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Difference Between Tropical Storm and Hurricane

Tropical Storm vs Hurricane

Hurricanes and tropical storms are both very large storms. They are both of a tropical nature, and the difference between them lies in the speed of the wind. Hurricanes and tropical storms start as a tropical depression. Tropical depressions start as a low pressure area over the ocean which has the potential to get larger and stronger. The tropical depressions do not get a name but are numbers like “tropical depression 4,”etc. When the wind speed increases and peaks at 39 mph, then the tropical depression is given a name by the National Hurricane Center, for example, “Tropical Storm Irene.” When the wind keeps gaining speed and reaches over 74 mph, it becomes a hurricane. The names of the hurricanes remain the same for common identification throughout the country like “Hurricane Irene.”

Tropical storms
Tropical storms are extremely low pressure areas over the ocean with a cyclonic rotation of winds. They can be considered very strong thunderstorms. The tropical storms are called tropical storms because they develop usually in the tropics. In general language, people refer to tropical storms as tropical cyclones also because of the cyclonic tendency of the wind, but this use is incorrect. Tropical cyclones are actually entire weather systems which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

A tropical storm is classified according to its speed. When the speed of the wind is between 39 mph to 73 mph, the tropical depression developed is classified as a tropical storm. For instance, when Irene hit New York City, it had lost its wind speed and was considered a tropical storm rather than a hurricane. It did not cause much damage in that region as compared to North Carolina where the wind speed was enough to categorize “Irene” as a hurricane. Tropical storms carry heat to higher latitudes from the lower latitudes. This is an important phenomenon of nature.

The National Hurricane Center started giving names to tropical storms since the year 1953. The reason behind naming them was so that it was easier to identify a storm by name throughout the nation rather than its logistics. The Hurricane Center decides the names to be used each year in advance; a list is followed to name the tropical storms. Earlier, only women’s names were used for naming tropical storms and hurricanes, but since 1979, men’s and women’s names are used in alternating patterns.

Hurricane
Hurricanes are considered to be intense, cyclonic or rotating weather systems formed over oceans usually in the tropics due to the formation of low depression areas with the wind speed exceeding 74 mph. They have a spiral shape and a well-defined eye which distinguishes it from other tropical storms. Hurricanes have been observed to be smaller in diameter than mid-latitude storms. Hurricanes are formed due to the air spiraling inward into a counterclockwise direction. It is most intense at lower heights, but the circulation becomes weaker with height and finally turns clockwise near the top of the storm.

Summary:

1.Tropical storms are extremely low pressure areas over the ocean with a cyclonic rotation of winds. Hurricanes are considered to be intense, cyclonic or rotating weather systems formed over oceans usually in the tropics due to the formation of low depression areas.
2.When the speed of the wind is between 39 mph to 73 mph, the tropical depression developed is classified as a tropical storm. However, when the wind speed exceeds 74 mph, it is called a hurricane.
3.Hurricanes have been observed to be smaller in diameter than mid-latitude storms.
4.Hurricanes have a well-defined eye while tropical storms lack the presence of an eye.


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