Hurricane Weather Terms

Which is Worse; Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning?


Part of staying informed about weather conditions is understanding the different terms used by weather forecasters.  Following are some of the most common terms:

  1. Advisory: Hurricane and storm information is disseminated (dispersed) to the public every six hours.
  2. Special Advisory: Information is broadcast when there is significant change in storm-related weather conditions.
  3. Gale Warning: Sustained winds of 35-54 mph and strong wave action are expected. 
  4. Storm Warning: Sustained winds of 55-73 mph are expected.
  5. Hurricane Watch: There is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
  6. Hurricane Warning: A hurricane is expected to strike within 24 hours or less, with sustained winds of 74 mph or more and dangerously high water.
  7. Tropical Disturbance: A moving area of thunderstorms is in the tropics. 
  8. Tropical Depression: An area of low pressure, rotary circulation of clouds and winds up to 38 mph is identified.
  9. Tropical Storm: A storm characterized by counterclockwise circulation of clouds and winds 39-73 is brewing.

Hurricane season began June 1, although our first ‘named storm’  occurred one week before that. A disturbance was observed South of Bermuda on May 20. It continued to grow and became Subtropical Storm Andrea.  Fortunately, Andrea became a Subtropical Depression on May 21 and was no longer a threat.

As of the second week in June, the Atlantic is not showing any huge disturbances. Although when next system develops, it will be named Barry. 

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Pam Batey

Moved to Tanglewood in August 2016, with husband, Steve and dog, Maggie. Retired Paramedic, now continuing my hobby writing short stories and information in the "You and Your Health" Section of the newsletter. Active Member of Tanglewood Community Church.