Plan & Prepare
Glossary of Hurricane Terms
Here are some of the most common terms forecasters use when discussing hurricanes and tropical storms:
- Advisory: Hurricane and storm information is disseminated to the public every six hours.
- Special Advisory: Information is disseminated when there is significant change in storm-related weather conditions.
- Gale Warning: Sustained winds of 35-54 mph and strong wave action are expected.
- Storm Warning: Sustained winds of 55-73 mph are expected.
- Hurricane Watch: There is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
- Hurricane Warning: A hurricane is expected to strike within 24 hours or less, with sustained winds of 74 mph or more and dangerously high water.
- Tropical Disturbance: A moving area of thunderstorms is in the tropics.
- Tropical Depression: An area of low pressure, rotary circulation of clouds and winds up to 38 mph is identified.
- Tropical Storm: A storm characterized by counterclockwise circulation of clouds and winds 39-73 is brewing.