TROPICAL INVEST - An unorganized weak cluster of thunderstorms being monitored for possible development.
TROPICAL DEPRESSION - Mass of thunderstorms with a weak circulation, winds less than 39mph.
TROPICAL STORM - An organized rotating storm with winds of 39-73 mph. At this stage storm receives a name.
HURRICANE - Large, violent storm with pronounced circulation of thunderstorms and sometimes an eye. Winds of at least 74 mph and storm surges usually greater than 10 feet.
MAJOR HURRICANE - Category 3 or greater.
STORM SURGE - Rapid rise in ocean height as system comes ashore. More deaths occur from storm surge than wind from a land falling hurricane.
HURRICANE WATCH - Winds of 74 mph or higher are possible in watch area. Issued 48 hours before anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
HURRICANE WARNING - Winds of 74 mph or higher are expected within the warned area. Issued 36 hours before anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
TORNADO WATCH - Be prepared, a tornado is possible in warned area.
TORNADO WARNING - Take action, a tornado has been detected by radar or eyewitnesses in the warned area.