What is an 'invest?' - CBS46 News

What is an 'invest?'

Posted: Updated:
Example of an "INVEST." (Source: WGCL) Example of an "INVEST." (Source: WGCL)

During hurricane season, you'll likely see the word "INVEST" on a map somewhere. The term is short for "investigation" or "investigative area," and is designated by the National Hurricane Center when they want to pay particular attention to a tropical disturbance.

The beginning stages

We are typically watching a tropical disturbance long before it's officially classified as a depression or storm. In fact, many disturbances develop and dissipate without ever becoming an actual tropical cyclone.

When the National Hurricane Center decides to classify a disturbance as an "INVEST," they're essentially drawing a circle around that particular disturbance to let everyone know they're paying close attention to it. An "INVEST" is not a tropical cyclone and many disturbances that are classified as an "INVEST" never develop into one.

Low, medium and high

Once an INVEST is designated, the National Hurricane Center will drop it into one of three categories -- low, medium or high -- depending on the likelihood of the tropical disturbance developing into a tropical cyclone.

The jargon

When an invest is designated, it'll likely read something like this: INVEST 97-L. The invest means "investigation," while the numbers will cycle from 90-99. L is given to disturbances in the Atlantic, while E is given to disturbances in the eastern Pacific.

More tropics

Click here to see what we're tracking in the tropics.
Click here to review the most common-used terms during hurricane season.

Copyright 2016 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.