Difference Between Typhoon and Hurricane

typhoon vs hurricane

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between typhoon and hurricane storms?  The two weather phenomenon are closely related, but the difference between typhoon and hurricane occurrences can be pinpointed by taking a closer look at the definitions, similarities and differences of a typhoon vs hurricane.

Difference Between Typhoon and Hurricane – Definitions

Here are the definitions of the both weather phenomenons to help you better understand the difference between typhoon and hurricane storms.

  • Hurricanes: Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that have sustained winds of at least 74 MPH and occur in the Northeast Pacific Ocean (east of the International Date Line), in the South Pacific Ocean (east of 160E) or in the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • Typhoons: Typhoons are tropical cyclones that have sustained winds of at least 74 MPH and occur in the Northwest Pacific Ocean (west of the International Date Line).

As you can see, the difference between typhoon and hurricane storms is dependent on where the storm is located based. Essentially, this means the difference between typhoon and hurricane storms depends solely on longitude.

Difference Between Typhoon and Hurricane – Similarities

Here are some similarities between typhoon vs hurricane storms to help you understand the difference between typhoon and hurricane tropical cyclones:

  • Both hurricanes and typhoons are considered tropical cyclones
  • Both hurricanes and typhoons rotate in a clockwise swirl in the Southern Hemisphere and a counter-clockwise swirl in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Typhoons and hurricanes exhibit many of the same characteristics including storm surges, an abundance of rain downfall, tornadoes, heavy winds and frequent flooding
  • The two tropical cyclones also both typically occur primarily in warm areas
  • Hurricanes and typhoons both have the same prerequisites for forming, including: warm tropical temperature ocean waters, light winds and a preexisting disturbance in the weather (i.e. thunderstorms, rain, etc.).  When these conditions are in place for enough time, typhoons and hurricanes result

There are many similarities to the two storms, much more than any difference between typhoon and hurricane storms.  Let’s take a look at each difference between typhoon and hurricane tropical cyclones.

Difference Between Typhoon and Hurricane – Differences

Here is a look at every difference between typhoon and hurricane storms:

  • Typhoons occur in the Pacific Ocean, west of the International Date Line
  • Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic Ocean and East Pacific Ocean, east of the International Date Line
  • Hurricanes fall into one of five categories, each of which is determined by strength of winds and the intensity of the damage which occurs.  The guidelines are laid out by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with Category 1 being the weakest and Category 5 being the strongest
  • Typhoons occur more frequently and are much stronger due to the warmer waters in the Pacific Ocean.  Therefore, they are classified in two ways: by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and the Japan Meteorological Agency Typhoon Scale
  • Hurricanes mostly affect the Caribbean Sea area
  • Typhoons mostly affect the South East Asia and China Sea area
  • On average, there are 10 to 15 hurricanes per year as compared with 25 to 30 typhoons each year
hurricane

Hurricane Vince,October 2005

 

typhoon

Typhoon Bopha, December 3, 2012

Difference Between Typhoon and Hurricane – Conclusion

Aside from the location, the only real difference between typhoon and hurricane storms are the average strength and frequency.  Still, when it comes to classification, the only difference between typhoon and hurricane tropical cyclones is the longitude.

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