A Tropical Storm is an intense storm that has a spinning wind rotation that develops near the Earth's equator.
These storms bring heavy rain and high winds to any area they pass over and, although they are less powerful than hurricanes, they are still very destructive and can cause damage to property as well as injury and death.
Hurricanes will often be downgraded to tropical storms as they move inland and it is not unheard for these still-powerful remnants to buffet the Carolinas and the Charlotte area with heavy rain and winds.
The National Weather Service is charged with monitoring these storms and will issue various threat warning based on the storm's strength, speed and location:
- Tropical storm watch - When there is the possibility of 39 to 73 mph winds at a location, the National Weather Service will issue a 48 hour tropical storm watch.
- Tropical storm warning - If a storm generating 39 to 73 mph winds is expected to hit a location, the National Weather Service will issue a 36 hour tropical storm warning.