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Track and Intensity of Every Tropical Storm, 1950 - 2018

Tropical storms are powerful atmospheric systems characterized by low-pressure centers and organized thunderstorms that form over warm ocean waters near the equator. With sustained wind speeds ranging from 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 118 kilometers per hour), these storms are classified as tropical depressions, storms, or hurricanes, depending on their intensity. They often bring heavy rainfall, strong winds, and storm surges, posing significant threats to coastal areas and causing widespread damage. 

The animation below shows the peak wind speeds experienced worldwide due to tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons from 1950 to 2018.

This animation created by RARohde shows wind speed using the Saffir-Simpson scale indicating tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane-force winds (Categories 1 – 5). The maximum intensity of the wind is shown according to the reporting in IBTrACS. The distribution and extent of the winds are estimated based on the typical distributions from Wang et al. Any particular storm's actual size and extent may have been larger or smaller than indicated.

Some ocean basins are highly prone to the formation of tropical cyclones, while other ocean basins see few or no such storms. These differences are mostly due to ocean water temperatures and prevailing wind conditions. 

The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are common regions for tropical storm formation, with distinct names assigned to them in different basins.

Cyclone formation is most common in the summer months when ocean water is generally warmer.

To learn more about storms, have a look at the following books:

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