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Tropical Storm

Last updated date: 28th May 2024
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Occurrence of Tropical Storm

Tropical Storm occurs in the Earth’s Ocean Basins where tropical cyclones are found. They are precisely centered in the North Atlantic, Northeast and Central Pacific, Northwest and Southwest Pacific, and also in Indian. Tropical storms are quite similar to intense and mature tropical cyclones. These cyclones possess horizontal dimensions of about 160 km (which is around 100 miles). 

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We will further know in detail about the tropical storms. Also, we will enlighten on Tropical Weather. 

Tropical Storm

A tropical storm is a storm that has an organized center and has low pressure which originates over the warm tropical oceans. The surface winds maximize their range from 63 to 118 km (that is 39 to 73 miles) on a per-hour basis. These kinds of storms represent the intermediate stage which is between the organized tropical depressions which are loosely formed and other intense tropical cyclones which are known as hurricanes or typhoons, they are named differently in different parts of the globe. 

The winds are the highest at the surface area but decrease with the increasing altitude. These winds typically attain the approximate intensity of about 30–50 km (that is 20–30 miles) which is away from the center of the circulation. 

Tropical Weather 

Two reasons why tropical weather is different from the weather in higher latitudes. The reason is here, the sun shines directly on the tropics rather than shining directly on the higher latitudes. They shine directly at least on an average over a year, this makes the tropics very warm compared to the higher latitude regions. Another reason is, the vertical direction, while one stands on the earth’s surface, is perpendicular to the Earth's axis of rotation at its equator. The axis of rotation and the vertical are the same at the pole, this causes the rotation of the earth to influence the atmospheric circulation more intently at higher latitudes than at the lower latitudes. 

For these above-mentioned factors, clouds and rainstorms occur in the tropics more spontaneously than compared to that in the higher latitudes. In these, they are more tightly controlled by the larger-scale forces in the atmosphere. For these differences, the clouds and rain are very difficult to forecast in the tropics than at the higher latitudes. On the other hand, the temperature can be easily forecasted in the tropics, as it doesn't differ much.

Heat, Moisture, Clouds, and Rain

With higher temperatures, more water vapour gets collected in the air without the process of condensing. When the sun shines strongly on the tropic regions mainly on the warm oceans they have an effectively infinite amount of water that evaporates into the open air. This is the time when the overlying atmosphere becomes humid.

Temperature and pressure both drop very quickly with the increasing altitude, this happens in the tropical regions as elsewhere on the Earth. If the warm air is lighter than the air surrounding it, this will expand and cool. Thus, it will cause water vapour in it to condense into these tiny liquid droplets and this forms a cloud. The latent heat of the condensation warms the air, this causes the air to become warmer, which further allows the air to updraft and rise. After enough water condenses, then the cloud droplets can become large enough to fall as rain.

Sometimes the tropical shower ends quite quickly when the rain evaporates. The evaporating rain cools the air which is located near the surface, the warm air rises into a new cloud. Also, the cooling effect with the weight of the rain itself can create a downdraft which will be enough to create turbulence which then turns and lifts the nearby warm, making the air humid, making a new updraft. This process then well feeds on itself to produce a large complex of storms that maintains the rainy weather over a couple of days. 

More on Tropical Storms

The tropical storms act as precursors for the more intense tropical cyclones, which occur more often. The yearly average tropical storms that occur in the various ocean basins are as follows:

  • North Atlantic 

  • North Eastern Pacific 

  • North Western Pacific 

  • Northern Indian 

  • South Western Indian 

  • Australian. 

In all the ocean basins, roughly around 45 percent of the tropical storms continue to intensify their motion to minimal tropical-cyclone strength or greater.

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The above image depicts the data of the number of tropical cyclones and tropical storms that occur around the globe. 

There are a number of factors that might result in the failure of a tropical storm to continue to intensify a particular area. In some cases, the storm also moves into a region where the large-scale environment will not favor further growth. The sea surface temperature is quite low, the middle atmosphere is also too dry, or the winds which are blowing at the upper levels are too high to support the continued vertical development of the storm. 

FAQs on Tropical Storm

Q1. Name Some Tropical Storms.

Ans. Some tropical storms are as follows:

  • Atlantic hurricane season.

  • Pacific hurricane season.

  • Pacific typhoon season.

  • North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season.

  • South-West Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season.

  • Australian region tropical cyclone season.

  • South Pacific tropical cyclone season.

  • South Atlantic tropical cyclone.

Tropical storms are the same as tropical cyclones. While they are known by different names in different other locations. In the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, the storms are called hurricanes.

Q2. What are Higher Latitude Regions?

Ans. The Higher latitudes regions are like – Alaska, Canada, Northern Border of the US like Washington, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Maine, also in Scandinavia and the Northern Parts of the United Kingdom. The higher latitude regions are also - New Zealand and southernmost Australia.

Q3. What do You mean by Condensing?

Ans. Condensation is the process in which the physical state of matter changes from the gaseous phase into the liquid phase. When the water in the air comes in connection with a cold surface, this condenses to form water droplets. While the opposite of condensation is called evaporation reaction.