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Difference Between Cyclone and Hurricane

hurricaneHurricane vs Cyclone: connection of the two destroyers

Hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone; a tropical cyclone is a kind of cyclone, which means hurricanes are cyclones. This also points out that hurricanes and cyclones are the same thing. How? Here’s the connection.

A cyclone is circular motion of fluid which is closed and is rotating together with the direction where the earth is also rotating. It is composed of spiraling wind rotating counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Usually, it is in places where there is low atmospheric pressure where the circulation of cyclones is centered. Tropical cyclones are smaller in size but still devastating. Cyclones have common characteristics. Some of these characteristics are being in low pressure areas. It also has an eye, the place with the lowest atmospheric pressure. Also, the pressure inside the cyclone called the pressure gradient force and the pressure outside the cyclone called Coriolis force should be balance. If these pressures are not balanced there is a tendency that the cyclone will collapse. One category of a cyclone is the tropical cyclone. This type of cyclone is composed of a huge amount of low pressure and it is accompanied by thunderstorms. Tropical cyclones become stronger as the condensation of water occur in the ocean surfaces. Only the tropical cyclone has the warm core storm system, this is a phenomenon wherein the center of the cyclone is warmer than its surrounding pressures.

When the low pressure system of the tropical cyclone reaches the tropics, then it is called a hurricane. This is the most devastating of all the cyclones because it can reach the shores. This means it may reach places where there are people in it. It can claim countless lives and destroy thousands of homes as the mudslides and flash floods overwhelm the shores. It can also cause fire and wind damage. As a tropical storm is forming up on the surface of the ocean, it makes contact with warm waters that intensifies the heat then this is when a hurricane occurs. It becomes a hurricane when the wind rotates in a counterclockwise motion around the eye of the storm until the speed of the storm accelerates to 74 mi per hour. A Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to measure the strength of a hurricane. This is also used to categorize hurricanes from a scale of 1 to 5. This is very important because if the storm is in the lower category, it will be more dangerous and inflict more damage. This is most dangerous especially if it hits a populated place. The hurricane can claim thousands and could also cause millions of worth of total damages.

Cyclones are large-scale, tropical cyclones are medium in size, but when turned into hurricanes may get bigger.
Unlike cyclones, hurricanes can hit the shores and may wreck havoc in populated places.
Hurricanes have warm core system, wherein the eyes are warmer than its surroundings, cyclones do not have these.
Hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone that is faster and can hit the shores.

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  1. From a practical standpoint, hurricanes strike the North American continent and Hawaii, Cyclones strike everywhere else.

  2. Hi, I would just like to comment on the second paragraph of your Summary….

    ” Unlike cyclones, hurricanes can hit the shores and may wreck havoc in populated places”

    this IS NOT the case. Cyclones make landfall as well. Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974, killing 71 people. Cyclone Sam hit Western Australia & the Northern Territory in Nov/Dec 2000, killing 163 and Cyclone Larry hit North Queensland in March 2006, and whilst there was no loss of life, $1.6 billions worth of damage was created. Just to mention a few I know of, is all.

    just giving you a heads up on the info.

    • You are correct Christine. We call Hurricanes Cyclones in Australia. We give them a name when they form of shore as a cyclone.

  3. This is so very helpful! I love this website (or, “.net”) Thanks so very much for this amazing information.

  4. Love it!


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