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Cyclones, Typhoons And Hurricanes


Cyclones, Typhoons And Hurricanes
What’s the difference between a cyclone, a typhoon and a hurricane? In fact, there is none. These are the regional names given to a certain type of violent storm. So, cyclones occur in the south Pacific and Indian Ocean, typhoons in the north-west Pacific, while in the Atlantic or north-east Pacific they’re called hurricanes.

These violent storms are characterised by extremely strong winds that can gust in excess of 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour, torrential rain, floods and extremely high seas. At the centre of these storms is an ‘eye’, a circular region typically between 30 and 65 kilometres (20 and 40 miles) wide that moves with the storm and marks the low point of the atmospheric depression. The eye itself is cold, deceptively calm and sunny, though the strongest winds and thunderstorms encircle its border, forming the eyewall.
The ingredients for a storm of this type include an existing weather system combined with warm seas, which is why they only ever occur in subequatorial latitudes. These storms don’t form within 500 kilometres (300 miles) of the equator because they rely on the swirling Coriolis effect for its rotation, which diminishes to zero the closer you are to the equator. With rare exceptions, neither do they form in waters with a surface temperature colder than around 26 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), which rules out much of the rest of the world.
As with many types of extreme weather, the size and intensity don’t necessarily reflect its notoriety: the typhoon, for example, is typically several times bigger than its Atlantic cousin, the hurricane. But many smaller hurricanes have achieved a higher profile simply because they made landfall and devastated the highly populated southern states of the US.

Cyclones, Typhoons And Hurricanes