General Question

Adina1968's avatar

What is the difference between a cyclone & a hurricane?

Asked by Adina1968 (2747points) May 5th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

Les's avatar

Nothing, they call them different things in different places. Typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones are all the same type of storm.

gooch's avatar

Typhoon spin the opposite direction from Hurricans. They originate from opposite sides of the equator. Tornadoes or twisters originate from these two storms often but they are not the only causes. All of these weather occurances have wind spinning in a circular pattern these are all called cyclones

wildflower's avatar

I thought typhoons had stronger winds than hurricanes?
[edit]: I thought wrong…. http://www.hurricanecenter.com/hurricane-reports/what-is-the-difference-between-a-hurricane-and-a-ty-4.html

Les's avatar

@gooch. Just to clarify: a cyclone, hurricane and typhoon are all the same type of storm. They are all classified as “tropical cyclones”. They get the different names from the places where they hit: typhoons hit Japan, cyclones is a general term most of the world uses, and we call them hurricanes. In the Northern hemisphere, they spin counter clockwise, if they exist (not just start) in the Southern hemisphere, they spin clockwise. It is very unlikely for one to “cross” the equator as a lack of Coriolis would inhibit their spin.

@wildflower: No, typhoons are the same as hurricanes, they just occur in the western pacific. [edit] I just saw your [edit]. Cool. ;-)

So to summarize: Typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, etc are the same things. They dervie their names from the places that experience them. They are all “tropical cyclones” (cyclone refers to their spinning nature).

gooch's avatar

@ Les that’s what I said with the exception of “originate/hit. I have never heard of any of these storms crossing the equator. I thought if they originate in the northern hemisphere it was impossible for them to cross the equator.

Les's avatar

@gooch: I see what you said now. Sorry, I reread my last post and it sounded kind of “angry”, or something. You are right, they don’t cross the equator, but they do do different things depending on what hemisphere they are on.

gooch's avatar

@les alls good

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