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Tropical depression, tropical storm, and other hurricane terms you need to know

There are a lot of words you only hear during hurricane season. Do you know what they mean?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — There are a lot of words you only hear during hurricane season.Things like tropical wave, hurricane, invest…you might know what some mean, but others not so much. Let’s dive into a few words and phrases you need to know.

Tropical wave is one you hear frequently before a storm forms.

A tropical wave is an unorganized area of storms traveling west out of Africa.

These are important to follow because around 85% of major hurricanes begin as tropical waves. Another common term you hear…Invest. Invest stands for Investigative area.

When a tropical wave becomes more organized the National Hurricane Center will designate the area of disturbed weather “Invest”. Each invest is given a number from 90-99.

For example Invest 90L. The L tells us the system is in the Atlantic. This also allows the NHC to run ensemble models or spaghetti models on these systems

You might also hear the term cyclone during hurricane season. A cyclone is a blanket term for any area of low pressure that has closed circulation.

Hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions are all cyclones because they area closed area Of low pressure.

Want to know about other weather terms? Just text us at (256)382-2692 and we’ll define it for you!