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TERMS TO KNOW


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.