Powerful Weather Forces: Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons

Did you know that all three –  hurricane, cyclone and typhoon are the same weather conditions? The only difference comes from the location at which they occur.


A hurricane is a huge storm! It can be up to 600 miles across and have strong winds spiraling inward and upward at speeds of 75 to 200 mph. It is a rapidly rotating storm system occurring in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Each hurricane usually lasts for over a week, moving 10-20 miles per hour over the open ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters which ultimately re-condenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools. It can also be called Tropical cyclone.


Cyclone occurs in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. The ingredients for these storms include a pre-existing weather disturbance, warm tropical oceans, moisture, and relatively light winds. A cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth.  It is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. When a cyclone Intensifies it becomes a Typhoon.


A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean.

Note: To be classified as a hurricane, typhoon, or cyclone, a storm must reach wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour).

Reference: Wikipedia

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