Q:

What is the difference between hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons?

A:

Tropical storms originating in the Atlantic Ocean are called hurricanes while the same storms originating in the Pacific are called typhoons. Both storms are associated with winds that move in a circular vortex pattern. In contrast, monsoons are heavy rains created by a seasonal increase in temperature. Monsoons move in a straight line pattern.

Monsoons develop as winds are created from seasonal temperature differences between the land and ocean. Warmer air on land rises allowing the cooler, moisture laden ocean air to come in. This drops sometimes torrential rains on an area for long periods of time.

Created by low pressure systems that develop over the ocean, typhoons and hurricanes occur with strong winds and rain. The upward motion of hot air over the sea creates a circulation pattern. This column of air becomes lighter and lower in density. When it combines with a trade wind flowing in the opposite direction, the circulation pattern will increase and create a vortex. The speed of air flow in the low pressure vortex is accelerated and a typhoon or hurricane is formed.

Typhoon season occurs from May to November while hurricane season occurs from June to November. The radius of a typhoon or hurricane can reach up to 300 kilometers. Depending upon the wind speed, both can cause severe damage when they strike land.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Where do hurricanes usually happen?

    A:

    Most of the hurricanes that affect the United States form in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa and travel west towards America. A smaller number come together in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico and move north.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do hurricanes hit?

    A:

    Hurricanes most often hit in the western Pacific Ocean, with other storms forming in the Atlantic Ocean, the eastern Pacific Ocean, the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. In the United States, hurricanes from the Atlantic Ocean are most likely to make landfall, most frequently in North Carolina and Florida.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    In which months do hurricanes mostly occur?

    A:

    About 99 percent of hurricanes occur during hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic Ocean and May 15 to November 30 in the Pacific Ocean. In the Atlantic and Pacific, September is the month with the most hurricanes. During an average season, three hurricane-strength storms occur in September. Many hurricanes also form in August and October, but strong hurricanes seldom occur in November.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do typhoons form?

    A:

    Like other tropical cyclones, typhoons form when warm, calm ocean waters transfer warmth and moisture to the air above the surface. The air rises into cooler layers of the atmosphere, allowing the water to condense and the air to fall back down. This sets up a convective current that draws moisture and energy into the clouds and causes them to begin to spin.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore