What Is The Difference Between A Cyclone, Hurricane, And Typhoon?

A cyclone, hurricane, and typhoon are typically the same thing: tropical storms. However, depending on the area in which the tropical storm occurs, the name changes.
What Is The Difference Between A Cyclone, Hurricane, And Typhoon?
What Is The Difference Between A Cyclone, Hurricane, And Typhoon?

Cyclone Mandous has continued to cause destruction in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh after landfall. 

Several regions in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are experiencing waterlogging and river overflows as a result of the severe rains caused by the cyclone.

With Cyclone Mandous wreaking havoc on the two Indian states and the piqued curiosity over its name and origins, people are bound to wonder how it differs from a hurricane or typhoon. 

What is the difference between a cyclone, hurricane, and typhoon? 

Let’s find out!

Difference Between A Cyclone, Hurricane, And Typhoon


NASA states that there is no actual difference between a cyclone, hurricanes, and typhoons. The three weather phenomena are the same thing, with each storm having a wind speed of more than 119 km/h (74 mph). 

Related | What is Cyclone Mandous? Check all details here

The only difference between the three is that their names vary depending on where in the world the storm occurs. 


  1. Cyclone: Cyclones occur throughout the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. These tropical storms also frequently impact nations all the way from Australia to Mozambique. A typical cyclone season lasts from November to April.


  • Hurricane: Hurricane is the name given to a tropical storm when it occurs in the Northeast Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Hurricanes frequently affect the Caribbean and the eastern coast of the United States. 


  • Typhoons: When a tropical storm occurs in the northwest Pacific Ocean, it is given the name Typhoon. Typhoons commonly affect Japan and the Philippines. A typhoon season typically lasts from May to October. There are different classification scales for typhoon strength, with the most powerful storms being referred to as "super typhoons."

Formation of Tropical cyclones

The formation of tropical storms begins in the warm ocean waters, typically near the equator. When the hot air rises, it creates an area of reduced air pressure. The hot air that has risen begins to cool off and then is pushed aside by the gust of hot air rising again. 

The cycle continues until it picks up enough speed and power, creating a tropical storm. 

As the storm starts rotating quickly, an eye begins to form at its center. When the tropical storm reaches a wind speed of more than 119 km/h (74 mph), it turns into a tropical cyclone, hurricane, or typhoon. 

Also Read | What Is The Difference Between The Arctic And Antarctic?

During the initial phases of their development, tropical storms create gigantic waves in the ocean. Tropical storms can cause massive destruction of lands, as the waves can flood cities and the strong winds have the potential to destroy homes and trees. 

Although tropical storms die within a few days after landfall, because of the lack of hot seawater to power them, they can cause massive destruction and even take lives in a span of a few days. 

How to stay safe during and after a cyclone/tropical storm?

  • Get away from the sea. 
  • Reach higher ground (above sea level), and stay indoors and away from windows. 
  • Turn off your electricity in case of downpours and thunderstorms. 
  • Stay away from old or damaged buildings. 
  • Keep an emergency cyclone/hurricane/typhoon kit ready. 
  • Stay in tune with official weather alerts.

Also Read | What Is The Difference Between Weather And Climate?

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