Tropical Storm Watch – An announcement that a tropical storm or tropical storm conditions pose a threat to coastal areas generally within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning – A warning that tropical storm or tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph, will affect a specific coastal area within 24 hours or less.
Tropical Depression – A tropical system with the maximum sustained wind of 38 mph or less. Tropical depressions can produce tremendous rainfall amounts.
Tropical Storm – A tropical system in which the maximum sustained wind ranges from 39 to 78 mph. A tropical storm can produce a lot of rainfall and wind, which can cause some beach erosion and boat damage.
Hurricane Watch – An announcement that hurricane conditions pose a possible threat to coastal areas generally within 36 hours.
Hurricane Warning – A warning that hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area within 24 hours or less. This is the time to get ready for severe weather. High winds and coastal flooding will develop many hours before the eye of the storm actually comes onshore.
Hurricane – A tropical system with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater. A hurricane is the worst and strongest of all tropical systems.
Hurricane Eye – The calm center of the storm. In this area, winds die down and the sky is often only partly covered by clouds.
Storm Surge – An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm.