Tropical Storm-Depression-Hurricane

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#1
Wichita, KS
1,239 Posts
Joined Nov 2014
Can anyone with knowledge explain the difference between these storms? I did a search and didn't find anything.

We're sailing out of Galveston Sunday, with a 50% chance of a tropical storm, depression or hurricane! Gaaaaaaaah! Pretty nervous now.


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#2
378 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

I dont think you have to worry. First a storm has to form off the coast of Africa. As it drifts west it picks up moisture from the warm ocean and starts to rotate. It is then a tropical depression. Then if the trade wins dont destroy it, it grows larger and becomes a tropical storm. When it gets strong enough with winds over 80 mph it becomes a hurricanre. The depression your hearing about is way out between here and Africa. Even if it formed it probably wouldnt effect you
#3
Florida
1,539 Posts
Joined May 2007
NHC.NOAA.GOV doesn't show anything yet but our local channels have been talking about a disturbance over the Yucatan bringing rain to Florida.

A depression is what a TS or Hurricane generally forms from, it will be mostly just a lot of rain, Tropical storms are a depression that has further strengthened with more wind, possibility of tornadoes and heavy rain and hurricane is the next step in the strengthening process and is the spinning cyclone with a visible eye and high wind, heavy rain, tornadoes. Best I can explain it as a Florida native. Keep an eye on the nhc.noaa.gov though, it is a good resource for tracking storms.

We sail out of FLL on Saturday for a Western itinerary and I hope it has moved along by the time we make it to Mexico.

Hope this helps!
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#4
Florida
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Joined May 2007
Originally posted by tazdeb
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

I dont think you have to worry. First a storm has to form off the coast of Africa. As it drifts west it picks up moisture from the warm ocean and starts to rotate. It is then a tropical depression. Then if the trade wins dont destroy it, it grows larger and becomes a tropical storm. When it gets strong enough with winds over 80 mph it becomes a hurricanre. The depression your hearing about is way out between here and Africa. Even if it formed it probably wouldnt effect you
I think she is talking about the disturbance over the Yucatan, it has been all over the weather here but has not formed anything yet and is not showing even as a possibility on the NOAA website but our local forecasters believe it will somewhat develop and move North or West.
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#5
Wichita, KS
1,239 Posts
Joined Nov 2014
Originally posted by wednesday
I think she is talking about the disturbance over the Yucatan, it has been all over the weather here but has not formed anything yet and is not showing even as a possibility on the NOAA website but our local forecasters believe it will somewhat develop and move North or West.

Yes, the Yucatán disturbance. We are sailing a western Caribbean route (Coz, Grand Cayman & Falmouth).


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#6
Wichita, KS
1,239 Posts
Joined Nov 2014
Originally posted by wednesday
NHC.NOAA.GOV doesn't show anything yet but our local channels have been talking about a disturbance over the Yucatan bringing rain to Florida.

A depression is what a TS or Hurricane generally forms from, it will be mostly just a lot of rain, Tropical storms are a depression that has further strengthened with more wind, possibility of tornadoes and heavy rain and hurricane is the next step in the strengthening process and is the spinning cyclone with a visible eye and high wind, heavy rain, tornadoes. Best I can explain it as a Florida native. Keep an eye on the nhc.noaa.gov though, it is a good resource for tracking storms.

We sail out of FLL on Saturday for a Western itinerary and I hope it has moved along by the time we make it to Mexico.

Hope this helps!

Thanks!! Living is Kansas, we don't know a lot about tropical weather.


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#9
Wichita, KS
1,239 Posts
Joined Nov 2014
So...if a ship, doing the itinerary we are, were rerouted to avoid a storm, what ports MIGHT it visit. I understand this is very hypothetical, just wondering if more seasoned cruisers might have a guess.


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#10
Florida
1,539 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by jessandtwo
It is not showing up on the NOAA 2 day forecast because it isn't expected to develop in the next 48 hours, but if you change to 5 day it shows up there.
Good to know, it's late and I didn't think to look past the landing page when I didn't see an area of possible development on the map.
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#11
Florida
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Joined May 2007
Originally posted by CCC3
Thanks!! Living is Kansas, we don't know a lot about tropical weather.


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Unfortunately all too familiar with it being born and raised in Florida. My husband and I built our first house in 2004 and got hit 4 times that year!

Sorry I can't help with the port scenarios.
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#12
Florida
5,727 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by CCC3
So...if a ship, doing the itinerary we are, were rerouted to avoid a storm, what ports MIGHT it visit. I understand this is very hypothetical, just wondering if more seasoned cruisers might have a guess.


