EXPLAINER: First Alert Weather team defines tropical terms you need to know

Tropical IR Satellite as of 1 p.m. June 30, 2022
Tropical IR Satellite as of 1 p.m. June 30, 2022(WCTV)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 1:59 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

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.

INVEST

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.

Invest 95L
Invest 95L(WCTV)

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.

Potential Tropical Cyclone #2
Potential Tropical Cyclone #2(WCTV)

TROPICAL DEPRESSION

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.

TROPICAL STORM

A tropical storm contains all the characteristics of a tropical depression, but with maximum sustained surface winds of 39-74 mph.

HURRICANE

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.