Q:

What causes a typhoon?

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Quick Answer

Typhoons are cyclonic tropical storms caused by a combination of warm water, evaporation, swirling winds and other factors. They typically start as smaller more mundane storms, but under the right conditions they may grow into monster coastline-wrecking typhoons.

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What causes a typhoon?
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Full Answer

A typhoon is also called a hurricane or cyclone, depending where on the globe they form. The balmy tropical oceans propagates increased evaporation, and the condensation of that water vapor into clouds releases a lot of heat. The heat creates a large area of low pressure, typically transforming it into a tropical storm. This storm sucks in surrounding winds which begin spinning about themselves due to the Coriolis effect. The storm grows over days and weeks as more moisture and winds are propagated by the warm ocean waters.

Typhoons are essentially gigantic heat engines. The warm water feeds heat into the air above it, and that in turn imparts more energy to the winds rotating in the storm. The warmer the water and the larger the area the warm water occupies, the more energy the storm picks up and the faster the winds become. Hurricane season occurs when large swaths of the ocean thousands of miles across possess waters warm enough to trigger and sustain multiple typhoons.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a typhoon?

    A:

    A typhoon is a tropical storm occurring in the Northwest Pacific Ocean and having sustained winds in excess of 73 miles per hour. In other parts of the world, these types of storms can be called hurricanes or cyclones.

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  • Q:

    How does a typhoon form?

    A:

    Typhoons form in the tropical oceans when areas of high pressure rush toward areas of low pressure, which creates wind. When the storm begins to rotate and organize around an "eye" of low pressure, it is well on its way to becoming a typhoon. Storms are categorized as typhoons when they reach wind speeds of 74 miles per hour.

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  • Q:

    How does a typhoon start?

    A:

    A typhoon starts when a storm is magnified by warm tropical or sub-tropical ocean water. As the storm draws moisture from the water, the heat increases winds and speeds the rotation of the storm. Once winds hit 74 miles per hour, it becomes a typhoon.

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  • Q:

    When did the typhoon hit the Philippines?

    A:

    Typhoon Rammasun hit the Philippines on July 16, 2014. The typhoon killed at least 38 people in the Philippines and killed more than 100 people total. It caused more than $7 billion in total damages.

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