A cyclone is any kind of major storm defined by a circular motion and low pressure center. Tornadoes are actually a type of cyclone. Cyclones can happen world wide, but are called by different names depending upon the area of the globe they occur in. So is there a difference between cyclone and hurricane?
A hurricane is a type of cyclone. Cyclone is the overall definition and the two types of tropical cyclones are called hurricanes and typhoons. Hurricanes - are the tropical cyclones, that occur in the Atlantic Ocean region. Typhoons are tropical cyclones that happen in the Pacific Ocean region. There has to be specific water and atmospheric conditions to cause a hurricane or typhoon. Usually, the water temperature has to be over eighty degrees. The rising heat causes water condensation and fuels the circular motion. The term tropical refers to the area where it is formed and the typical area of landfall. Atlantic based hurricanes are basically spawned from two specific locations: The West Coast of Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.
Since a hurricane is a type of cyclone, there isn't any validity in the quest for the difference between cyclone and hurricane. They are, in essence, one in the same. It is like asking the question of what is the difference between fruit and an apple. An apple is a type of fruit.
Cyclones are steered by prevailing winds. The tropical cyclones called typhoons and hurricanes are designated by the development of a closely formed center called the eye. When a typhoon or hurricane is based over the water, the winds and moisture can accelerate the wind speed and intensity of the storm. The cyclonic process is actually a method of the earth's function to pull the hot air away from the tropical areas and acts as a cooling agent for the earth.
A typhoon and hurricane build up intensity when they are over water. The ocean fuels the intensity. However, as a typhoon or hurricane enters a land mass, the water factor is removed and the intensity slows down. As long as the storm doesn't re-enter water, it is typically downgraded after the initial land strike.
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