Knowing hurricane terminology can help you with your plans.
Here is some vital terms to know:
Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the area.
Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the area. Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the area. Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of tropical storm force winds.
Eye: Clear, sometimes well-defined center of the storm with calmer conditions.
Eye Wall: Surrounding the eye, contains some of the most severe weather of the storm with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.
Rain Bands: Bands coming off the cyclone that produce severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind and tornadoes.
Storm Surge: An often underestimated and deadly result of ocean water swelling as a result of a land falling storm, and quickly flooding coastal and sometimes areas further inland.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Cat 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage.
Terms – Miles Per Hour
Tropical Depression – 38mph
Tropical Strom – 39-73mph
Cat 1 Hurricane – 74-95mph
Cat 2 Hurricane – 96-110mph
Cat 3 Hurricane (Major) – 111-129mph
Cat 4 Hurricane (Major) 130-156mph
Cat 5 Hurricane (Major) 157+mph
Sources: stateofflorida.com and National Hurricane Center