Hurricane Information

Hurricane 101


A hurricane is defined as a low-pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The system is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern atmosphere, a counter-clockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface. Tropical systems are classified as follows:
  • Tropical Depression - An organized system with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 MPH.
  • Tropical Storm - An organized system with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 MPH.
  • Hurricane - An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 MPH or higher.
Watch Vs. Warning

Hurricane Watch:  hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Residents are urged to enact their disaster plans and secure their homes.

Hurricane Warning:  hurricane conditions may be experienced within 24 hours. Residents are urged to finalize disaster action plans and seek shelter in a safe location.

Hurricane Hazards

  • storm surge (water is pushed toward the shore by strong hurricane winds)
  • flooding
  • high winds