What are tropical storms?
Tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes are low pressure areas that develop in the tropical regions of the ocean (between 20 degrees N latitude and the equator). These storms are masses of thunderstorms that organize and begin to rotate. These systems, in order of intensity, are called depressions (winds between 25 and 38 mph), tropical storms (winds between 39 and 73 mph) and hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater). The National Weather Service tracks these storms on charts during hurricane season, June 1 through Nov. 30, using the following symbols. A tropical depression, the lowest intensity, is given a number once it has a counterclockwise spin and winds of 38 mph or less. When wind speeds reach 39 mph and the storm is given a name from a pre-determined list, a tropical storm is born. While a tropical storm does not produce a high storm surge, its thunderstorms can still pack a dangerous and deadly punch. In 1972, Agnes was only a tropical storm when it dropped torrent