EXPLAINER: First Alert Weather team defines tropical terms you need to know
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Throughout hurricane season, you may hear a variety of terms and classifications used when the First Alert Meteorologists are tracking the tropics.
At a time like now, when we have multiple active systems all with different classifications, it sometimes can get confusing.
Let’s go ahead and identify each type of storm classification, as well as what they entail.
An invest is a term used by the National Hurricane Center to identify a disturbance that may possibly develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm within the next five days. Right now, we are keeping an eye on Invest 95L in the Gulf of Mexico.
POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE
This is a relatively new term introduced by the National Hurricane Center in 2017. A potential tropical cyclone (PTC) is a system that has not yet developed into a tropical depression or tropical storm, but still carries a threat of 39+ mph winds to land within 48 hours. This is simply a designation that allows the NHC to issue tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings with advanced notice to keep people in the path of the storm safe. We are currently tracking PTC #2 in the Caribbean.
A tropical depression is a tropical system that contains organized deep convection (storm development), along with a closed surface wind circulation around a well-defined center. A tropical depression contains maximum sustained surface winds of 38 mph or less.
A tropical storm contains all the characteristics of a tropical depression, but with maximum sustained surface winds of 39-74 mph.
A hurricane contains all the characteristics of a tropical storm, but with maximum sustained surface winds of at least 75 mph.
Head over to our Hurricane Headquarters page for much more additional information on the tropics, and how you can keep yourself and your family safe this hurricane season.
Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.