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Understanding the Weather

What is the difference between a tropical cyclone, a hurricane and a typhoon?

In the southern hemisphere the name “tropical cyclones” is used and in the Northern Hemisphere, they are called “hurricanes”.

Both hurricanes and typhoons are tropical cyclones. A hurricane is a severe tropical cyclone originating in the equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea, traveling north, northwest, or northeast from its point of origin, and usually involving heavy rains.

Typhoon is applied to intense tropical cyclones, which occur in the western Pacific Ocean. In Australia the terms "Tropical Cyclone" and "Severe Tropical Cyclone" are used.

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