Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Cyclone and Tornado

tornadoCyclone vs Tornado

The difference between a cyclone and a tornado is much more than whether they just occur over land or water. While this is one of their differences, you have to look farther into what makes them grow into the weather disasters and phenomenon that they can become, in order to truly understand what makes them different.

It is true that a tornado is a land event, while cyclones are created and fester over the oceans. A tornado, even the largest ones, is relatively small when compared to the cyclone. You might have a tornado that stretches for several miles, but a cyclone can stretch for several hundred miles. The atmosphere just above a land mass will encourage the development of a tornado, while that same factor will sap the life from a cyclone, and, in many cases, eventually help to destroy it.

The time frame from the birth of a tornado until it dies out, is generally measured in minutes. The time frame from the birth to the death of a cyclone, is measured in hours and days.

There is no way to say which of the two is more destructive. It mostly has to do with the area of development, and what might be in its path. However, the tornado delivers devastation to buildings, infrastructure, and people, in a very centralized location in relation to its development. A cyclone can cause widespread damage to any number of regions within its path. The type of damage is also different. The tornado provides fierce, intense damage, while the damage of a cyclone is caused by continuous battering, and drawn out exposure.

Outside of being potentially deadly weather phenomenons, the greatest link between a tornado and the cyclone is found after the cyclone reaches land. The atmospheric instability, the ambient and atmospheric temperatures, and the weather conditions that surround the cyclone, can make a fantastic recipe for the development of tornados. Alternatively, the tornado does not provide the right conditions to develop a cyclone.


· Cyclones are known for developing over water.

· Land encourages the development of a tornado, while it destroys the cyclone’s formation.

· The cyclone has a longer life span.

· Tornado damage is intense and targeted.

· Cyclone damage is widespread, and the exposure to the elements is longer.

· The cyclone can encourage the development of the tornado once landfall is achieved.

· The tornado cannot encourage the development of the cyclone.

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  1. Very useful information… Thanks!

  2. thanks very intresting & ya useful information



  5. I’ve always been told a cyclone was a. straight wind generated by a low pressure area. They were found mostly on the Midwest plains which explains why ” cyclone”cellars were pretty common in that area. hurricanes were generated over the Atlantic, and typhoons were over the pacific.

  6. A cyclone is not a Straight-line wind event but rather a system of winds that rotate around an area of low pressure whereas a “Straight-Line” Wind event is when the winds push in a Linear fashion. In Essence, straight- Line winds. Cover a large distance and they can lasts for a few hours to Days.

  7. Thank you for interesting answer. Live in Florida west coast we get tornadoes but never a cyclone.

  8. Explained very briefly. Thanks for the info

  9. Good information.

  10. Nice one bro. I have been enlightened and my knowledge of that a tornado is greater than a cycloone have been corrected.
    #HØB KÏÐ X4

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