HONOLULU (KHON2) — With hurricane season approaching, many might be wondering what some storm terminology means as they come up through the next couple of months.

As hurricanes might appear off the Hawaiian island shores, KHON2.com will be tracking and updating the community.

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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is a 50% chance of above-normal tropical cyclone activity in the central Pacific.

Terminology from the NOAA National Hurricane Center:

  • Central North Pacific Basin: An area above the equator between 140W and the International Dateline. Hawaii is in this region and tracks the tropical cyclones in this area.
  • Tropical Cyclone: A warm-core rotating storm system over tropical water.
  • Hurricane / Typhoon: A tropical cyclone in which winds reach up to 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are located in the northern hemisphere east of the International Dateline and Typhoons are located in the northern hemisphere west of the International Dateline.
  • Hurricane Season: For the Central Pacific Basin this term refers to the time in between June 1 and November 30.
  • Hurricane Warning: Issued 36 hours before expected winds of 74 mph or higher.
  • Hurricane Watch: Issued 48 hours before possible winds of 74 mph or higher.
  • Eye: the center of a tropical cyclone that consists of light winds.
  • Direct Hit: Occurs when the tropical cyclone passes within a distance equal to the radius of the cyclone if you are to the left of the storm track. If you are to the right of the storm track, it is twice the radius.
  • Indirect Hit: Areas that do not experience a direct hit of a tropical storm, but experience hurricane winds.
  • Landfall: When the center of a tropical cyclone intersects with the coastline.
  • Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which wind speeds reach up to 38 mph.
  • Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone that progresses from a tropical depression. This storm has wind speeds between 39 and 73 mph.

The stages in which a storm is formed, according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, will first start with a Tropical depression, then move to a tropical storm. Once winds pick up surpassing the tropical storm, it then becomes a hurricane.

There are five categories of a hurricane depending on the wind speeds.

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Category one hurricane speeds are anywhere from 74 to 95 miles per hour, category two 96 to 110 mph, category three 111 to 129 mph, category four 130 to 156 mph, and category five anything above 157 mph.