Hurricane? Cyclone? Typhoon? Here's the difference
They're all the same, officially tropical cyclones. But they just use distinctive terms for a storm in different parts of the world.
In this image provided by NOAA Friday Nov. 8, 2013 which was taken at 12:30 a.m. EST shows Typhoon Haiyan as it crosses the Philippines. | AP Photo | NOAA
WASHINGTON (AP) — HURRICANE? CYCLONE? TYPHOON? They're all the same, officially tropical cyclones. But they just use distinctive terms for a storm in different parts of the world. Hurricane is used in the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, central and northeast Pacific. They are typhoons in the northwest Pacific. In the Bay of Bengal and the Arabia Sea, they are called cyclones. Tropical cyclone is used in the southwest India Ocean; in the southwestern Pacific and southeastern India Ocean they are severe tropical cyclones.
STRENGTH: A storm gets a name and is considered a tropical storm at 39 mph (63 kph). It becomes a hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, or cyclone at 74 mph (119 kph). There are five strength categories, depending on wind speed. The highest category is 5 and that's above 155 mph (249 kph). Australia has a different system for categorizing storm strength.
ROTATION: If they are north of the equator they rotate counterclockwise. If they are south, they rotate clockwise.
SEASON: The Atlantic and central Pacific hurricane seasons are June 1 through Nov. 30. Eastern Pacific: May 15 to Nov. 30; northwestern Pacific season is close to all year, with the most from May to November. The cyclone season in the south Pacific and Australia runs from November to April. The Bay of Bengal has two seasons April to June and September to November.
WHERE IS THE BUSIEST PLACE? The northwestern Pacific where Typhoon Haiyan has just hit. A normal year there involves 27 named storms. Haiyan is the 28th named storm and there has already been a 29th. By comparison the Atlantic averages 11 named storms a year and this year there have been 12, none of them causing major problems.
WHO DECIDES THE NAMES? The lists are maintained by the World Meteorological Organization; the names are ones that are familiar in each region. Names are taken off the list and replaced to avoid confusion if a hurricane causes a lot of damage or deaths. For example, Katrina was retired after it devastated New Orleans in 2005. The Philippines has its own naming system, so Typhoon Haiyan is also being called Yolanda.
HOW DOES EL NINO AFFECT STORMS? During an El Nino — when the central Pacific is warming — there are fewer Atlantic storms. El Ninos shift where storms form, but not the number, for the northwest Pacific and the southwest Pacific. The central Pacific gets more storms during El Nino and the year after. This year has neither an El Nino nor its opposite, a La Nina. It is a neutral year.
SOURCES: World Meteorological Organization, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Weather Underground.
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if you want to know which way a storm spins where you are., fill your sink with water and let it drain.
it wont work if you only put a little water in, you have to let it drain for a while for the effect to take place.
eventually it will begin to spin a certain direction. if you have a double sink, be sure to stop up the other side, because I think that connection between the 2 sinks mess up the spinning action.
Toilets have spinning water, but they are designed to spin, so they are not a good indicator.
why is it that some people take everything on a web page and turn it into a political conspiracy?
cyclone, typhoon, hurricane? who cares? let's just call them all swirly storms.
The Coriolis force is part of the reason that
hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere rotate
counterclockwise. If the Earth didn’t spin, we
would have wicked 300 mph winds from the
tropics to the poles and back again. The Earth
does spin however, and in the mid-latitudes, the
Coriolis force causes the wind—and other
things—to veer to the right. It is responsible for
the rotation of hurricanes.