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What is the difference between a Typhoon and a Hurricane? Is one stronger than the other?

Launcher Moriarty
Status Closed Mediated Closed 3 years, 3 months ago
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Meteorology Environmental sciences


With the passing of another recent typhoon in our country (and another one on the way apparently) It got me wondering what the difference between typhoons and hurricanes are there? Is it just a naming convention thing, with typhoons occurring in the Pacific and hurricanes in the Atlantic? Or are there other differences?

Answers (3)

  • vchris407
    Oct 14, 2011

    According to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, a “hurricane” and a “typhoon” are simply different names for a “tropical cyclone.” As a general rule, these cyclones are given the name “hurricane” in the Western hemisphere (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E), and the term “typhoon” is applied in the Eastern hemisphere (the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline).

    That said, there are even further distinctions throughout the world. The term “severe tropical cyclone” is given in the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E. The term “severe cyclonic storm” is given in the North Indian Ocean. And the term “tropical cyclone” is given in the Southwest Indian Ocean.

    When the maximum sustained surface winds of a tropical cyclone is less than 39 miles per hour (34 kt, 17 m/s), it is referred to as a “tropical depression.” In the area between this 39 mph (34 kt, 17 m/s) mark and 74 mph (64 kt, 33 m/s), it is known as a “tropical storm.” And then, of course, as it reaches the 74 mph mark (64 kt, 33 m/s), it becomes classified as a hurricane, typhoon, or one of the other names mentioned above.

    (Hurricane Center[dot]Com)

    Difference between a hurricane and typhoon

  • ushnish
    Oct 21, 2011

    Aside from the name, not much. Both are severe tropical systems that have wind speeds greater than 74 mph. They are called "hurricanes" in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean and eastern Pacific Ocean. But once your go west across the International Dateline and into the western Pacific Ocean, they're called typhoons. And of course, the Australians, who have colorful names for just about everything, have their own term for hurricanes: "willy-willys."

    Typhoons generally tend to be stronger than hurricanes, but only because there's warmer water in the western Pacific and are better conditions for storm development. And they've been known to affect Seattle: Some of our strongest windstorms ever recorded were remnants of a typhoon in the western Pacific.

  • SRouse88
    Oct 26, 2011

    Hurricanes and Typhoons – By Samuel Rouse

    Basically, the location is what gives the storm it's name. If a storm was to form in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific Ocean, we call it a hurricane. So basically every storm that endangers the United States is a hurricane.

    On the other hand a typhoon is generally any storm that begins in the Western Pacific. So a storm that threatens Japan or the islands of Guam or the Philippines is called a typhoon. Winds from a typhoon usually are stronger than a hurricane, due to their close proximity to the equator; however they endanger far less land area due to their locations.

    Recently however, there has been some controversy among the meteorological community as to the definition of a hurricane, typhoon, and cyclone. Some experts now refer to either a hurricane or a typhoon as a cyclone. Hope this Helps.

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