General Hurricane Info

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General Hurricane Information - CFHC

General Info Brevard Volusia Flagler Indian River Inland News Media

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st until November 30th. The peak of the season (most active time) is roughly from August 15th until September 30th.

Also see: Hurricane History for East Central Florida by Ed Dunham

Hurricane Names for 2024

Alberto Helene Oscar
Beryl Isaac Patty
Chris Joyce Rafael
Debby Kirk Sara
Ernesto Leslie Tony
Francine Milton Valerie
Gordon Nadine William

List of Current And Future Storm Names:

2024: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Francine, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Milton, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, William (List IV)

2025: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian (likely to be replaced), Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van, Wendy (List V)

2026: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Leah, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, Wilfred (List VI)

2027: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Imani, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda (List I)

2028: Alex,Bonnie,Colin,Danielle,Earl,Farrah,Gaston,Hermine,Idris,Julia,Karl,Lisa,Martin,Nicole,Owen,Paula,Richard,Shary,Tobias,Virginie,Walter (List II)

2029:: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, Whitney (List III)

Alternate Hurricane Name List

These are used in the event that all the normal hurricane names are used up. This list was created in 2021, prior to this the Greek Alphabet was used. (use happened in 2005 and 2020)

Alternate name list: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana, Will

The Naming of Hurricanes

For several hundred years, many hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint's day on which the hurricane occurred. Ivan R. Tannehill describes in his book "HURRICANES," the major tropical storms of recorded history and mentions many hurricanes named after saints. For example, there was "Hurricane Santa Ana" which struck Puerto Rico with exceptional violence on July 26, 1825, and "San Felipe" (the first) and "San Felipe (the second) which hit Puerto Rico on September 13 in both 1876 and 1928.

Tannehill also tells of Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist, who began giving women's names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th Century.An early example of the use of a woman's name for a storm was in the novel "STORM" by George R. Stewart, published by Random House in 1941 and since filmed by Walt Disney. During World War II, this practice became widespread in weather map discussions among forecasteres, especially Air Force and Navy meteorologists who plotted the movement of storms over the wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean.In 1953, the United States abandoned as confusing a 3-year old plan to name storms by phonetic alphabe (Able, Baker, Charlie) when a new, international phonetic alphabet was introduced.

That year, this Nation's weather services began using female names for storms.The practice of naming hurricanes solely after women came to an end in 1978 when men's and women's names included in eastern North Pacific storm lists. In 1979, male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico.Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive names in written, as well as in spoken communications, is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods. These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, airports, coastal bases, and ships at sea.

The use of easily remembered names greatly reduces confusion when two or more tropical cyclones occur at the same time. For example, one hurricane can be moving slowly westward in the Gulf of Mexico, while at exactly the same time another hurricane can be moving rapidly northward along the Atlantic coast. In the past, confusion and false rumors have arisen when storm advisories broadcast from one radio station were mistaken for warnings concerning an entirely different storm located hundreds of miles away.

Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale

All hurricanes are dangerous, but some more so than others. The way storm surge, wind, and other factors combine determines the hurricane's destructive power. To make comparisons easier-and to make the predicted hazards of approaching hurricanes clearer to emergency forces-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hurricane forecasters use a disaster-potential scale which assigns storms to five categories.
Category 1 is a minimum hurricane; category 5 is the worst case. The criteria for each category in the table shown below:

Category Windspeed & Pressure* Effects/Example
74-95 mph
~ >980 mb*
Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
Hurricane Erin (1995), Gaston (2004), Humberto (2007)
96-110 mph
~965-979 mb*
Some roofing material, door, and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of center. Small Craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.
Examples: Hurricane Bertha (1996), Frances, Jeanne (2004)
111-129 mph
~ 945-964 mb*
Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 feet ASL may be flooded inland 8 miles or more.
Hurricane Opal (1995), Hurricane Fran (1996), Ivan (2004)
~ 130-156 mph
920-944 mb*
More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain continuously lower than 10 feet ASL may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas inland as far as 6 miles. Example: Hurricane Charley (2004), Katrina (2005)
157 + mph
~ <920 mb*
Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet ASL and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 miles of the shoreline may be required.
Examples: Hurricane Camille (1969), Andrew (1992). Michael (2018)

Not included in the chart, but also important are: Tropical Depressions (30-40MPH) warm core systems, and Tropical Storms (40-74MPH).
* - The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is based on Windspeed alone, the pressures are only included as a general reference and may not always apply (Surrounding atmosphere at degree of pressure gradient can adjust these numbers by as much as 25+/-). Storm Surge also does not apply, as it is mostly a function of hurricane wind field size and coastal depth and and shape.

