Hurricane season is rapidly approaching. To adequately prepare for whatever storms might head your way, it's vital to familiarize yourself with common hurricane-related terms, courtesy of NOAA.
Tropical Disturbance: A loosely organized area of thunderstorms that remains in an area for 24 hours or more.
Tropical Depression: An area of low pressure characterized by rotary circulation of thunderstorms with winds of less than 39 mph.
Tropical Storm: An unorganized area of low pressure and thunderstorms with distinct circulation and winds of 39-73 mph.
Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the designated area within 48 hours.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the designated area within 36 hours.
Hurricane: A pronounced rotary circulation with wind speeds of 74 mph or greater.
Storm Surge: An abnormal rise in sea level usually caused by a hurricane. Storm surge height is the rise in sea level caused by the storm.
The progression of a tropical disturbance into a hurricane can occur quickly. Without the proper protection, hurricane damage could be devastating. If you see a tropical disturbance in your area, stay updated on local weather reports in case a hurricane forms. Begin to board up your windows, prepare for flooding and back up all important data.
If a hurricane develops and is projected to reach your area, follow evacuation plans and prepare for roads to be crowded. For a comprehensive pre-hurricane plan, review our hurricane preparedness checklist.