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Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 925-7500



Hurricane/Tropical Weather Terms

  Here are some common hurricane related terms used by weathercasters and forecasters. Hurricane season runs from June through November.

Tropical Disturbance: An area of thunderstorms in the tropics that maintain its identity for at least 24 hours. A very common phenomenon in the tropics.

Tropical Depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained surface winds of 38 mph or less.

Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained surface winds of 39 to 73 mph.

Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are POSSIBLE in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are EXPECTED in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours.

Hurricane: An intense tropical system with a well defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater.

Hurricane Watch: Hurricane condition are POSSIBLE in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours.

Hurricane Warning: Hurricane condition are EXPECTED in the specified area of the Warning, usually within 24 hours.

Small Craft Advisory: When a hurricane moves within a few hundred miles of the coast, small-craft owners should not venture out into the open ocean.

 Related Information
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Food & Water In A Disaster
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