Topic Thread:      Technology & Science   »   Weather & Meteorology   »   Tropical Meteorology   »   Tropical Storms, Hurricanes & Typhoons

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Tropical Storms, Hurricanes & Typhoons

Our atmosphere is constantly changing. The state of the atmosphere and how it changes is what we call weather. The immense ocean of air in which we live has the ability to reconfigure itself quickly on many different scales; this serves as a source of wonder, pleasure, vexation and danger.

Because weather can influence our lives so greatly, it has become necessary to make attempts to accurately predict it. The quality of weather prediction has improved dramatically over the last 30 years. Numerical models, satellite imagery, doppler radar and other state-of-the-art technologies have revolutionized the field of meteorology. Tropical weather forecasts, which in the past relied mainly on climatology, now benefit from use of extensive satellite data. This is especially important for accurately predicting hurricanes, typhoons and other tropical storms. Computer modeling has dramatically improved the ability to forecast tropical storm tracks, intensities and damage patterns. The improvements made in predicting hurricanes, typhoons and other tropical storms have resulted in a major reduction in deaths and injuries resulting from tropical storm winds and storm surge. Property damage, however, remains high because we are building more expensive dwellings ever closer to seafronts and shorelines while destroying the salt marsh wetlands that can reduce the impact of storm surge.

Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 28 June 2005.

Follow links to the right to learn more about tropical storms, hurricanes, typhoons, tropical cyclones, computer models for hurricane forecasting and the current hurricane season prediction. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to tropical meteorology, tropical climatology, thunderstorms (the heat engines of tropical storms) and severe weather. View the Tropical Meteorology SiteMap for a complete list of tropical cyclone, typhoon and hurricane topics.

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