Preparedness Info:

  • Know the storm surge history and elevation of your area.
  • Learn safe routes inland
  • Learn location of official shelters
  • Review needs and working condition of emergency equipment, such as flashlights, battery-powered radios, etc.
  • Ensure that enough non-perishable food and water supplies are on hand to last for at least 2 weeks.
  • Obtain and store materials, such as plywood and plastic, necessary to properly secure your home.
  • Check home for loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Cut weak branches and trees that could fall or bump against the house. When trimming, try to create a channel through the foliage to the center of the tree to allow for air flow.
  • Determine where to move your boat in an emergency.
  • Review your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage.
  • Individuals with special needs should contact their local office of emergency management.
  • For information and assistance with any of the above, contact your local National Weather Service office, emergency management office, or American Red Cross chapter.


Tropical Cyclone -- By international agreement,tropical cyclone is the general term for all cyclone circulations originating over tropical waters, classified by form and intensity as follows:

Tropical Disturbance: A moving area of thunderstorms in the tropics that maintains its identity for 24-hours or more. A common phenomenon in the tropics.

Tropical Wave A kink or bend in the normally straight flow of surface air in the tropics which forms a low pressure trough, or pressure boundary, and showers and thunderstorms. Can develop into a tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone A low-pressure weather system in which the central core is warmer than the surrounding atmosphere. The term "tropical cyclone" is also used in the Indian Ocean and around the Coral Sea off northeastern Australia to describe storms called "hurricanes" and "typhoons" in other areas.

Tropical Depression: Rotary circulation at surface, highest constant wind speed 38 miles per hour (33 knots).

Tropical Storm: Distinct rotary circulation, constant wind speeds ranges 39-73 miles per hour (64 knots).

Hurricane:Pronounced rotary circulation, constant wind speed of 74 miles per hours (64 knots) or more.

Small Craft Cautionary statements: When a tropical cyclone threatens a coastal area, small craft operators are advised to remain in port or not to venture into the open sea.

Gale Warnings: may be issued when winds of 39-54 miles an hour (34-47 knots) are expected.

Storm Warnings: may be issued when winds of 55-73 miles per hour (48-63 knots) are expected. If a hurricane is expected to strike a coastal area, gale or storm warnings will not usually precede hurricane warnings.

A Hurricane Watch:is issued for coastal area when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 36-48 hours.

A Hurricane Warning: is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area in 36 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles an hour (63 knots) and/ or dangerously high tides and waves. Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately when the warning is issued.

Flash Flood Watch: means a flash flood is possible in the area; stay alert.

Flash Flood Warning means a flash flood is imminent; take immediate action.

Tornadoes spawned by hurricanes sometimes produce severe damage and casualties. If a tornado is reported in your area, a warning will be issued.

Extratropical cyclone A storm that forms outside the tropics, sometimes as a tropical storm or hurricane changes. A "cold core" system.

Eye The low pressure center of a tropical cyclone. Surrounded by the most intense area of the storm and at a huge contrast inside the eye winds are normally calm and sometimes the sky clears.

Eye wall The ring of thunderstorms that surrounds a storm's eye. The heaviest rain, strongest winds and worst turbulence are normally in the eye wall.

Knots A measure of speed. It is one nautical mile per hour. Never refer to "knots per hour" unless you want to describe acceleration. A nautical mile is one minute of one degree of longitude and is slightly longer than the ordinary, or statute, mile used in the United States. To convert nautical miles to miles or knots to miles per hour, multiply by 1.15. To convert miles to nautical miles or miles per hour to knots, divide by 1.15.

Mesovortex A medium-size whirlwind on the scale of a few miles. It is thus smaller than a hurricane but larger than a tornado. Mesovortices may form in the eyewall of a hurricane, and may cause significant damage at ground level. Andrew, for example, had these.

Millibar A metric measurement of air pressure.

North Atlantic Basin Referring to the Atlantic Ocean north of the equator, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Storm Surge The dome of water that builds up as a hurricane moves over water. As this water comes ashore with the storm, it causes flooding that is usually a hurricane's biggest killer.

