a Typhoon vs a Hurricane: Difference and Comparison

Typhoons and hurricanes are meteorological phenomena that occur due to natural causes. Some natural disasters consist of earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, floods, drought, tsunamis, etc.

Tropical storms can be classified as cyclones, typhoons, or hurricanes depending upon the location where the storm is occurring. They also differ in the difference in speed of the winds.

They can or cannot cause destruction to human lives depending upon the area and the speed of the storm. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Typhoons form in the western Pacific Ocean, while hurricanes develop in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific.
  2. Both typhoons and hurricanes are tropical cyclones, but typhoons tend to have stronger winds and heavier rainfall.
  3. Typhoon season lasts from May to November, whereas hurricane season occurs from June to November.

Typhoon vs Hurricane

The difference between typhoons and hurricanes is that they differ in the location of the tropical cyclone. Both typhoons and hurricanes are tropical cyclones and are different with respect to the area or location of the storm. Both of them are typical weather phenomena and can be described as rotating, which organizes cloud systems along with thunderstorms. They originate over the water bodies in tropical or sub-tropical regions.  

Typhoon vs Hurricane
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Typhoons are rotating storms over the ocean, having a cloud system, and thunderstorms occur over the regions of the Northwest Pacific.

Typhoons are common in East Asian countries like Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, etc., and occur between the month of May and October.

Hurricane is a rotating storm with a wind speed of 74 miles per hour, along with thunderstorms and a cloud system occurring in regions of Central North Pacific, Eastern North Pacific, and North Atlantic.

They are more common in American countries and occur between the months of June to November. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTyphoonHurricane
MeaningA typical tropical cyclone consisting of a rotating, organized cloud system and thunderstorms occurring in the regions of the Northwest Pacific.A typical tropical cyclone consisting of a rotating, organized cloud system and thunderstorms occurs in the regions of Central North Pacific, Eastern North Pacific and North Atlantic.
EtymologyThe Greek word Typhon (which means whirlwind) or from a word, tufan, which means a big cyclonic storm.Comes from a deity of Fire and Storms, the Mayan God, Huracán.
LocationNorthwest PacificCentral North Pacific, Eastern North Pacific and North Atlantic.
RotationSouthern hemisphere- clockwise direction while in the Northern hemisphere- counterclockwise direction.Southern hemisphere- clockwise, while in the Northern hemisphere, it is anti-clockwise.
Areas of occurrenceEastern Asia (Marianas Islands, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Southern Japan)Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Caribbean islands, New Orleans
Typical examplesTyphoon Songda- Japan and Northern Mariana Islands (2014). Super Typhoon Goni- Philippines (2020)Hurricane Katrina- New Orleans (2005). Other examples- Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Harvey.

What is a Typhoon?

A typhoon is a typical tropical cyclone consisting of rotating, organized cloud systems and thunderstorms which occur in the regions of the Northwest Pacific.

The word typhoon came from a Greek word, Typhon (which means whirlwind) or from a word, tufan used in Hindi, Persian and Arab, which means a big cyclonic storm. The Japan Meteorological Agency monitors typhoons.

Typhoons occur more frequently and are strong due to the warm water of the Pacific Ocean, which acts as fuel for the typhoon.

In the Southern hemisphere, the rotation of typhoons is in the clockwise direction, while in the Northern hemisphere, it is counterclockwise. The storm can be distinguished based on the speed of the storms.

The tropical cyclone, when reaching 74 miles per hour or more, is called either typhoon or hurricane, depending upon the location of the storm.

The commonplace is the risk of occurrence of a typhoon in the region of Eastern Asia. The typical occurrence of typhoons in the Northwest Pacific Ocean takes place between the month of May to October.

Although they can occur over any time during the year, the prevalent data shows the occurrence between May to October.

Typhoon

What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a typical tropical cyclone consisting of rotating, organized cloud systems and thunderstorms in Central North Pacific, Eastern North Pacific, and North Atlantic regions.

The common places for the occurrence of hurricanes are Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Caribbean islands, etc.

The word hurricane comes from a deity of Fire and Storms, the Mayan God, Huracán. There were various spelling variations, and the current spelling in use was finalized in 1688.

A scale known as the Saffir-Simpson scale is used for the categorization of hurricanes from level 1 to level 5. In the Southern hemisphere, the rotation of the hurricane takes place clockwise, while in the Northern hemisphere, it is anti-clockwise.

The storm can be distinguished based on the speed of the storm, from level 1 to level 5.

The tropical cyclone, when reaching 74 miles per hour or more, is called either hurricane or typhoon, depending upon the location of the storm.

Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic regions for the time period of six months, i.e., from 1 June to 30 November. An average of 95% of tropical activity in the Atlantic region takes place between the month of June to November.

hurricane

Main Differences Between a Typhoon and a Hurricane

  1. Both typhoons and hurricanes are typical tropical cyclones consisting of rotating, organized cloud systems and thunderstorms with wind speeds equal to or more than 74 miles per hour. They differ in the location where the storm is occurring.
  2. Typhoons are tropical storms in the Northwest Pacific region, while hurricanes are tropical storms in the regions of Central North Pacific, Eastern North Pacific, and North Atlantic.
  3. The major regions of occurrence of the typhoon are East Asian countries, while the hurricane is observed in American countries.
  4. The places hit by the typhoon were the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Southern Japan, etc., while the hurricane hits New Orleans, Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Caribbean island, etc.
  5. Typhoon hits in months from May to October, while hurricanes are mostly observed from June to November.
Difference Between a Typhoon and a Hurricane
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167610514002669
  2. https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/mwre/143/2/mwr-d-14-00227.1.xml

Last Updated : 30 July, 2023

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