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National Hurricane Center:   User’s Guide to Hurricane Products - pdf

 

TROPICAL DEPRESSION - an organized area of low pressure where sustained surface winds are 38 mph or less.

 

TROPICAL STORM - a strong area of low pressure associated with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph. It is at this point a tropical cyclone gets a name.

 

HURRICANE - maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater.

 

HURRICANE WATCH - an announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area issued by the National Hurricane Center. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
 

HURRICANE WARNING - an announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area issued by the National Hurricane Center. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
 

TROPICAL STORM WATCH - an announcement that tropical-storm conditions are possible within the specified area issued by the National Hurricane Center. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
 

TROPICAL STORM WARNING -  an announcement that tropical-storm conditions are expected within the specified area issued by the National Hurricane Center. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

 

HURRICANE LOCAL STATEMENT - issued by your local NWS Forecast Office. NWS Albany can only issue this for Litchfield and Berkshire counties.

 

STORM SURGE is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides.

 

Western Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart  - NHC