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Are Hurricanes and Typhoons the Same?



Hurricanes and typhoons ARE the same.

Hurricane and typhoon are different names for a tropical cyclone.  Meteorologists define a tropical cyclone as an area of low pressure that originates over warm tropical waters and includes organized storm activity and circular wind rotation.  A tropical cyclone can be identified by a number of different names depending on the cyclone’s strength and the geographic location where it occurs.  [1]

A tropical depression is any tropical cyclone with sustained wind speeds of less than 39 miles per hour.  If sustained wind speeds are between 39 and 73 miles per hour, the tropical cyclone is referred to as a tropical storm, except in Australia, where it is called a Category 1 Cyclone.  When the sustained wind speed of a tropical cyclone exceeds 74 miles per hour, the cyclone’s name depends on where it is located. [2]

Hurricanes: In the Atlantic Ocean and in the Pacific Ocean east of 160 degrees longitude, tropical cyclones are referred to as hurricanes.

Typhoons: In the Pacific Ocean north of the equator and west of 160 degrees longitude, tropical cyclones are called typhoons.

Tropical cyclones: in the Indian Ocean and in the Pacific Ocean south of the Equator are often simply called tropical cyclones, or may be referred to as “severe” or by the storm’s strength category based on the sustained wind speed. [3]



[1]National Weather Service: National Hurricane Center
Glossary of Terms

[2]National Weather Service: National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Lifecycle and Hazards

[3]Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory
What Is a Hurricane, Typhoon, or Tropical Cyclone?

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