25 names)
Tropical Depression 1-W, April 1 - April 4
Tropical Depression 2-W, April 3 - April 6
Tropical Storm Aere, May 5 - May 12, caused severe flooding in the Philippines but never made landfall.
Super Typhoon Songda, May 19 - May 29, caused flooding in the Philippines, slammed Okinawa, made landfall in southern Japan as a dying typhoon
Tropical Storm Sarika, impacted the Philippines, and made landfall in Shantou, China, June 8 - June 11
Tropical Storm Haima, made landfall in Zhanjiang, China, and Hanoi, Vietnam, June 16 - June 25
Tropical Storm Meari, caused flooding in South Korea, effects due to landfall in North Korea unknown, June 20 - June 27
Typhoon Ma-on, affected Shikoku and Southern Honshu in Japan, July 11- July 24
Tropical Depression Tokage, July 14 - July 16
Typhoon Nock-ten, caused damage and flooding on Luzon, made landfall on the Chinese island of Hainan and caused moderate damage, and made landfall in Northern Vietnam, July 24 - July 31
Super Typhoon Muifa, impacted the Philippines, Okinawa, Eastern China, and made landfall in North Korea and left flooding in both North and South Korea.
Typhoon Merbok, August 3 - August 9
Tropical Depression 13-W, August 8 - August 15
Typhoon Nanmadol, caused massive damage in Northern Luzon, made landfall twice on Taiwan and caused massive damage, caused severe damage in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in China, August 21 - August 31
Tropical Storm Talas, made landfall in Central Shikoku and Western Honshu, caused severe flooding and damage, August 23 - September 5
Tropical Storm Noru, September 2 - September 6
Northern Indian (next 6)
Tropical Storm 1-A, impacted the northwestern coast of India, June 11 - June 12
Cyclone Bingiza, February 9 - February 20, made landfall as a Category 3 on Northern Madagascar near Saranambana, crossed and made landfall on the west side of Madagascar near Befasy
Tropical Storm Cherono, March 10 - March 23
The Australian Region
There are several sub-centres within Australia that name tropical cyclones. I'll put the next five names for each up:
Tropical Storm Vince January 10 - January 15
Cyclone Zelia January 13 - January 17
Tropical Storm Anthony, January 23 - January 31, made landfall in Queensland north of Ayr, affected parts of Queensland from Cooktown to Ayr
Cyclone Bianca, January 22 - January 30, affected the Western Coast of Australia from Darwin to Exmouth
Tropical Storm 14-S, February 8 - February 13
Cyclone Carlos, February 12 - February 27, affected all of the Northwest Australian Coast from Darwin to Exmouth
Dianne, February 11 - February 22
Tropical Storm 20-S, March 26 - April 6, affected much of the Northwest Australian coast from Darwin to Broome
Tropical Storm Errol, April 10 - April 20, affected the Kalumbura, Australia area, and made landfall on Southern Timor.
TCWC Port Moresby
South Pacific Ocean (next 10 names)
Tropical Storm Vania January 5 - January 15, affected Vanuatu and New Caledonia as a tropical storm.
Cyclone Wilma, January 19 - January 28 , affected American Samoa and made landfall in Tonga
Cyclone Yasi, January 26 - February 3, made landfall in Queensland, Australia, just south of Cairns
Tropical Storm Zaka, February 5 - February 7
Cyclone Atu, February 3 - February 24
Cyclone Bune, March 22 - March 29, affected Eastern Fiji
For those of you joining us (not that I expect many, but...), here is a brief summary of the process leading to hurricanes forming.
Generally, a hurricane begins life as a group of large moisture clouds or thunderstorms over the tropics - a "Tropical wave". As these waves evolve and move over the ocean, they will either dissipate, or begin to organize - that is, the clouds and storms merging together into one large area of bad weather formed around one area of low atmospheric pressure.
When that happens, we have a tropical depression. As the tropical depression moves around (usually) over the ocean, it will draw heat and moisture from the warm water on the surface, strengthening, and begin rotating around a central point. The stronger it grows, the more visible the central point - the eye - becomes from space ; if it grows strong enough, with clearly defined features, it may eventually become a hurricane.
If not, it will return to a tropical depression, then eventually become a remnant.
A lot of tropical storms or hurricanes stay out at sea. Others get around to hitting land ; this is called landfall.
In the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, the United States National Huricane Center is in charge of tracking hurricanes. The US Navy assists in this. They use a variety of computer models to predict how storms may evolve.
As with any other weather forecasting system, this is a bit of a touch-and-go affair : short-term predictions (the next day or three) tend to be pretty good predictions, but longer-term predictions tend to be a little off as often as not, and perhaps more often than not.
