hurricane-prepAdvisory – A formal message from the National Hurricane Center issued every six hours and giving warning information along with details on tropical cyclone locations, intensity and movement. The Advisory specifies locations where watches and warnings are in effect with precautions that should be taken.

Tropical Depression – An organized system of thunderstorms with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.

Tropical Storm – An organized system of strong thunderstorms with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34-63 knots).

Tropical Storm WATCH – An announcement that sustained winds of 39-73 mph are possible within the specified area within 48 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm WARNING – An announcement that sustained winds of 39-73 mph are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

Hurricane – A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or more.

Hurricane WATCH: – An announcement 48 hours in advance that sustained winds 74 mph or higher are possible within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

Hurricane WARNING – An announcement 36 hours in advance that sustained winds 74 mph or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

Hurricane Eye – The relatively calm area near the center of a storm that can last for several minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the hurricane’s size and speed, which ends suddenly as winds return from the opposite direction, possibly with even greater force.

Storm Surge – A dome-like rise in the ocean level associated with a hurricane. The surge of high water topped by waves is devastating. The stronger the hurricane and the shallower the offshore water, the higher the surge will be. If the storm surge arrives at the same time as high tide, the water height will be even greater.

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