Q:

How does a typhoon develop?

A:

A typhoon develops from the combination of a warm sea surface, atmospheric turmoil, intense humidity, enough Coriolis force to create a low pressure center, low vertical wind shear, and an already existing low level focus or disturbance. Typhoons occur between December and May, and most happen in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. They are the most severe on the tropical cyclone scale.

Although Japan and China experience typhoons, the Philippines are impacted the most. In total, 18 countries are in danger of typhoons. Wind speeds of a typhoon start at 74 mph, though the United States' Joint Typhoon Warning Center only counts a storm as a typhoon when wind speeds reach 150 mph. Some countries, such as Hong Kong, further break down the designation of typhoons based on their wind speeds.

Since 1959, there have been 1,419 typhoons, averaging about 27 a year. The months with the highest rates of typhoons are August and October. The average typhoon is 40,000 times more powerful than the average thunderstorm. Typhoons travel in several directions, including north and west. They rotate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Typhoons dissipate when they reach an area of cool dry air, encounter a large land region, or move over an area of cool ocean water.

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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 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:

    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:

    What is a typhoon?

    A:

    A typhoon is the same thing as a hurricane or cyclone. They are called different names depending on where they occur. Typhoons are the name used for tropical cyclones in the Northwest Pacific, specifically to the west of 180 degrees on a map, where the Japanese Meteorological Agency tracks them.

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