All the hurricane terms Houstonians need to know
With hurricane season approaching, KPRC 2 Hurricane Headquarters is here to help Houstonians power through the storms by providing our audience with everything they need to know, starting with terminology. [RELATED: Tropical disturbance could get hurricane season off to an early start]Hurricane WatchAn announcement that hurricane-force winds are possible the specified warning area within 48 hours. Hurricane WarningAn announcement that hurricane-force winds are expected somewhere in the specified warning area within 36 hours. Hurricane AdvisoryA report issued from the National Hurricane Center that keeps the public informed of hurricanes through the duration of a hurricane’s life cycle. More weather terms to know
Understanding thunderstorms and weather terminology
With hurricane season approaching, KPRC 2 Hurricane Headquarters is here to help Houstonians power through the storms by providing our audience with everything they need to know, starting with terminology. Here’s what to know about thunderstorms:Severe Thunderstorm Watch: An announcement issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A warning issued when severe thunderstorms are occurring or imminent in the warning area. More weather terms to know:
The difference between tropical storm types and how they’re defined
[RELATED: Tropical disturbance could get hurricane season off to an early start]Unsure if it’s a storm or disturbance, or don’t understand the difference either way? Here’s how it breaks down:A tropical cyclone with sustained surface winds from 39 mph (63 km/hr) to 73 mph (118 km/hr) is categorized as a tropical storm. In September 2019, Tropical Storm Imelda caused major flooding throughout Houston, pouring more than two feet of water over some areas. Finally, a tropical disturbance is defined as a discrete tropical weather system of apparently organized thunderstorms. A tropical disturbance also is not associated with a front and maintains its identity for 24 hours or more.
The difference between Hurricane wind scales and what measure of damage to expect in each category
Here are Hurricane categories and wind scales explained:Category 1 Hurricane: Winds 74-95 mphNo real damage to building structures. Category 2 Hurricane: Winds 96-110 mphSome roofing material, door and window damage of buildings. Category 3 Hurricane: Winds 111-129 mphSome structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees, with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Category 4 Hurricane: Winds 130-156 mphMore extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences.
Understanding how tides change during storms
As hurricane season approaches, here’s what to know about tide levels and how they change during storms. Typically, a location will observe two high tides and two low tides within a day. Normal tide (KPRC)A storm surge is an abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, caused by wind blowing seawater onshore. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide. Lastly, a storm tide is the actual level of seawater resulting from the astronomic tide combined with the storm surge.