What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a large and powerful tropical cyclone characterized by a low-pressure center and strong rotating winds. It is a type of severe weather system that forms over warm ocean waters, typically in the tropical regions. Hurricanes are known by different names in various parts of the world. For example, in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, they are called hurricanes. In the Northwest Pacific, they are referred to as typhoons, while in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, they are called cyclones.

How are Tropical Cyclones Measured?

Tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones, are measured and categorized using various parameters. The most commonly used measurements to assess and monitor tropical cyclones include:

  1. Wind Speed: The sustained wind speed of a tropical cyclone is one of the primary factors used to categorize its intensity. It refers to the average wind speed measured over a specific period, typically one minute, at a given height (usually 33 feet or 10 meters) above the surface. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is often used to classify hurricanes based on their sustained wind speeds.