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June 1, 2012
Table of Contents
- A1) What is a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical cyclone?
- A2) What is "Cape Verde" hurricane?
- A3) What is a super-typhoon? What is a major hurricane
? What is an intense hurricane ?
- A4) What is an easterly wave and what causes them?
- A5) What is a tropical disturbance, tropical depression,
- A6) What is a sub-tropical cyclone?
- A7) What is an extratropical cyclone ?
- A8) What is storm surge and how is it different
from storm tide ?
- A9) What is a "CDO" ?
- A10) What is a TUTT ?
- A11) What is the "eye" ? How is it formed and maintained
? What is the "eyewall" ? What are "spiral bands" ?
- A12) What is a moat in a hurricane ?
- A13) What is UTC, GMT, Z, or Zulu Time ?
How do I tell at what time a satellite picture was taken ?
- A14) How do I convert from mph to knots (or m/s),
from inches of mercury to millibars (or hPa), or from degrees of
latitude to miles (or kilometers) ?
- A15) How do tropical cyclones form ?
- A16) Why do tropical cyclones require at least
80°F ocean temperatures to form ?
- A17) What is the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) ? How
does it affect tropical cyclones ?
- A18) What is a neutercane ?
- A19) What does ATCF stand for and how are tropical
- A20) What does AL90, AL91, or 92L refer to in the
This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) web site attempts to address
various questions regarding hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones
that have been posed to us as hurricane researchers over the years.
While it is not intended to be a technical guide, references are given
throughout the FAQ for those that would like additional, detailed
information. Also, there is no guarantee that all that is in here is
completely accurate (we're human!). If you do see an item that needs
correction, or if you have any additional questions that you think
should be added to this FAQ, please contact us directly.
Hopefully, this FAQ site can help answer some of the questions that
you may have about the characteristics of these catastrophic storms,
how they are monitored and forecasted, and what are some of research
topics that are being addressed today.
We'd like to thank various people for helping to put together this FAQ:
Sim Aberson, Jack Beven, Gary Padgett, Tom Berg, Julian Heming, Gary
Gray, Frank Woodcock, Stephen Caparotta, Steven Young, D. Walston,
James Lewis Free, Jon Gill, Miles Lawrence, Robert A. Black, Bill
McCaul, Bart Hagemeyer, Frank Marks, Joe Cione, Frank Lepore,
and John Guiney, all provided substantial bits to this FAQ. Many
thanks also to Jan Null for providing the first .html version of the FAQ.
For the Spanish language version:
The first version of the Spanish translation was written by Ada Monzon.
The current version was provided by Todd Kimberlain, Gladys Rubio, and
Felix Garcia of NHC, the Modern Language and Meteorology departments of
FIU, and (for section A) personnel at the University of Puerto Rico.
Thank you all.
Neal Dorst webmaster
Erica Rule outreach coordinator and main contact
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