Must-know terms during hurricane season

Words that will help you make more sense out of forecasts

This NOAA-released image shows Typhoon Trami gaining strength in the West Pacific.
This NOAA-released image shows Typhoon Trami gaining strength in the West Pacific.

ORLANDO, Fla. – During hurricane season, meteorologists have a new arsenal of terms they pull out specifically to describe tropical developments. Here's a list of a few and their definitions to help guide you through hurricane season.

Barometric pressure: The weight of a column of air that extends from the water's surface to the top of the atmosphere. This is also called air pressure. The barometric pressure is very low in a hurricane.

Cone of uncertainty: You may recognize the cone of uncertainty graphic, as it is often used to warn an area of when and where a hurricane could potentially make landfall. It's also sometimes called the cone of probability, and it shows the storm's margin of error over five days.

Eyewall: The area that circles the eye of the storm where the most potentially damaging weather can be found.

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Outer bands: These are the rings of thunderstorms the furthest away from the eye of a hurricane or tropical storm. They are the first to come ashore during landfall.

Storm surge: A wall or dome of water that can be 20 feet tall and anywhere from 50 to 100 miles wide. These dangerous walls of water form when winds from a storm push the water to shore. 

Tropical-storm-force winds: Winds that are 39 mph or greater.

Typhoon: A typhoon is the same as a hurricane, but the term is reserved for developments in the Indian and western Pacific oceans.

Wobble: Describes how major hurricanes jog left or right from their projected path of travel.

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