Cyclone, typhoon, hurricane and tornado: what is the difference between them?

hurricane 400x800 0317Fergregory / Istock

Cyclone, typhoon and hurricane are different names for the same phenomenon. The difference is in relation to where it happens.

In the region of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the United States, the name is hurricane. In Asia, the nomenclature is typhoon; in the region of Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, East Africa, India and Madagascar, is given the name of tropical cyclone.

coconut storm hurricane 0317 400x800Fergregory / Istock

Cyclone, typhoon and hurricane are different names for the same phenomenon. The difference is in relation to where it happens.

In the region of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the United States, the name is hurricane. In Asia, the nomenclature is typhoon; in the region of Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, East Africa, India and Madagascar, is given the name of tropical cyclone.

coconut storm hurricane 0317 400x800

cyclones They are as defined by the National Hurricane Center (NHC, its acronym in English), the United States, a rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms that forms over tropical or subtropical waters (ie they only come in hot water with at least 27 degrees Celsius).

It works like this: the sun heats the surface of the sea water, which reaches temperatures close to 27 degrees. The air heated by the water serves as a kind of fuel to which charged clouds are formed of storm.

Together the charged humidity clouds form a low pressure system which, according to meteorologists consultant site Climatempo Patrícia Madeira, "are large swirls begin to rotate faster and faster over the ocean, indicating the formation of a cyclone" .

In the Northern Hemisphere, they revolve counterclockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, clockwise.

The NHC body monitors events and weather conditions in the Atlantic, where the hurricane season is June 1 to November 30, and in the eastern North Pacific, where cyclones are most common between May 15 and November 30 .

Unlike cyclone and tornado

destruction hurricane 0317 400x800Paul Brennan / Shutterstock

Already made is a phenomenon that is shaped differently. While the cyclone has a circular shape and achieving 10 thousand kilometers, the tornado has the appearance of a funnel and no more than two kilometers in diameter.

Both have power of devastation, advancing to the mainland and destroying homes, uprooting trees and twisting irons.

But while the cyclone is formed from warm ocean waters and large swirls, the tornado comes from a 'supercell', with vertical cloud (cumulonimbus of name) spiraling.

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