Tropical cyclones are potentially devastating natural hazards, and yet the processes that lead to the formation of these powerful atmospheric storms are poorly understood. Tropical cyclogenesis is the process whereby an organized area of thunderstorms known as a tropical disturbance is transformed into an identifiable surface low pressure system; that is, a tropical cyclone. Numerous questions remain unanswered about tropical cyclogenesis. Why do tropical cyclones form? How do tropical cyclones form? Can tropical cyclogenesis be forecasted? How might tropical cyclogenesis be affected by global climatic changes?