Tropical cyclones derive their energy from the latent heat of condensation which made them exist only over the oceans and die out rapidly on land. One of its distinguishing features is its having a central sea-level pressure of 900 mb or lower and surface winds often exceeding 100 knots. They reach their greatest intensity while located over warm tropical waters and they begin to weaken as they move inland. The intensity of tropical cyclones vary, thus , we can classify them based upon their degree of intensity. The classification of tropical cyclones according to the strength of the associated winds are as follows:

TROPICAL DISTURBANCE is a discrete weather system with an apparent circulation. It is characterized by a poorly developed wind circulation of weak velocities and with one or no closed isobars (isobars are lines of equal pressures). This is commonly observed throughout the wet tropics and sub-tropics.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION is a weak low pressure disturbance with a definite surface circulation having maximum wind speed of up to 63 kilometers per hour (kph) or approximately less than 25 mile per hour (mph). It has one or more closed isobars and is most common in the equatorial regions or intertropical convergence and less frequent in the trades.

TROPICAL STORM, a moderate tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed of 64 to 118 kph (25 to 75 mph) and with closed isobars.

TYPHOON, an intense tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed exceeding 118 kph.

Source: PAGASA

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