Monitoring tropical cyclones from space
01 June 2012
As the North Atlantic Hurricane season officially starts today (1 June) EUMETSAT take a look at how you can see tropical cyclones forming and follow where they are moving using satellite imagery.
Tropical cyclone is the generic term for a low pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters, with organised convection (i.e. thunderstorm activity) and winds at low levels circulating either anti-clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) or clockwise (in the southern hemisphere).
At its very early and weak stages it is called a Tropical Depression. When the winds reach 39 mph (62.8 km/h) it is called a Tropical Storm. If the wind should reach 74 mph (119km/h) or more is called a Hurricane in the Atlantic and the north-east Pacific, and a Typhoon in the north-west Pacific. In other parts of the world, such as the Indian Ocean and South Pacific the term Cyclonic Storm or Tropical Cyclone is used.
For more information click here.