When a tropical wave begin to show signs it may become a tropical depression, the navy will call it an INVEST. This is the first sign we usually get we may have a storm about to form.
When a tropical wave actually becomes a tropical depression, the NHC or JTWC will assign it a number - these numbers go in order. So the first tropical depression of the year would be Tropical Depression One, the second Tropical Depression two, etc. For areas outside of the Atlantic, a letter is affixed to the end. For the Eastern Pacific, "-E" is added. For the Central Pacific, "-C" is added. For the Western Pacific, "-W" is added. For the Bay of Bengal, "-B" is added. For the Arabian Sea, "-A" is added. For the Southern Indian Ocean, "-S" is added. For the Southern Pacific Ocean, "-P" is added.
If the tropical depression keeps growing, it will be upgraded to a Tropical Storm, and give it a name. The name comes from a list of names. The Eastern Pacific, Atlantic, and South-western Indian Ocean have alphabetical lists that of which they start at the beginning every season. The Central Pacific, Western Pacific, North Indian, Australian Region, and the South Pacific all have set lists that they rotate through and start at wherever they left off last season
Once a tropical storm grows yet stronger, it will be upgraded to a hurricane/typhoon/cyclone. There are five categories of tropical cyclones; one is the weakest, 5 the strongest. Hurricanes of category three and above are referred to as "Major hurricanes".
After the end of the season, the world meteorological organization will meet and review the season, as well as requests from various countries to have storm names retired.
Storm names are retired when a storm was particularly lethal or damaging (although a country has to request it, and the requesting country has to have been affected by the storm). When a storm name is retired, it will never be used again, and another name will replace it the next time this year's list is used.
The eye is a small area of apparent clear weather in the middle of a hurricane's cloud system.
An invest is an area of the Atlantic where the Navy's weather forecasting services feel there is a risk of hurricane formation. It's generally the first sign we have there are serious chances of a storm forming.
Landfall refers to the EYE (or center, for those storms without eyes) of a hurricane touching ground. Thus, if it's said that a hurricane made landfall in south carolina, that means the eye of the hurricane came overland in South Carolina. Since storms and strong winds extend far from the eye, it's possible for a hurricane to cause damage and casualties without ever making landfall, if the eye remains just offshore.
Organization, with regard to tropical storm, refers to how the various smaller thunderstorms and storm clouds that form the tropical depression/storm/hurricane interact together. The more closely linked (ie, "better organized") they become, the more effective they are at transfering heat (which is what wind is), and the stronger the storm. Losing organization, for a storm, generally means becoming weaker.
A hurricane, when it moves over the ocean, causes the waters of the ocean to rise toward the eye of the hurricane. When the eye come close to the coast, especially when it makes landfall, this cause rapid and significant flooding (somewhat similar to tidal waves) of the affected region. The storm surge is one of the most damaging portion of a hurricane : hurricane Katrina of 2005 had a storm surge of up to 25 feet, which was the primary source of the damage suffered.
A tropical depression is a weather system where clouds and storms have grouped together to form one large storm area. It has yet to acquire the typical "spiral" form of hurricanes, or their eyes, and has winds 38 miles per hour or less (62 KMH). Typically, tropical depressions tend to have comma-like shapes.
A tropical storm is a tropical depression that has become better organized. It has now begun to acquire hurricane-like characteristics, such as a more spiral-like form. Tropical storms generally have winds of up to 73 MPH. (117 KMH). Once a weather system becomes a tropical storm, it gets a name. Tropical storms can be quite deadly, even if they are weaker than hurricanes ; tropical storm Allison killed about 50 and caused for several billions in damage in 2001 in Texas.
A hurricane is a tropical storm that has become further organized, and now has wind of 74 MPH or above. They are subdivided in five categories ; the last three of which are called major hurricanes. Hurricanes tend to have a well-defined spiral forms (the stronger they are, the better defined) with a clear eye in the middle.
Category 1 hurricanes have winds up to 95 MPH. Category 2 goes up to 110 MPH. For major hurricanes, category 3 goes from 111 to 130 MPH, Category 4 from 131 to 155, and anything stronger is a category 5 hurricane.
Wind Shear (sometime simply shear)
Wind shear is the difference in wind strength between different altitudes. Since hurricanes occupy a large area vertically as well as horizontally, large differences between winds five hundred meter above five kilometers above sea level and ten kilometers above can result in a tropical depression, storm or hurricane becoming disorganized (the wind break up the clouds), and therefore beginning to weaken.
