What is the difference between Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons?

People often wonder about the difference between a hurricane, a cyclone and a typhoon. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), meteorologically there is no difference.

These three storms all have the same properties, particularly very low pressure at the center. The difference lies not in strength or components, but where these storms occur that generates their names.

A storm that moves through the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific Oceans is called a hurricane. The same type of phenomenon that occurs in the Northwest Pacific Ocean is a typhoon. In the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, an identical storm is called a cyclone.

These storms, when they reach land masses cause damage–sometimes including loss of life–as they strike. Should the disturbance continue to move over land, it loses much of its dangerous wind and rain power. However, should the storm remain centered in the ocean, while touching land with its outer bands, the wind and water damage can be detrimental to everything in its path.

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