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In this case the itinerary could be completed by reversing the order you visit the ports. Worst case they may drop a port and substitute a sea day.
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#13
CP NY, Clearwater FL
12,724 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by tazdeb
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

I dont think you have to worry. First a storm has to form off the coast of Africa. As it drifts west it picks up moisture from the warm ocean and starts to rotate. It is then a tropical depression. Then if the trade wins dont destroy it, it grows larger and becomes a tropical storm. When it gets strong enough with winds over 80 mph it becomes a hurricanre. The depression your hearing about is way out between here and Africa. Even if it formed it probably wouldnt effect you
Wrong!
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#14
Florida
5,727 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Depending on when there may be development and precisely where, I would think the only port that could be impacted is Cozumel. Since it is in the eastern edge of the area of development that may not be a big risk. But then again we are talking about Mom Nature!


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#15
Orlando, Florida
2,768 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by tazdeb
I dont think you have to worry. First a storm has to form off the coast of Africa. As it drifts west it picks up moisture from the warm ocean and starts to rotate. It is then a tropical depression. Then if the trade wins dont destroy it, it grows larger and becomes a tropical storm. When it gets strong enough with winds over 80 mph it becomes a hurricanre. The depression your hearing about is way out between here and Africa. Even if it formed it probably wouldnt effect you
This is sooo sooo wrong that you can't let it pass as fact.


A storm doesn't have to form off the coast of Africa. They can form anywhere, including over Latin America like the one the OP is talking about. It is true that a LOT of tropical weather starts off the coast of Africa, it's not the only factor and it certainly doesn't mean the Gulf of Mexico is clear.

A tropical depression forms when a low pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms that produce a circular wind flow with maximum sustained winds below 39 mph. Most tropical depressions have maximum sustained winds between 25 and 35 mph.
An upgrade into a tropical storm occurs when cyclonic circulation becomes more organized and maximum sustained winds gust consistently at or above 39 mph, and no higher than 73 mph. Tropical storm status is when the naming of the storm takes place.
Hurricanes come into play when the maximum sustained winds go above 73mph.

Category 1 = 74 to 95
Category 2 = 96 to 110
Category 3 = 111 to 130
Category 4 = 131 to 155
Category 5 = 156 and up
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#16
Orlando, Florida
2,768 Posts
Joined May 2007
This is the Gulf disturbance the OP is referring to:

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/od...torm-next-week


The good news is that the captain will sail around the storm. The only real factors will be if the storm is directly impacting Galveston or your port city/cities.

The way this article reads, you should be fine. It hasn't formed yet and isn't expected to be a strong storm, just tons of rain. It also appears to have a general track that goes away from your homeport and your destination ports.
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#17
Wichita, KS
1,239 Posts
Joined Nov 2014
Thank you all so much! I've had rainy cruises before, and rough seas...but the "tropical storm," and "hurricane" thing scare me!


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#18
Columbus, OH USA
29,632 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by tazdeb
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

I dont think you have to worry. First a storm has to form off the coast of Africa

Do the storms know the rules?
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#19
Orlando, Florida
2,768 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by CCC3
Thank you all so much! I've had rainy cruises before, and rough seas...but the "tropical storm," and "hurricane" thing scare me!


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No problem. As an Ohio transplant to Florida, it was quite a change for me as well.

I'll tell you this... a tropical depression isn't even close to being as scary as some heavy Midwest Thunder Boomer storms with their crazy lightning and tornado potential. Don't even worry until it becomes a strong Tropical Storm.

TD and light TS aren't much to write home about.

I can tell you that most Floridians don't even start pillaging the grocery stores and emptying the gas stations until it hits a borderline Cat 2/Cat 3 Hurricane. One year they didn't even cancel MOST of the schools for a Cat 1 that was heading our way. I think a few on the direct coast did, but I'm only 40-ish miles inland and life was business as usual for us.
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#20
119 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Hope I didn't come across as rude when I said it was on the 5 day not the 2 day track. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't showing when I knew I had seen it earlier. I've been watching it becaue of travel plans and when I couldn't see it on the above link, I couldn't figure out why it had disappeared. So apologies if I was short or rude. I shouldn't post late at night!

To the OP, hopefully it won't cause any problems for your ports. I have had itineraries altered due to hurricanes in the past and honestly it was no biggie for us, but I understand that for some people with specific plans for a port (like weddings, etc) it can be a very big deal. In the instances where we've had changes we've had either an alternate itinerary (like they'd do the Roatan/Costa Maya route instead of Grand Cayman/Jamaica) or they reversed the order of the ports (like instead of Cozumel being first it ends up last). They will tell you as soon as they know if they have to alter the itinerary.

Are you driving or flying?