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Difference Between Hurricane and Typhoon

Hurricane vs Typhoon

Most of the time, a hurricane is mistakenly called a typhoon. Both are names of tropical storms and most of their characteristics are the same. They have wind speeds that are more than 74 mph, and are accompanied by hail, strong winds, storm surges and rain. The fierce winds and heavy rains from typhoons and hurricances can cause great damage to anything within their path. Although both hurricanes and typhoons are very similar, they also differ in some aspects. Firstly, tropical storms are classified by the region in which they originate. Hurricanes appear in the Western Atlantic Ocean while Typhoons are storms that appear in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Hurricane comes from the word Huracan which means ‘big wind’. It was originally a term used by the Native Americans for storms that originated in the West Atlantic. Typhoon is derived from the Chinese Tai Fun which means ‘great wind’ and referred to winds that developed in the North Pacific. One theory has it that the people who encountered storms while travelling in the Pacific Ocean were not familiar with the Chinese Tai Fun and so the mispronunciation and spelling resulted in the more familiar typhoon, which we use today.

Hurricanes and typhoons also differ in the time of year they tend to occur. Hurricanes develop in the Western Atlantic Ocean during summer. It is usually occurring during the month of October when the humidity and the water temperature are at their highest when Hurricanes develop. In the Northern Pacific Ocean, typhoon season is between July and November.

Tropical storm develops where the water is warm and the place is humid. That is why it is said that typhoons are stronger than hurricanes. Typhoons develop in the Pacific Ocean where the water is warmer. Most of the countries affected are those in the tropical depression zone where the temperature is humid and warm. Hurricane develops in the Western Atlantic Ocean where the water temperature is colder.

Hurricanes ravage most of the United States’ land areas while typhoons strike most Asian countries like Philippines, Japan, and China because these countries are near the coastline. Hurricanes hit more land areas than do typhoons. A typhoon develops in the ocean and consequently it tends damages less land areas. People living near the shore lines are more affected by typhoons however.

Both hurricanes and typhoons move in a spiralling motion but they differ in the direction of their spirals. Hurricanes can move in both directions; clockwise and counter clockwise, while typhoons only move in a clockwise direction.

Both of these Tropical storms may cause great damage on land and at sea, but they help maintain the warmth of the world’s temperature and keep it that way.


1.Hurricane originated from the word ‘Huracan’ or big wind, while typhoon came from the Chinese word ‘Tai Fun’ or great wind.
2.Hurricanes develop in the Western Atlantic Ocean while Typhoons develop in the Northern Pacific Ocean.
3.Hurricanes damage more land areas than Typhoons, which cause damage to countries’ coastlines.
4.Hurricanes occur during October in the Western Atlantic Ocean (cold region) and typhoons appear during the months of July to November in the Northern Pacific Ocean (warm and humid region).
5.Typhoons are said to be stronger than Hurricanes.
6.Typhoons move clockwise and Hurricanes move both clockwise and counter clockwise.

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