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Weather this or that.

There are key differences between tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Each stage represents development and intensity of a tropical cyclone’s “lifecycle”. Because we’ve already had some spicy storm activity we thought we would review the differences in this blog post! If you are interested in keeping up with tropical summer cyclones we recommend checking out this website provided from NOAA.

Tropical Depressions are the initial stage of tropical cyclones. They form when a low-pressure system over warm ocean waters begins to show organized circulation. Wind speeds in a tropical depression are relatively mild, typically not exceeding 38 mph. Despite their lower intensity, tropical depressions can bring significant rainfall and potential flooding.

Tropical Storms develop from tropical depressions once sustained wind speeds reach between 39 and 73 mph. At this stage, the system is more organized, and the characteristic spiral shape starts to become more defined. Tropical storms can cause considerable damage through strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surges, and they are named to help in communication and public awareness (Looking @ you Alberto!). 

Hurricanes are the most intense type of tropical cyclone, forming when wind speeds exceed 74 mph. These powerful storms are categorized into five levels on the Saffir-Simpson scale, ranging from Category 1 (least severe) to Category 5 (most severe). Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage through extreme winds, torrential rains, and devastating storm surges, and can lead to significant loss of life and property if people are not prepared. 

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