Typhoon A hurricane in the north Pacific west of the International Date Line.

Subtropical Cyclone A low pressure system that develops in subtropical waters (north of 20 north degrees latitude) and initially has non-tropical features but does have some element of a tropical cyclone's cloud structure (located close to the center rather than away from the center of circulation). Subtropical cyclones are generally of two types:
(1) An upper level cold low with circulation extending to the surface and maximum sustained winds generally occurring at a radius of about 100 miles or more from the pressure center.
(2) A mesoscale cyclone originating in or near a frontolyzing zone of horizontal wind shear, with radius of maximum sustained winds generally less than 30 miles. The entire circulation sometimes encompasses an area initially no more than 100 miles in diameter. These generally short-lived, marine cyclones may vary in structure from cold to warm core.

Subtropical Depression: A subtropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 33 kt (38 mph or 62 km/hr) or less.

Subtropical Storm: A subtropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 34 kt (39 mph or 63 km/hr) or more

Dvorak T Numbers: Dvorak numbers are satellite-derived estimates of a storm's intensity. They are, of course, only estimates; and surface, recon, and other satellite observations sometimes show them to be too high or too low. Here are 2 links explaining the Dvorak technique and the intensities to which Dvorak numbers approximately correspond: Dvorak 1 - Dvorak 2

Acronyms used often:

AOC - Aircraft Operations Center (Hurricane Hunters)

AKA - Also Known As

AVN - Aviation Model (Specific run of MRF)

BAM - Beta and Advection (Forecast Model)

CFHC - Central Florida Hurricane Center
CLIPER - CLImatology and PERsistence (forecasting model)
CPHC -Central Pacific Hurricane Center
EMC -Environmental Modeling Center
FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Forecasting model)
GoM - Gulf of Mexico
H1 - Hurricane Category 1. H2 H3 H4 H5 are similar
JAX - Jacksonville, Florida
LBAR - Limited area sine transform BARotropic
LLCC - Low Level Circulation Center (aka the Eye)
MIA - Miami, Florida
MLB - Melbourne, Florida
MRF - Medium Range Forecast (Forecasting Model)
NHC- The National Hurricane Center
NCEP - National Center for Environmental Prediction
NESDIS - National Environmental Satellite, Data, & Information Center
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NSB- New Smyrna Beach, Florida
NWS -National Weather Service
PSJ - Port St. John, Florida
SHIFOR - Statistical Hurricane Intensity FORecast (Intensity Forecast Model)
SHIPS - Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme
TAFB - Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch

TD - Tropical Depression

TPC -- Tropical Prediction Center (One and the same as the National Hurricane Center)

TS - Tropical Storm

UKMET - United Kingdom Meteorological Office. (Model)

Unofficial Terms Used on CFHC:

Cape Verde Storm- A tropical system with origins coming from the coast of Africa. These are the long tracking systems, which move off Africa, form and trek across the Atlantic eventually threatening the Eastern Caribbean Islands and the US East Coast. The Cape Verde Islands themselves are just west off the coast of Africa.

"Unofficial" Terms

Prepapathy - What some will do after having close calls without anything happening. Ie, you prepare for a storm one time and nothing happens, so next time you don't. This is very very very bad. This is where people will get hurt.

Crawfishing - Act of making a prediction and if it does not come to pass passing the buck, or brushing it off as a quirk. (We do this too sometimes)

Fish Spinner - A storm that goes out to sea, and never makes landfall. (Aka Fish Storm) Note, if it makes landfall anywhere it is not a fish. (Ie islands)

HurMedia - Reference to hurricane Media Coverage (especially local) which tends to go a little overboard sometimes.

Wave Monger - 1. n. A hurricane tracker who pines for storms. Who sees every cloud over the ocean as a potential monster heading for land. Usually tropical waves that have not formed yet. Wave Mongers are usually seen more often in the early season. They deal in hype rather than facts. 2. v. The act of hyping up a storm way before it has even formed.

Whinecasting -- Similar to wishcasting, but having someone visibly upset that the forecast was wrong and then blaming everything on anything else.

Wishcasting - Act of "wishing" a storm would come your way to "add excitement". If you are really this bored, you need another hobby. This is not the thing to do. The cliche, "Don't wish too hard... You may get what you wish for", really applies here.

General Info Brevard Volusia Flagler Indian River Inland News Media

This page is a part of the Central Florida Hurricane Center