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Hurricane Season: Words, phrases you need to know

What do words like invest mean? Here's a detailed explanation.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There are a lot of words you hear during hurricane season like tropical wave, invest and hurricane. 

You may already know what some mean, but others, not so much. Here are a few words and phrases you need to know. 

Tropical Wave

This term is one you might hear frequently before a storm forms. A tropical wave is an unorganized area of storms traveling west out of Africa. These are important to follow because around 85% of major hurricanes begin as tropical waves. 


Invest stands for investigative area. When a tropical wave becomes organized, the National Hurricane Center will designate the area of disturbed weather "Invest."

Each invest is given a number from 0-99. 

For example, Invest 90L: The "L" tells us the system is in the Atlantic Ocean. This also allows the NHC to run ensemble or spaghetti models on these systems. 


A cyclone is a blanket term for any area of low pressure that has closed circulation. Hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions are all cyclones because they are a closed area of low pressure. 

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