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Typhoon Vs. Hurricanes

Bhakti Satalkar Jan 27, 2019
Ever wondered what is the difference between typhoons and hurricanes?. Know the differences and similarities between these powerful forces of nature by reading this piece of writing.


A typhoon is 'a violent tropical cyclone, which occurs in the western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean'. They occur to the west of the International Date Line.
A hurricane can be defined as 'a severe tropical cyclone, which originates in the equatorial regions in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the eastern regions of the Pacific Ocean'. They occur to the east of the International Date Line. They travel up in the north direction, and are usually preceded by heavy rains.

General Debate

What is a cyclone? A large low pressure center storm, which has strong winds and heavy rains for characteristics, is called a tropical cyclone. 'Tropical' refers to the geographic origin of these storms. They have an anti-clockwise rotation in the northern hemisphere, and a clockwise rotation in the southern hemisphere.
Cyclones have various names depending on their location. The names are hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, tropical depressions or just cyclones. A little trivia on cyclones, they are called 'Willy-Willys' in Australia.
Cyclones develop in large warm water bodies, but lose their strength when they reach a landmass. They have a minimum speed of 176 mph. This is precisely the reason, why coastal areas get devastated by these storms, but inland masses remain immune to them.
This large scale destruction also brings along relief from drought in some areas. These cyclones are important for atmospheric circulation mechanism, as they carry heat and energy from the tropics to the temperate climates. This maintains an equilibrium in the troposphere of the earth.
Typhoons are usually stronger in intensity than hurricanes, as better conditions for their creation are prevalent in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Due to the abundant warm water, the conditions are perfect for high frequency typhoons.
Although the intensity of wind is stronger in a typhoon, it causes lesser damage compared to hurricanes. This is mainly because of their location. Hence, pictures of the latter are always scarier.
There are some reports which say that the wind in a hurricane can blow both clockwise as well as anti-clockwise. On the other hand in a typhoon the wind only blows anti-clockwise.
The frequency of typhoons is approximately 25 to 30 in a year, and that of hurricanes is 10 to 15 per year. Both these are given names, which help in the categorization of these cyclones. Hurricanes are given human names every year, like hurricane Katrina, whereas typhoons around China and Japan are given names of living objects like flowers.
In this debate, the most noteworthy point is that, the place of origin of these tropical cyclones will decide whether they are typhoons or hurricanes. The general consensus is that as hurricanes are frequent in the United States, they are more famous than typhoons. Another reason could also be the scale destruction, caused by hurricanes.