What is a Typhoon?

A typhoon cyclone, often known as a tropical cyclone or hurricane, is a powerful circular storm that forms over warm tropical waters and is distinguished by low air pressure, strong winds, and heavy rain. A tropical cyclone generates winds that surpass 119 km (74 miles) per hour by drawing energy from the sea surface and sustaining its strength as long as it lingers over warm water. Winds may approach 240 km/h (150 miles per hour) in severe circumstances, with gusts exceeding 320 km/h (200 miles per hour).

These tremendous winds are accompanied by heavy rains and deadly phenomena known as storm surge, which is an elevation of the sea surface that may exceed 6 meters (20 feet) above normal levels.

Cyclones pose a major threat to coastal communities in tropical and subtropical regions across the world due to their mix of powerful winds and water. Cyclones impact locations as widely apart as the Gulf Coast of North America, northern Australia, and eastern India and Bangladesh every year during the late summer months (Northern Hemisphere: July–September; Southern Hemisphere: January–March).


Typhoon Definition

Typhoons are tropical cyclones that originate in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, the South Pacific east of 160E, and the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline, with winds of more than 74 miles per hour. The spinning wind blows with scary power across the warm seas of the tropics. This force slams ashore, wreaking havoc and possibly killing. Typhoons are one of nature's most devastating storms, bringing torrential rainfall, dangerous seas, and high winds. It leaves its mark on the earth by ripping up trees, causing floods, and destroying homes. This horrific storm kills thousands of people and damages a million dollars. People are displaced, and everything is washed away by the floods.

In different places of the world, tropical cyclones are referred to by different names. In the North Atlantic Ocean and the eastern North Pacific, they are called hurricanes, but in the western North Pacific in the Philippines, Japan, and China, they are called typhoons. Severe tropical cyclones, tropical cyclones, and simply cyclones are all terms used in the western South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. All of these names are used to describe the same sort of storm. Hence there is no difference between typhoons and cyclones except they occur in different places and are therefore known by different names. Now let's see what typhoon definition is and how it got formed. 


Formation of Cyclones or Typhoons

Cyclones are formed by thunderstorms and thunderstorms develop in hot, humid, and tropical areas like India. Rising temperatures cause strong winds to blow higher. These winds carry water droplets into the air, where they freeze and eventually fall back to earth. Lightning and sound are created by the rapid movement of falling water droplets and rising air. This is known as a thunderstorm.

Now the question that arises here is how a thunderstorm turns into a cyclone. So let’s explain this phenomenon, as we know that water requires heat in order to change its state from liquid to vapour form. Prior to cloud formation, water absorbs heat from the atmosphere and converts it to vapour. This heat is released into the atmosphere as water vapour transforms back to liquid form as raindrops.

The heat emitted into the environment heats the surrounding air. The air prefers to ascend, resulting in a reduction in pressure. More air rushes to the storm's core. This cycle continues indefinitely. The series of events culminates in the production of a very low-pressure system surrounded by extremely high-speed winds. This type of weather is referred to as a cyclone. Wind speed, direction, temperature, and humidity all have a role in the formation of cyclones.


Structure of a Typhoon or Cyclone

A cyclone's core is a quiet area. It's known as the storm's eye. A big cyclone is a furiously revolving mass of air in the atmosphere that may reach heights of 10 to 15 kilometres. The eye's diameter ranges from 10 to 30 kilometres. It is a cloudless zone with minimal breezes. A cloud area of around 150 kilometres in size surrounds this tranquil and beautiful eye. High-speed winds (150–250 km/h) and dense clouds with heavy rain are present in this area. As we go away from this area, the wind speed steadily diminishes. A cyclone's creation is an extremely intricate process.


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Typhoon Vs Hurricane

Any mass of air that spirals around a low-pressure centre is referred to as a cyclone. A well-organized swarm of thunderstorms is embedded in a swirling mass of air. Typhoons and hurricanes are both tropical cyclones in general, however, their sites differ. Tropical storms in the western Pacific are referred to as Typhoons, whilst those in the Atlantic and East Pacific Oceans are referred to as Hurricanes. The crucial factor is longitude.


Difference Between Typhoon and Hurricane

Typhoon

Hurricane

Typhoons are tropical cyclones that originate west of the International Date Line in the Northwest Pacific Ocean and have sustained winds of (or over) 74 mph.

A hurricane is a cyclone with sustained winds of 74 mph or more that is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, the NE Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E.

In the southern hemisphere, it rotates clockwise while in the northern hemisphere it rotates counterclockwise.

In the southern hemisphere, it rotates clockwise while in the northern hemisphere it rotates counterclockwise.

Typhoons are often highly strong due to the warm water in the Pacific, and hence more common. They are classed using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, while the Japan Meteorological Agency's typhoon scale can also be used.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, hurricanes are categorized into five categories. As we go from category 1 to category 5, the wind speed and intensity of the damage increase.

The location for its occurrence is in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the International Date Line.

Hurricanes are found over warm waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans near the tropical zone.


Conclusion

Hence a typhoon cyclone, also known as a tropical cyclone or hurricane, is a violent circular storm that originates over warm tropical waters and is characterised by low air pressure, high winds, and heavy rain. These cyclones or typhoons are formed by thunderstorms and thunderstorms usually form in hot, humid, tropical countries such as India. The centre of a cyclone is a peaceful place. It's referred to as the storm's eye and a large cyclone is a rapidly rotating mass of air in the atmosphere that may reach heights of 10 to 15 kilometres.

FAQs on Typhoon

1. What is a typhoon?

A typhoon is a huge storm system with a spiral or circular structure with high winds that can span hundreds of kilometres or miles. The winds are spiralling around a low-pressure area. When maximum wind speeds approach roughly 85 miles per hour or 140 kilometres per hour, a distinctive structure known as the "eye" appears in severe typhoons. The eye is a few tens of kilometres in diameter and consists of clean air with no clouds. Typhoons get their energy from the evaporation of warm ocean water. Water vapour climbs to the top of the typhoon and condenses along the edges of the eye, where it condenses into clouds. Warmer ocean water causes stronger typhoons, which can develop into "super typhoons."

2. What is the difference between typhoon and cyclone?

A cyclone is defined as a mass of air spiralling around a low-pressure centre. It's a well-coordinated swarm of thunderstorms engulfed in a whirlpool of air. In general, typhoons and hurricanes are both tropical cyclones, however, their locations differ. Tropical storms in the western Pacific are referred to as Typhoons, whilst those in the Atlantic and East Pacific Oceans are referred to as Hurricanes. The crucial factor is longitude.

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