Day_192 : What are the differences between cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes?

The terms cyclone, typhoon, and hurricane all refer to the same meteorological phenomenon but are used in different regions of the world. They describe a large, violent tropical storm system with strong winds and heavy rain. Here are the distinctions:

  1. Cyclone is the term used in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The word “cyclone” is also used in a broader sense to refer to any circulating weather system over the ocean characterized by closed isobar patterns and circular wind movement, whether tropical or not. In the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, when the system reaches sustained wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour, it is called a tropical cyclone.
  2. Typhoon is the name given to these storm systems in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, typically west of the dateline. Like hurricanes and cyclones, a typhoon forms over warm tropical oceans and gains energy. When the sustained winds in this system reach or exceed 74 miles per hour, it is officially referred to as a typhoon.
  3. Hurricane is the term used in the North Atlantic, Central, and Eastern North Pacific oceans. The criteria for being classified as a hurricane are the same as for typhoons and cyclones, with sustained wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour.

The naming convention is primarily geographical. The structure and behavior of these storms are the same, and they all belong to the category of tropical cyclones. The difference in nomenclature does not imply a difference in the hazard or potential damage these storms can cause, which is primarily dependent on their size, strength, and the area they affect.

A condensed list of references to support the distinctions between cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes:

  1. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provides official definitions and classifications for tropical cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes based on regional basins.
  2. National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC): Part of the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), these centers offer detailed information on hurricanes, including the distinctions between hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones.
  3. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) offers insights into cyclones, especially in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, detailing their formation, classification, and impacts.
  4. Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA): Provides information on typhoons, their tracking, and impacts in the Northwest Pacific region.
  5. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD): Offers comprehensive data on cyclones in the Indian Ocean, including classifications and warnings.

These organizations are key in tracking, studying, and providing information on these storm systems worldwide. They use specific criteria for wind speeds, atmospheric pressure, and other factors to classify these storms according to the region they occur in.