Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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000 NOUS41 KGYX 201148 PNSGYX PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME 0748 AM EDT MON JUL 20 2015 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JULY 20TH THROUGH 25TH, HURRICANE AWARENESS WEEK IN NEW ENGLAND. THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF FIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS TO BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN GRAY, CONTAINING INFORMATION ON HURRICANES AND HURRICANE SAFETY. TROPICAL CYCLONES, TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES--THE BASICS THE TERM "TROPICAL CYCLONE" IS A GENERIC NAME GIVEN TO A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM THAT GENERALLY FORMS IN THE TROPICS AND IS ACCOMPANIED BY SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AND A COUNTERCLOCKWISE WIND CIRCULATION. DEPENDING ON THE STRENGTH OF THE WINDS IN THE CIRCULATION, TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE FURTHER DIVIDED INTO TROPICAL DEPRESSIONS, TROPICAL STORMS, AND HURRICANES. THE TROPICAL CYCLONES THAT AFFECT EASTERN NORTH AMERICA GENERALLY FORM IN EITHER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC OCEAN, THE CARIBBEAN SEA, OR IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE THREE MAIN CONDITIONS WHICH FAVOR TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT ARE (1) WARM OCEAN WATERS, (2) ATMOSPHERIC MOISTURE, AND (3) RELATIVELY LIGHT WINDS ALOFT. IN ADDITION, AN ATMOSPHERIC DISTURBANCE, CALLED A TROPICAL WAVE, IS NEEDED TO INITIATE THE DEVELOPMENT THE COUNTER-CLOCKWISE WIND CIRCULATION. IF THE FAVORABLE CONDITIONS PERSIST FOR A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF TIME, THE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE CAN STRENGTHEN TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION, TROPICAL STORM, OR HURRICANE. WHEN THE WINDS IN A TROPICAL CYCLONE REACH TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH (39 MPH, 34 KT), THE STORM IS "NAMED". TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE CLASSIFIED AS FOLLOWS: TROPICAL DEPRESSION - AN ORGANIZED SYSTEM OF CLOUDS AND THUNDERSTORMS WITH A DEFINED SURFACE CIRCULATION AND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 38 MPH (33 KNOTS) OR LESS. TROPICAL STORM - AN ORGANIZED SYSTEM OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WITH A DEFINED SURFACE CIRCULATION AND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 39-73 MPH (34-63 KNOTS). HURRICANE - AN INTENSE TROPICAL WEATHER SYSTEM OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WITH A WELL-DEFINED SURFACE CIRCULATION AND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 74 MPH (64 KNOTS) OR HIGHER. HURRICANES ARE ALSO CLASSIFIED INTO DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BASED ON STRENGTH. THE WELL-DEVELOPED HURRICANE CONSISTS OF AN EYE, AN EYEWALL, AND SPIRAL BANDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. IN THE EYE, WINDS ARE RELATIVELY CALM AND THERE IS A GENTLE SINKING MOTION IN THE ATMOSPHERE WHICH LEADS TO MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES. SURROUNDING THE EYE IS THE EYEWALL WHICH CONTAINS THE MOST VIOLENT WINDS, THE MOST INTENSE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS, AND CAN CONTAIN TORNADOES. THE WINDS IN THE EYEWALL ALSO HAVE THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR CAUSING A DEADLY STORM SURGE. OUTSIDE THE EYEWALL, SPIRAL BANDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ROTATE AROUND THE STORM. THESE BANDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CAN ALSO BE VERY INTENSE, CAN MOVE INTO AN AREA VERY RAPIDLY, AND ARE THE MOST LIKELY AREA IN THE HURRICANE FOR TORNADOES TO FORM. HURRICANES AND TROPICAL STORMS BRING WITH THEM FOUR MAIN THREATS: HIGH WINDS, COASTAL STORM SURGE, INLAND FRESH WATER FLOODING, AND TORNADOES. THESE WILL BE DISCUSSED IN GREATER DETAIL IN FORTHCOMING STATEMENTS. WHILE HURRICANE SEASON LASTS FROM JUNE THROUGH NOVEMBER, THE PEAK OF THE SEASON IS FROM MID-AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER. EACH YEAR, AN AVERAGE OF TEN TROPICAL STORMS DEVELOP OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, CARIBBEAN SEA, AND GULF OF MEXICO. MANY OF THESE STORMS REMAIN OVER THE OCEAN, AND AN AVERAGE OF SIX OF THESE STORMS BECOME HURRICANES EACH YEAR. DURING AN AVERAGE 3-YEAR PERIOD, ROUGHLY FIVE HURRICANES STRIKE THE UNITED STATES COASTLINE, KILLING APPROXIMATELY 45 PEOPLE (AN AVERAGE OF 15.5 PER YEAR) ANYWHERE FROM TEXAS TO MAINE. OF THESE, TWO ARE TYPICALLY "MAJOR" OR "INTENSE" HURRICANES (WINDS GREATER THAN 110 MPH). QUESTION OF THE DAY: HOW ARE HURRICANES NAMED AND WHAT NAMES WILL BE USED DURING 2014? WOMEN`S NAMES WERE FIRST USED TO NAME TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES DURING WORLD WAR II, WITH SOME VARIATIONS IN PRACTICES IN THE EARLY 1950S. IN 1953, THE U.S. WEATHER BUREAU BEGAN USING A STANDARDIZED LIST OF FEMALE NAMES IN NAMING ATLANTIC TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES. THE PRACTICE OF USING FEMALE NAMES EXCLUSIVELY ENDED IN 1979 WHEN BOTH MALE AND FEMALE NAMES WERE INCLUDED IN LISTS FOR THE ATLANTIC AND GULF OF MEXICO HURRICANE LISTS. THE NAME LISTS ARE AGREED UPON AT INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS OF THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION. THE NAMES ALTERNATE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE NAMES, AND HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR BECAUSE HURRICANES AFFECT OTHER NATIONS AND ARE TRACKED BY THE PUBLIC AND WEATHER SERVICES OF MANY COUNTRIES. THERE ARE CURRENTLY SIX LISTS OF NAMES USED IN NAMING HURRICANES; A DIFFERENT LIST IS USED EACH YEAR. THE LISTS ARE REPEATED IN 6-YEAR CYCLES. HOWEVER, NAMES ASSOCIATED WITH STORMS THAT HAVE CAUSED SIGNIFICANT DEATH AND/OR DAMAGE ARE USUALLY RETIRED FROM THE LIST AND A REPLACEMENT NAME IS SELECTED BY THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION. BELOW IS THE LIST OF NAMES THAT HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE USED FOR 2014. ANA BILL CLAUDETTE DANNY ERIKA FRED GRACE HENRI IDA JOAQUIN KATE LARRY MINDY NICHOLAS OTTO PETER ROSE SAM TERESA VICTOR WANDA NOTE THAT THE LETTERS Q, U, X, Y, AND Z ARE NOT USED IN THE LIST DUE TO THE SCARCITY OF NAMES BEGINNING WITH THOSE LETTERS. FACT FOR THE DAY: THE NAME HURRICANE IS DERIVED FROM THE CARIBBEAN GOD OF EVIL, HURICAN. THE UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOR, HIGH SEAS, AND DEVASTATING WINDS HAVE BEEN OUR NEMESIS FOR CENTURIES. HERE`S A LIST OF TOPICS TO BE COVERED LATER THIS WEEK: TUESDAY - HURRICANE WINDS AND TORNADOES WEDNESDAY - STORM SURGE AND MARINE SAFETY THURSDAY - INLAND FLOODING FRIDAY - THE FORECAST PROCESS--STATEMENTS, WATCHES, AND WARNINGS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT HURRICANES AND HURRICANE SAFETY, VISIT THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER`S WEB SITE AT: HTTP://WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV/ $$ JENSENIUS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY...MAINE NNNN

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