NHC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Can I have a tropical cyclone named for me?
- We do not control the naming of tropical storms. Instead, a
list of names has been established by an international committee of the
United Nations World Meteorological Organization. For Atlantic hurricanes,
there is actually one list for each of six years. In
other words, one list is repeated every seventh year. The only time that
there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use
of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons
of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the committee
(called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is
stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.
See here for more information:
I'm vacationing in the Caribbean / Bahamas / Central America / Miami or elsewhere
in the tropics during hurricane season. What's my chance of getting hit by a hurricane?
The Tropical Cyclone Frequently Asked Questions (which by the way is an
excellent reference and starting place for learning about tropical cyclones)
has the answer to this:
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G15.html. Additionally, the NHC climatology page
could provide more insight.
I am looking for more information on storm surge. I am interested in copy of the SLOSH Display Program. How may
I obtain a copy of the software?
NHC now has a dedicated section on Storm Surge. More information on SLOSH and obtaining the software can be found in the SLOSH section of those pages.
I can't seem to get the latest information from the website. Can you
- There are a few common problems that can keep you from getting the latest
See this page for some suggestions on troubleshooting before you contact
us. If you're unsure on when the next advisory is scheduled to be
released, note that the time is given at the bottom of the latest Public Advisory
and the Forecast/Advisory, both linked from the NHC homepage. Also see
Hurricane Preparedness section on the
tropical cyclone forecasting process.
- How do I understand the advisories? Where can I get definitions of the
terminology used in them?
- Start with these help pages:
We also offer two Glossaries and a list of commonly used acronyms and
The latter is an extensive list of weather-related terms.
- What is UTC or GMT Time?
- See here for more details:
- I heard that there is a tropical cyclone somewhere in the
Atlantic / Caribbean / Gulf of Mexico / Eastern Pacific.
How can I find out if I am at risk?
What you need to do is to go back to the
NHC homepage (click on the
National Hurricane Center title logo at the top of the page for a shortcut
back) and look at the graphics for each storm that's currently active to see
if it looks like it may be headed your way. Read the latest advisories for
Also note that if you live in the United States and a
tropical cyclone is threatening your part of the coastline then the local
NWS Weather Forecast Offices
will issue Hurricane Local Statements if their
areas are threatened. These Hurricane Local Statements will also be linked
directly from the NHC homepage as appropriate for each storm. From them
you can find detailed local information tailored specifically for your
area. We also offer a list of the official Emergency Management websites on
a per-state basis from the NHC homepage (look for the "Visit your state
EM Office" under the Hurricane Preparedness logo on the homepage).
- I have a homework/research question. Can you help me?
- Possibly, but note that during the hurricane season we are extremely busy.
This means that we probably will not be able to get to your question for
some time (and that can be days to weeks depending on what's going on in the
that in mind, here are some excellent sources of
information on tropical cyclones that may help you find your answers:
Also note the links in the two sections on the left side of this page, in the blue bar,
under Learn About Hurricanes and Hurricane History for even more
- How are the watch/warning breakpoints decided?
- See our breakpoints description for more information.
- Where are your model graphics?
- The National Hurricane Center does not generate a graphic of the guidance models it
uses to produce its forecasts. See the model information page for more information.
More Questions about Hurricanes?
Visit AOML's Hurricane Research Division FAQ for more detailed cyclone-related questions.