Difference Between Cyclone and Typhoon

Cyclone, hurricane and typhoon are terms that are closely related and that at the same time have their differences. All three terms refer to the same thing but are used depending on the different areas or geographic zones .

Let’s take a look at the definitions of these ocean phenomena, so that we can understand what “differentiates” between them.

CYCLONE  Difference Between Cyclone and Typhoon

In meteorology, cyclones are defined as strong winds that remain in a closed circulation. This natural phenomenon is characterized by the fact that the winds move in a circular manner in the same direction as the Earth.

Cyclones have high pressure on the outside and low pressure on the inside. The center is generally known as “the eye” and has the lowest atmospheric pressure.

On the other hand, a tropical cyclone (it occurs in the tropics. This term refers to cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes in a general sense) generally feeds on the heat that is released when the humid air rises; resulting in condensation of water vapor.

Depending on the size and intensity of the cyclone , the wind speed can range from 119 km / h to 249 km / h . They are measured on a scale of 1 to 5; the latter being the one where the most dangerous cyclones are located.

There are different types of cyclones , among which we can mention: extratropical , subtropical and tropical; under the right conditions, cyclones can transition between these phases . They are considered as ocean phenomena , as they can die on land due to loss of moisture, but still manage to cause destruction due to wind and rain .

  Cyclones can reach a diameter of hundreds of kilometers and are made up of several dozen convective storms . They also have the potential to become tornadoes.


Typhoons are the names given to the same storms described above, but in the northwestern Pacific (especially China and the Philippines).

In these areas, the hurricane season covers most of the year; but it is more intense from May to November.

Finally, cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons can be located through the use of airplanes, radars (Radar Doppler) and satellites. While to determine how strong is the cyclone, typhoon, hurricane; Scales such as the Beaufort and the Saffir- Simpson scale are used . Depending on the country, these scales may vary.

Key differences between typhoon and cyclone

  • The only thing that varies is the name, depending on the region or geographical area. It is called a typhoon in the northwestern Pacific. Cyclones in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Hurricane, in the Caribbean Sea, northeast, Atlantic Ocean and Central Pacific.

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