Hurricane vs Tornado: Difference and Comparison

Hurricanes and tornadoes are both more like natural calamities. Both of them are highly stormy and kind of an atmospheric system. Basically, they are caused because of the insatiable conditions in the atmosphere.

The storms of both calamities are so strong that they hold the potential to cause massive destruction.

The names might depend on the regions and areas of different countries or even continents. Mostly hurricane is called differently in different regions depending on the severity of stormy conditions and the weather.

They are called typhoons or tropical cyclones.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hurricanes are large tropical storms that form over warm ocean waters and can cause widespread damage.
  2. Tornadoes are small but violent weather systems that form over land and can cause localized damage.
  3. Hurricanes can be much larger than tornadoes and last for days, while tornadoes last only a few minutes.

Hurricane vs Tornado

A hurricane is a large, rotating storm system that forms over warm ocean waters, characterized by high winds, heavy rain, and thunderstorms. A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air in contact with the Earth’s surface and a cumulonimbus cloud, causing destruction over a smaller area.

Hurricane vs Tornado

Hurricane is basically a cyclone that is categorized as tropical and has a sustained amount of wind that ranges from 74 mph. All of this process that takes place comes along with rain, lightning, and a major amount of thunder.

They are located or occur in the north of the Atlantic Ocean and the northeast Pacific Ocean.

A tornado can be defined as a rotating column of air having a wide range of width that can go from about a few yards to a mile or even more than that. Tornado has a highly destructive speed and is a funnel-shaped facing downward bundle of air.

There is no specific area, region, or continent for the occurrence of a tornado, and it can occur anywhere.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHurricaneTornado
What are they?Hurricane is basically a cyclone that is categorized into tropical and has a sustained amount of wind that ranges 74 mph.A tornado can be defined as a rotating column of air having a wide range of width that can go from about a few yards to a mile or even more than that.
LocationsNorth Atlantic ocean, northeast pacific ocean, south pacific ocean, and near the tropical zones.Tornados have no specific place of occurrence they have been spotted in all continents except for Antarctica.
Most affected areasThe Caribbean sea.Mid-western U.S.
PrecipitationsRainRain, hail, and sleet.
CharacteristicsHeavy winds, storms, a lot of rain or even flood, and tornadoes too.Heavy rain, strong winds, a large amount of hail, lighting-from cloud to the ground.

What is Hurricane?

Hurricane is basically a cyclone that is categorized as tropical and has a sustained amount of wind that ranges from 74 mph. All of this process that takes place comes along with rain, lightning, and a major amount of thunder.

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They are located or occur in the north of the Atlantic Ocean and the northeast Pacific Ocean.

Hurricanes develop over the oceanic water, and they heat the water to over 25 degrees Celcius. Thus, it can be said that they easily weaken in areas where there is land or cold water.

This is because hurricane requires moisture and warmth to sustain, which land and cold water cannot provide. The middle part, or can be said as the pressure centre of the hurricane, is known as the “eye” of the hurricane.

The centre part is the eye is surrounded by strong winds and pressure and is much warmer than the other area and parts of the same hurricane.

hurricane

What is Tornado?

A tornado can be defined as a rotating column of air having a wide range of width that can go from about a few yards to a mile or even more than that. Tornado has a highly destructive speed and is a funnel-shaped facing downward bundle of air.

There is no specific area, region, or continent for the occurrence of a tornado, and it can occur anywhere.

Tornadoes have many different shapes and sizes. The size of a tornado depends on its intensity. They can also be just a small swirl of dust and winds.

These are quite not easy to identify as tornadoes are interpreted to be huge waves of storms along with lots of rain and wind. Even the color of a tornado is different in different areas.

The color basically depends on the color of the soil from where it is generated and the debris collected.

tornado

Main Differences Between Hurricane and Tornado

  1. The main difference between a hurricane and a tornado is that Hurricane is basically a cyclone that is categorized as tropical and has a sustained amount of wind that ranges from 74 mph, while a tornado can be defined as a rotating column of air having a wide range of width that can go from about few yards to a mile or even more than that.
  2. The locations of a hurricane are- The North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast pacific ocean, the south pacific ocean, and the tropical zones. While Tornados have no specific place of occurrence, they have been spotted on all continents except for Antarctica.
  3. The Caribbean Sea is the most affected area by hurricanes, while for tornadoes, the most affected area is Mid-western U.S.
  4. The form of precipitation for a hurricane is Rain, while for a tornado its-Rain, hail, and sleet.
  5. Characteristics of a hurricane include-Heavy winds, storms, a lot of rain or even flood, and tornadoes too, while tornadoes- Heavy rain, strong winds, a large amount of hailing, and lighting from clouds to the ground.
Difference Between Hurricane and Tornado
References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=JyxRAAAAMAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=what+is+hurricane&ots=uIumMj2WK-&sig=zwiuGEA7igODGIyVQZAalFljCi8
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00431672.1949.9930047
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Last Updated : 23 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Hurricane vs Tornado: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Hurricanes are large tropical storms that form over warm ocean waters and can cause widespread damage, while tornadoes are small but violent weather systems that form over land and can cause localized damage. Hurricanes can occur in the north of the Atlantic Ocean, northeast Pacific Ocean, south Pacific Ocean, and near the tropical zones. Tornadoes have no specific place of occurrence; they have been spotted in all continents except for Antarctica.

    Reply
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  6. Hurricanes and tornadoes are both natural calamities resulting from intense atmospheric conditions. While hurricanes are large tropical storms that form over warm ocean waters, tornadoes are small but violent weather systems that form over land. Different regions might refer to hurricanes by different names, like typhoons or tropical cyclones. Hurricanes can be much larger than tornadoes and last for days, while tornadoes last only a few minutes. Hurricanes are located in the north of the Atlantic Ocean and the northeast Pacific Ocean, whereas tornadoes can occur anywhere.

    Reply
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      Reply
  7. Hurricanes are categorized as tropical cyclones and have sustained winds that range from 74 mph, along with rain, lightning, and a significant amount of thunder. Tornadoes, on the other hand, are rotating columns of air with varying widths that can be a few yards to over a mile. Hurricanes are located in specific oceanic regions, while tornadoes can occur anywhere on the planet.

    Reply
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  8. The article provides a thorough comparison of hurricanes and tornadoes, emphasizing their distinct nature in terms of occurrence, impact, and geographical locations. The detailed analysis assists readers in understanding the fundamental differences between these powerful atmospheric phenomena.

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  9. The detailed comparison between hurricanes and tornadoes presented in the article offers valuable insights into the contrasting nature of these natural disasters. The thorough analysis provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the distinct features and impact of hurricanes and tornadoes.

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  10. The detailed description of hurricanes as large tropical storms and tornadoes as violent weather systems offers a comprehensive understanding of their unique characteristics and impact. The article effectively communicates the differences between these natural calamities, helping readers gain valuable insights.

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