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Difference between Cyclone and Hurricane

Natural calamities are seen in every part of the world. The excessive usage of natural resources and their exploitation leads to such natural calamities. For instance, sometimes the dams break due to the fast-paced waters of the rivers, thereby leading to floods. Dams are built to control the pace of the rivers, but sometimes when the work hasn't been done carefully, it leads to disasters.

Natural calamities are always deadly, be it floods, tornados, drought, etc. Today we will be discussing about two fatal disasters, i.e., cyclones and hurricanes. They are similar in certain aspects, yet they differ from one another. So, let us discuss them in detail.

Cyclone vs Hurricane


A cyclone is defined as an area having a low pressure with winds moving inwards in a spiral direction. Cyclones rotate anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Cyclones can have a fatal effect on the area. Some of the effects of the cyclones include heavy rains, landslides, large storms, tornadoes, strong winds, etc. Cyclones produce destructive winds, thereby leading to storms and floods.

Now, how are cyclones formed? Well, there are two significant kinds of cyclones, i.e., tropical cyclones and extratropical cyclones. A cyclone is formed when the moist air of the ocean rises in an upward direction near the surface. Low air pressure is created when the air rises up. Interestingly, the center of the cyclone is considered to be calm consisting of low air pressure.

When an area is hit by a cyclone, it is important to take some steps in order to prevent from it. For instance, one must wear shoes and tough clothing; they must lock the doors and turn off the gas, water, and power. The safest way to prevent the cyclone is to move to another area taking all the necessary material and possessions. Another option can be to plan before the cyclone occurs. Proper precautions have to be taken by the people in order to save their lives. A cyclone can last for 3-7 days. Therefore, one must be prepared before the cyclone hits the area.


A hurricane is defined as a fatal rotating storm that comprises of very low air pressure at the center. The spiral arrangement of this storm can lead to heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, etc. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that is majorly seen in the tropical and sub-tropical areas/ waters. The speed of the wind in tropical storms is 39 mph or maybe more than that. When this speed reaches 74 mph, it is called a hurricane. In layman's language, a hurricane is a large rotating windstorm that comprises of high-speed winds.

Now, how are these hurricanes caused? Well, the moist and warm air and the light winds lead to the formation of hurricanes. The violent winds in a hurricane occur at the eyewall. There are a ring of clouds and several thunderstorms surrounding the eyewall. Interestingly, a hurricane releases the energy of ten atomic bombs. Hurricanes can lead to tornadoes. A hurricane may last from one day to a month. Well, hurricane Wilma is the strongest and the fatal hurricane.

In order to keep safe from the hurricane, one must go to a safe area like a room, bathroom, or attic. One must not move outside of their homes and find a shelter elsewhere. Now, there are five stages of a hurricane, namely tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane, and dissipation. A hurricane is a fatal storm. Therefore, one must be fully prepared when a hurricane strikes the area.

Now, there are some differences between a cyclone and a hurricane. So, let us have a look at them.

1. A cyclone is defined as an area having a low pressure with winds moving inwards in a spiral direction. On the other hand, a hurricane is defined as a fatal rotating storm that comprises of very low air pressure at the center.
2. A cyclone is divided into three parts, i.e., tropical, extra-tropical, and subtropical. Hurricane is a tropical cyclone. It has no other type.
3. Cyclone may or may not be destructive because it does not occur on land. A hurricane is highly destructive.
4. A cyclone is common than a hurricane. A hurricane is not as common as cyclones.
5. Cyclones are measured through the Beaufort scale. Hurricanes are measured on a different scale wherein the overall damage is rated between 1 to 5.
6. Cyclones prominently affect the area surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes prominently affect the area surrounding the Caribbean Sea.
7. Nearly 10-15 cyclones occur every year. Nearly 11-16 hurricanes occur every year.

So, these are some of the contrasting points regarding cyclones and hurricanes. It is essential to note that both cyclones and hurricanes are natural disasters that occur above the sea surface leading to fatal consequences. It is necessary to keep yourself protected when these disasters hit a particular area. Several preventive measures have to be taken during hurricanes and cyclones. Thus, both hurricanes and cyclones are significant types of natural calamities/ disasters in the Pacific and Caribbean areas.

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