Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Hurricanes vs Typhoons 

In the wake of Isabel, here's an interesting fact: hurricanes are typhoons are tropical cyclones are severe tropical cyclones are severe cyclonic storms. They're all the same type of storm -- it just depends on where they're located. Who knew! Here's the breakdown:

  • hurricane = in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E

  • typhoon = in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline

  • tropical cyclone = in the Southwest Indian Ocean

  • severe tropical cyclone = in the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E

  • severe cyclonic storm = in the North Indian Ocean

  • And everyone knows that tropical storms are given names from a list created each year that goes alphabetically and alternates between male & female names. But i must admit, i didn't know that Hawaiian names are used for Central Pacific storms. Or that names of really major storms can be retired. I have this mental image of a bunch of football jerseys hanging on the walls at the Weather Channel offices, each with the name of a retired storm and the number of their year...


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