Hurricanes are the greatest weather threat to Texas. Hurricane categories are based on the level of damage from hurricane winds. Here is how these dangerous storms form. Air over the ocean warms, picks up moisture and begins a circular motion. This forms a tropical depression, an area of low pressure that draws more air in from other areas.
When the wind speed increases above 39 mph, the tropical depression becomes a tropical storm and the storm is given a name. When the winds reach 74 mph, the storm becomes a hurricane.
A tropical storm watch is issued when a tropical storm system is about 36 hours away from land.
A tropical storm warning is issued when a tropical storm is about 24 hours away from land.
A hurricane watch is issued when a hurricane is about 36 hours away from land.
A hurricane warning is issued when winds reach 74 mph or more, and the storm is 24 hours away or less.
When there’s a major storm in the Gulf of Mexico, monitor broadcast media and listen for instructions from local officials. Do not take tropical storms for granted. Even slow moving tropical storms can be deadly.
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