What is the difference between a tornado and a hurricane? And what about typhoon? First, let’s get it straight: all these weather phenomena have to do with strong winds.

Not my-umbrella-got-torn-from-my-hands strong, mind you, but rather my-house-got-blown-away-to-the-Land-of-Oz kind of thing. Yet before we get to the actual difference between hurricanes and typhoons, we must understand that they’re one and the same thing called a tropical cyclone.

If you live in moderate or colder climates, there’s nothing for you to worry about, even if your house is right by the seaside, because you’ll only hear about cyclones from the news. After all, they’re called tropical for a reason: they only form in tropical or subtropical areas, because they need warm water to get things going.

SUMMARY:

  • A tropical cyclone is a huge mass of clouds that gather in the sky and start rotating counter clock-wise due to very low air pressure.
  • Cyclones occur much more often than you think! But only few of them grow large and strong enough to become hurricanes or typhoons.
  • The weakest version of a tropical cyclone is called a tropical depression. It’s a similar swirling mass of clouds, usually accompanied by storms, but the force of winds in it is not very high.
  • When the winds are stronger than 39 mph, the cyclone is then called a tropical storm. This is a more serious threat, and you’ll do well to hide inside your house because gusts of wind might reach 72 mph.

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