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PINPOINTING THE TROPICS: What's an invest?

Designation plays a big role in tropical forecasting

ORLANDO, Fla.- – You may have heard the Pinpoint weather team refer to an area in the tropics as an Invest followed by a number and a letter. Invest is short for investigation. When an area of low pressure in the tropics is designated an Invest by the National Hurricane Center, computer forecasts on that specified entity can begin.

The iconic spaghetti plots then become available to forecasters. This is the most important part of an area being watched being designated an Invest .

A number and a letter then follow the Invest. For example, the disturbance off the Florida coast has been deemed Invest 98L. The National Hurricane Center uses numbers from 90 to 99 to highlight areas of disturbed weather. The letter refers to the basin that entity is in. For the Atlantic, it's the letter L. For the Pacific E. Once all of the numbers are used up, the NHC will start up again with 90.


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