when a hurricane is approaching its peak intensity.

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keannu

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This sentence sounds vague. Is it a present tense or a future one? I think the latter.

gz12)The presence of lightning may be a clue to help forecasters understand when a hurricane is approaching its peak intensity. Although satellite and radar technology are generally able to predict the path of a storm with some accuracy, how much and when a storm will intensify is harder to forecast...
 

emsr2d2

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Neither. It describes a habitual action. Every time there is a hurricane, the presence of lightning helps the forecasters understand when it is reaching its maximum intensity.
 

keannu

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My grammar book says the difference between the present tense and the present progressive tense is like the following.

1.present tense - timeless things(past+present+future, habitual or repetitive things), future, etc
2.present progressive tense - things happening at the moment, recent things, future, etc

Based on this, "when a hurricane approaches its peak intensity" sounds more proper, but there seems to be no difference between the two as a theory is only a theory. What do you think?
 

5jj

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