Hurricane terms you should know

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Center – The vertical axis of a tropical cyclone, usually defined by the location of minimum wind or minimum pressure.

Eye – The relatively calm area in the center of a hurricane. It can range from 5 to more than 50 miles wide.

Eye Wall – A doughnut-shaped zone of the highest winds and heavy rain surrounding the eye.

Feeder Bands – Thunderstorms that spiral into and around the center of a tropical system. A typical storm may have three or more bands, usually 40 to 80 miles apart.

Hurricane Warning – Issued when hurricane conditions—winds of 74 mph or greater—are expected within 24 hours.

Hurricane Watch – Issued when hurricane conditions are possible within 36/48 hours.

Landfall – When the surface center of a tropical cyclone intersects with the coastline.

Major Hurricane – A storm with highest winds of 111 mph or higher.

Tropical Disturbance – An area of thunderstorms that keeps its intensity for at least 24 hours.

Tropical Storm – A warm-centered, low-pressure circulation with highest sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph.

Wind Shear – Upper level winds that can blow the tops off hurricanes, weakening or destroying them.

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