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What's the main Differences Between a Cyclone and a Typhoon?

How are Cyclones and Typhoons different?

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When a certain region in oceans or seas reached around 80˚F temperature, it causes moist air to rise up. As a result, the below area develops low pressure. Because of the high air pressure above the ocean surface, it will again cause more warm air to rise up and will form a swirling cloud. High winds and the presence of thunderstorms in the rotating air are the attributes of a tropical depression.

With the continuous formation brought by the ocean’s high temperature, tropical depression can run at 39-73 miles per hour (mph) and is then referred to as a tropical storm. Beyond that speed, it will upgrade into a more severe tropical storm. Once tropical storm speed is reached, storms are named by the different meteorological organizations. The regions near the equator are known to have high temperature; thus, strong storms are mostly developed in those areas. Once a storm hits the land, it can cause serious damage and devastation especially if it brings heavy rainfall and flooding.

Whether such phenomenon is called a cyclone, typhoon or hurricane, there is actually no difference of the three in terms of wind speed, strength and other characteristics. They only differ on geography or the location of their origin. If the storm occurred around the Indian Ocean and Southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, it’s called a “cyclone.” If the storm was formed in the Northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, then it’s called “typhoon.” Lastly, when the storm originated from the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern part of the Pacific Ocean then it's called “hurricane.”

One easy way to identify what region calls the storm as cyclone, typhoon, or hurricane is by looking at the map. Hurricane is used by people from the left half of the map; typhoon for those from top half of the right side of the map; and cyclone for those from the bottom half of the right side of the map. Additionally, storm rotates in different directions from the two ends of the earth – it rotates clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere.

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