An intense tropical cyclone in which winds tend to spiral inward toward a core of low pressure, with maximum surface wind velocities that equal or exceed 33.5 m/sec (75 mph or 65 knots) for several minutes or longer at some points.

Tropical storm is the term applied if maximum winds are less than 33.5 m/sec but greater than a whole gale (63 mph or 55 knots). Term is used in the Atlantic , Gulf of Mexico , and eastern Pacific.