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More information from NOAA on tropical weather...

Tropical Cyclone Centers and Forecast Information
National Hurricane Center

Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Daily Tropical Weather Outlooks (Atlantic and Pacific)

Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Outlook

Eastern North Pacific Hurricane Seasonal Outlook

General Information:
NOAA's Extreme Weather Information Sheets (NEWIS)

nowCOAST - Web Mapping Portal to real-time coastal observations and forecasts (will open in a new window)

Storm Data Resource Guide & Mapping Tutorial

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters (1980 - 2005)

Hurricane Research Division Frequently Asked Questions

NOAA Digital Coast

Coastal Inundation Toolkit

Inland Flooding

Educational Resources:
Hurricane Strike! An Interactive Course on Hurricane Science and Safety for Kids and Their Families - free registration required

Hurricane Education Teaching Resources

JetStream: Tropical Weather

Hurricanes Quiz

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Basics Brochure (pdf) or (html)

Hurricane and Other Severe Weather Guides from NOAA's National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Awareness from NOAA's National Weather Service

Hurricanes...Unleashing Nature's Fury Preparedness Guide (pdf)

Hurricane Evacuation Zone Maps

Tropical Cyclone Flooding: A Deadly Inland Danger (pdf)

Hurricane Tracking:
Historical Hurricane Tracks tool

Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart: (pdf)

East Pacific Hurricane Tracking Map (pdf)

Central Pacific Tracking Chart (pdf)

Hawaiian Hurricane Safety Measures

Storm Names

Atlantic Hurricane Names 2008-2013 (pdf) or (html)

Pacific Hurricane Names 2008-2013 (pdf) or (html)

Tropical Satellite Imagery
Atlantic, Carribbean, Extreme East Pacific

East Pacific


Hurricane History:
1492-1996 (Atlantic)

1851-2006 (USA)

Most Expensive

Most Intense

US Strikes - Decade

US Strikes - State

Other Web sites
Department of Health and Human Services:
Hurricane Public Service Announcements

Hurricanes: Prepare and Respond

Power Outages

Tools and Resources to Help Communities Prepare for Hurricane Season

American Red Cross:
Hurricane Readiness Guide

¿Está preparado para un huracán?


As of September 1, 2014, the NOAAWatch website will be discontinued. Active weather alerts will continue to be available 24/7 at Hurricane tracking widgets will continue to be available at and Learn about ways to get updates through social media at For information about how to reach other NOAA data and information, please email A temporary redirect of website traffic to NOAA’s homepage will exist for a short period of time after the shut-down of

UPDATE:  The NWS has replicated the NOAAWatch Briefing Page which can be found at


Tropical Weather

"Tropical Cyclone" is a generic term for a low pressure system that usually forms in the tropics. The cyclone is composed of powerful thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the Earth's surface. In the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E, Tropical cyclones are also called hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions, depending upon intensity. In other regions of the world, these types of storms have different names.

NOAA radar imagery captured hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005
NOAA radar imagery captured hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005. More Hurricane Katrina imagery...
  • Typhoon - the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline

  • Severe Tropical Cyclone - the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E
  • Severe Cyclonic Storm - the North Indian Ocean

  • Tropical Cyclone - the Southwest Indian Ocean

All tropical cyclones need warm oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, these tropical cyclones can become hurricanes, producing violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains and floods.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. The East Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30, with peak activity occurring during July through September.

A HURRICANE WATCH is an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

A HURRICANE WARNING is an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH is an announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is an announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to measure the hurricane's present intensity, one through five. This is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental shelf in the landfall region. Learn more...

In the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific, the NOAA National Hurricane Center issues tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions and statements for tropical cyclones. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (NCEP HPC) provides back-up for the National Hurricane Center.

In the Central Pacific, the NOAA Central Pacific Hurricane Center issues tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions and statements for all tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific from 140 degrees west longitude to the International Dateline.

NOAA Satellite Services Division - provides real-time access to satellite data and products for the public and government. The satellites provide NOAA scientists with tools to monitor sea surface temperatures as well as development of tropical cyclones.

NOAA plane in the clouds
NOAA WP-3 Orion aircraft. Learn more...

NOAA Aircraft Operations Center  "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft and their crews may be best known for their prowess in flying through and around nature's severest storms over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. However, these flying meteorological stations also prove their mettle on the West Coast and over the Pacific Ocean--after hurricane season has ended and severe Pacific winter storms have begun. Missions flown by the airplanes of the Aircraft Operations Center support NOAA's mission to promote global environmental assessment, prediction and stewardship of the Earth's environment.

NOAA’s  Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory’s mission is to conduct a basic and applied research program in oceanography, tropical meteorology, atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, and acoustics. The program seeks to understand the physical characteristics and processes of the ocean and the atmosphere, both separately and as a coupled system. The lab is home to the NOAA Hurricane Research Division.

NOAA’s National Weather Service local Weather Forecast Offices operate Doppler radars to track tropical cyclones as they approach the coast of the U.S. as well as monitoring weather conditions both at the surface and in the upper atmosphere. The Weather Forecast Offices provide a vital role during hurricane situations by taking the high level watch/warning and storm information issued by the Hurricane Centers and add local details and impact information.

The local Weather Forecast Offices issue Hurricane Local Statements which provide details of the storm's impact on the area such as the onset of winds, rainfall, storm surge, and preparedness actions. They also provide information on evacuation notices and location of emergency shelters, which is provided to them by local officials. The Weather Forecast Offices also closely coordinate with local, county and state emergency management and decision makers. In addition, the Weather Forecast Offices operate NOAA Weather Radio transmitters, providing 24 hour official weather information.

NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center operates and monitors weather and sea conditions from a network of offshore and coastal buoys.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) collects and distributes observations and predictions of water levels and storm tides. The Center manages the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON), and a national network of Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems (PORTS) in major U.S. harbors.

NOAA’s Hydrologic Information Center monitors flooding and river conditions, issuing flood outlooks and summaries.

NOAAWatch & Learn
Explore NOAAWatch themes:
air quality

Air Quality


Coral Bleaching





excessive heat

Excessive Heat


Fire Weather




Harmful Algal Blooms(HABs)


Hurricanes/Tropical Weather

coastal inundation

Storm Surge & Coastal Floods

Oil and Chemical Spills

Oil & Chemical Spills

Rip Currents

Rip Currents

lightning bolt

Severe Weather

Space weather

Space Weather






Winter Weather

UV Index

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation


NOAA Weather Radio
Stay informed 24/7 with the NOAA All Hazards Weather radio.

Ocean News Logo
Updates from trusted sources for ocean news

Preparedness Resources

· Ready America - DHS
· Plan Ahead - FEMA
· Preparedness for    People With Disabilities
· HHS - Disasters &    Emergencies
· American Red Cross

Ask NOAA a question
Ask NOAA a question... or find an answer in our database!

Daily Briefing

Comprehensive Briefing Materials

NOAA Homeland Security Program Office

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