Many people wonder, “What is the difference between a cyclone, a hurricane, and a typhoon?” and with good reason: these phrases sound different at first look. These three storms, however, have a lot more in common than you may think, and it all boils down to where they occur. Continue reading to learn the difference between cyclones and hurricanes in this post!
What Are Cyclones?
A tropical storm that forms in the South Pacific or Indian seas is referred to as a cyclone. Cyclones, like hurricanes and typhoons, have peak seasons in certain areas, as do hurricanes and typhoons:
- The South Pacific cyclone lasts between January to March.
- The Northern Indian Ocean cyclone is special in that it has two maxima, one in April and one in September and December. There are extremely few tropical cyclones between these two peak seasons.
- The Southeast Indian Ocean cyclone lasts between November 15 to April 30.
What Are Hurricanes?
Tropical storms that form in the central North Pacific, North Pacific, as well as eastern North Pacific waters are known as hurricanes. Hurricanes have sustained surface winds of 74 miles per hour or higher. Hurricanes, in addition to high winds, create severe rainfall, storm surges, flash floods, and tornadoes, all of which may inflict extensive property damage.
The term ‘hurricane’ is likely the one you are most familiar with. Throughout hurricane season, these storms occur on a regular basis, causing substantial damage to property in coastal areas.
What Are Typhoons?
A typhoon is a tropical storm that is located in the northwest Pacific Ocean, near the Philippines, Japan, and China. Typhoons, like hurricanes, generate sustained surface winds of roughly 74 mph and produce severe rainfall and storm surges.
Typhoon season in the Northwestern Pacific Basin lasts from January to December, and in the Southwestern Pacific Basin, it lasts from July to June of the following year. Typhoons have no seasonal bounds and form all year, however, they normally develop the most between May and October.
What Is the Difference Between Cyclones, Hurricanes, and Typhoons?
As you may have guessed, tropical cyclones include hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The fundamental distinction between these titles is the location of the tropical cyclone, with each area having its own name for these storms:
- Hurricanes form in the oceans of the North Atlantic, the central North Pacific, and the eastern North Pacific.
- Typhoons form in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, near the Philippines, Japan, and China.
- The South Pacific and Indian oceans are the origins of cyclones.
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