Weather Terms to Know

  • Hurricane Advisory: A early warning system will prepare you for a hurricane strike well in advance of hurricane watches and warnings.
  • Hurricane Warning: If the danger materializes, a hurricane warning will be issued. This means that the storm has a great likelihood of directly affecting your area in 24 hours or less. Heed calls to evacuate if necessary. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.
  • Hurricane Watch: An announcement of specific coastal areas that a hurricane or an incipient hurricane condition poses a possible threat, generally within 36 hours. Plan your time now.
  •  Storm Surge: A large dome of water up to 100 miles wide that sweeps across the coastline near where a hurricane makes landfall.
  • Storm Tide: The actual level of sea water resulting from the astronomic tide combined with the storm surge.
  • Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclonic (counter-clockwise) circulation with sustained surface wind speed up to 38 miles per hour (mph).
  • Tropical Disturbance: A disturbed area of thunderstorms, tropical in origin, which is evident for 24 hours or more.
  • Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclonic circulation with sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that a tropical storm poses or tropical storm conditions pose a threat to coastal areas generally within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch should normally not be issued if the system is forecasted to attain hurricane strength.