A loose gathering of storm clouds around an area of low pressure in the tropical Atlantic sky. If the storm clouds begin to form together and organize, a tropical depression or worse may form.
This, effectively, is the evaporation of ocean water. Obviously, the more convection a tropical cyclone has, the stronger it is and the more likely it is to strengthen. It often arises from an unstable atmospheric environment. If an invest or a tropical depression is said to have a "burst of convection," that means that there is a large chance that it will strengthen in the near future.
The difference between tropical and subtropical storms is that subtropical storms are classified as "cold-core" storms, while tropical storms are classified as "warm-core." It sounds exactly like what it is. There is cold air at the center of the storm in a cold-core system, while a warm-core system has warm air at the center. Subtropical storms also have the majority of their thunderstorms ~100 miles from the center of circulation.
While extratropical storms are NOT named, hurricanes that survive to reach latitudes of 40 degrees or more often transition to extratropical storms. What this is is merely a cold-core system with a front attached to it. Nor'easters that strike New England in the winter are examples of extratropical systems.
Saharan Air Layer (SAL)
I know you look at this and think, whaaa? What does the Sahara have to do with anything? Well, the Saharan Air Layer is well, a layer of air, but it is also extremely dry. It protrudes into the eastern Atlantic. It carries a lot of dust within it. Hurricanes need a relatively wet environment to form/survive, and the SAL can interfere with that process. Dust also reflects a lot of the sun's rays, dropping sea surface temperatures by as much as 1 degree Celsius. This causes obvious problems for hurricanes. The SAL disrupts hurricanes.
Cape Verde Season
The Cape Verde Season is named after the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. Lasting typically from August through early October, this is the time of year thunderstorm clusters that come off Africa form tropical systems. These are casually called Cape Verde storms.
Cape Verde Storm
Tropical Systems that start off as thunderstorm clusters that come off the African Coast. Many of the strongest storms in the Atlantic Basin were Cape Verde storms. They spend a long time over the warm waters of the Tropical Atlantic before reaching the Americas giving them plenty of time to gain strength.
The region immediately surrounding the eye. This is where the hurricane's strongest winds are found.
Central Dense Overcast
The core of the storm which is solid clouds.
"Arms" of a tropical system. These bands of clouds and rain wrap around the system. It's common for supercells to form within these bands and thus are where most of the tornadoes a landfalling system generates are located.
The exhaust system of the hurricane if you will. Hurricanes draw tremendous amounts of air upwards and it needs to go somewhere. Strong, long-lived hurricanes have outflow where the air escapes horizontally away from the storm. This is usually seen as fibrous cirrus clouds rotating clockwise around the storm. Without outflow, the only place the air can go is down, which can choke off the storm's updrafts. Wind sheer can cut off outflow, which is another reason is weakens tropical systems.
Eye Wall Replacement
A process within very strong hurricanes in which the eye disappears and then reappears. This is usually accompanies with temporary weakening and then restrengthening of the hurricane.
As the term suggests, it's the system strengthening a lot over a short period of time. This process has gained more attention in recent years.
Inter(T)ropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
The Intertropical Convergence Zone is where the two most equatorial Hadley Cells meet. What does this mean? A lot of warm air is being pushed down into a small area of air. This destabilizes the atmosphere and helps to create thunderstorms. Do you see satellite pictures where there are thunderstorms over the tropics in a big long line? This is the ITCZ. The ITCZ is below the region of development for hurricanes. So how do they affect hurricane seasons? A low pressure system can spin up out of the ITCZ and become a tropical cyclone.
http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html - the Navy's hurricane page. This is where invests are announced.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ - the National Hurricane Center
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html - Jeff Master's tropical weather observations blog at Weather Underground
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane - The Wikipedia page about hurricanes. Generally more detailed than my summary above.
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/cphc/ - The Central Pacific Hurricane Center
http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/ - The Joint Typhoon Warning Center
http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/ - The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia, responsible for naming storms within the Australian region.
http://www.jma.go.jp/en/typh/ - The Japan Meteorological Agency, in charge of naming storms in the Western Pacific.
http://www.met.gov.fj/ - Fiji Meteorological Service, in charge of naming storms in the Southern Pacific
http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/La_Reunion/ -- Reunion, in charge of naming storms in the Southwestern Indian Ocean (also, in French, which shouldn't be a problem for Evil Figment, but...)
http://www.tropicwx.com/ -- Satellite imaging for Eastern Pacific and Atlantic, courtesy of Rayne ^^
Some of this is adapted from posts by Evil Figment and Big Al.
also, sorry this post is so lengthy ..