Cyclone Yaas barrels towards India’s East Coast: Know all about Cyclone vs Typhoon Vs Hurricane and how storms are formed

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Updated: May 25, 2021 2:13 PM

All kinds of tropical storms are formed over an ocean that is at least 27 degrees Celcius in temperature extending from the sea surface to the depth of 150 feet underwater, an atmosphere of high humidity, and where the air has a tendency to rise

Cyclone Yaas barrels towards India's East Coast: Know all about Cyclone vs Typhoon Vs Hurricane and how storms are formedTropical storms are formed always at a sufficient distance from the equator

The North Indian Ocean cyclone season began on April 2, when a depression was formed in the north Andaman Sea and quickly made landfall in Myanmar. After cyclone Tauktae that caused widespread destruction in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat earlier in May, Cyclone Yaas is going to be the strongest tropical cyclone this year with a wind gust of 165 kmph making landfall between Paradip and Sagar island on May 25th.

A tropical storm named Ana, developed northwest of Bermuda, on May 22. The storm will gain strength before June 1, when the hurricane season begins. Another storm, Surigae is churning in the Western Pacific Ocean is the first typhoon of the 2021 season in the northwest Pacific and the second named storm.

Now, what’s the difference between a cyclone, a hurricane, a typhoon? Nothing more than location.

All kinds of tropical storms are formed over an ocean that is at least 27 degrees Celcius in temperature extending from the sea surface to the depth of 150 feet underwater, an atmosphere of high humidity, and where the air has a tendency to rise. Tropical storms are formed always at a sufficient distance from the equator(approx. 480 kms) where there are pre-existing disturbances near-surface levels and little and where wind speed and direction vary little between the surface and troposphere.

Because of the Coriolis effect, these storms rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in Southern Hemisphere. When the storms’ system begins to spiral around a defined radius, but its maximum sustained wind speed has not gone past 61 km/hr, the storm is classified as a tropical depression and at this stage, it earns a name following the chart prepared by World Meteorological Weather Organization and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific.

Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons all are basically tropical storms but are called by one name depending on by their place of origin.

Cyclones are formed over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. So, north of the equator, India and Bangladesh get tropical cyclones, as does Australia in the Southern Hemisphere.

Typhoons are formed over the Northwest Ocean. So, Japan, China, the Philippines, etc., get typhoons.

Hurricanes are formed over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific. So, the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and the Caribbean, as well as (less frequently), the U.S. and Mexican west coasts, all get hurricanes.

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