Cyclone, Typhoon, Hurricane, Tsunami, and Monsoon are popular natural disasters that have the ability to wreak havoc to our communities and lives. This article is to explain each natural disasters as simply as possible. By the time you finished reading this article, you will understand perfectly well the differences between all the above.
According to BOM (1994) and GA (2008), Cyclones are low-pressure systems that develop in the tropics, around the southern hemisphere. The intensity will sufficiently produce a sustained gale force winds reaching at least 63 km/h on average which rotates in clockwise circulations. Before you ask what is this one saying, let me explain in plain English language.
To understand Cyclone is very simple. When the sun causes heat to the earth, it causes the layer of air above it to warm up. When the air is warm, the density becomes less and will therefore rise. That will then lower the pressure and the air surrounding it will move in causing a spin which is counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. That is what Cyclone is. So Cyclone can be referred to any spinning storm that is rotating around a low-pressure center.
Types of Cyclone
Cyclone actually can be referred to any form of storms that occurs in different places. It might be over the land or over water. The spinning storm constantly causing rotation around the low pressure in the center is what they all have in common. Below are the types of Cyclone that we have.
Tropical Cyclones are the most famous ones that many people are familiar with. This is not because they are popular in movies like Super Cyclone or Mega Cyclone. It is because Tropical Cyclones occur over the tropical regions.
Polar Cyclones are storms that occur around the Polar Regions like Siberia, Antarctica, and Greenland. This types of Cyclones are always stronger during the winter months. Polar Cyclones prefer cold weather and occur in areas that are not very populated. Damages are always minimal.
Mesocyclone occurs when a fraction of a thunderstorm cloud begins to spin, this may actually result in a tornado. Tornadoes are all caused by thunderstorm clouds but not every time. You can’t really see the process because it’s intermediate or a ‘Meso’ a step above the regular normal cloud to a dangerous cloud spinning constantly on the ground.
Monsoon is another natural disaster that you will understand in a minute. From Mawsim which means season, the word Monsoon was coined out. Monsoons are changing in the wind direction that results to Excessive and uncontrollable rainfall in so many parts of this world which include Asia, North America, Africa, and South America. The shift in the pattern of wind globally is the main mechanism behind Monsoon. The shift can cause heavy rainfall during summer and may also cause a dry spell at other times.
A Monsoon arises due to the difference temperature between an ocean and an adjacent land mass. The Land and Ocean get warms from the Sun differently and this then causes the wind to play a tug of war which can switch direction to bring the moister, cooler air from over the Ocean. And at the end of the Monsoon season, the winds will reverse again.
Types of Monsoon
The difference between the Wet and Dry Monsoon is the period the effect usually take place. The wet Monsoon occurs during summer bringing cooler winds from above the oceans onto the land. The Dry Monsoon on the other side occurs around October and April. Instead of coming from the Ocean, it comes from drier climates like from Northwestern China and Mongolia straight into India. The Dry one tends to be less powerful.
A tsunami is straightly a series of enormous ocean waves as a result of underwater landslides, asteroids, earthquakes, or volcano eruption. Tsunami waves don’t just increase in height dramatically. What happens is that the waves travel inland and increase in height gradually as the depth of the ocean is decreasing. Tsunami waves can travel very fast like a jet plane over the deep waters and will only slow down when getting in contact with shallow waters.
The tsunami has the ability to travel about 20-30 miles per hour in line with gigantic waves as high as 10-100 feet. Flooding, disruption in power, communications, transportation, and water supply are accompanying effects.
Typhoons are exact the same weather phenomenon like hurricanes, and both of them are known as cyclones. When it’s around the Western Pacific, people refer to it as typhoons and when they occur in the Atlantic oceans and Eastern Pacific they are hurricanes.
A Typhoon is a tropical cyclone that produces a wind that is faster than 74 miles per hour which occurs in the Northeast Pacific Ocean and North Atlantic Pacific Ocean.
The difference between the severe typhoon and the super typhoon is just the speed at which it occurs. The cyclone sustained winds of about 95 miles per hour, its severe typhoon. If it sustained the winds at about 115 miles per hour, it’s known as a super typhoon.
When a tropical wind sustained winds reaching 75 miles per hour, it’s known as Hurricane. Hurricanes have its origin in the Atlantic basin, and this includes, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, the eastern North Pacific and, Gulf Mexico.
The National Hurricane center tracks and predicts this massive storm and affirm that on an average, it can occur about 12 times in a year in the Atlantic basin.
Cyclone vs Typhoon vs Hurricane
The difference between Cyclone, Typhoon, and Hurricane is just Location. Typhoons and Hurricanes belong to Tropical Cyclones but people only give it different names to make it clear where the storm is happening. For instance, when the storm happens in the Northeast Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, its called Hurricane.
If the exact same storm is in action in the Northwest Pacific, people refer to it as Typhoon. There is no difference in these 3 natural disasters, just the name which is used to get the area its occurring is the difference.
Tsunami vs Monsoon
Unlike Hurricane, Typhoon and cyclone that means the same thing but carries different names, Tsunami and monsoon are different natural disasters. The differences is very clear and straight forward. Tsunami is a enormous high wave caused by earth quake from the depth of the Ocean.
Monsoon however is a wind that changes its directions with seasons. Another difference is that a tsunami can really destroy and wreak havoc while the destruction of Monsoon can be minimal.