typhoon or hurricane

Shyanna Busch

I've always wondered..what is the difference between a typhoon, hurrican, and tsumani? I've always assumed it has to do with where they are located.
 
No difference in the first two. Just a matter of location. They are both tropical cyclones. In the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific they are called Hurricanes. In the Pacific, west of the International Date Line they are called Typhoons. In Australia and the Indian Ocean they are commonly referred to just as Cyclones. Another Australian name is the Willie Willie, it's true!

Now, tsunamis are big waves. They are caused by undersea earthquakes or landslides. They have nothing to do with tropical cyclones. Tsunamis travel very fast across the deep ocean and can be imperceptable to a passing ship. As they reach shallow water they slow and grow in height and eventually come ashore. When they come ashore they don't always look like your typical wave, it is often just a massive surge of water.
 
Also most hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise while a typhoon rotates clockwise. Or so I have been told.
 
Originally posted by Anela Hamilton
Also most hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise while a typhoon rotates clockwise. Or so I have been told.

Not quite. In the northern hemisphere all cyclones (tropical or not) rotate counter clockwise. In the southern hemisphere they rotate clockwise. This is due to the earth's rotation and the Coriolis Force, which I will not go into.

Anticyclones (on tv they are called highs or ridges) rotate opposite of cyclones, go figure.
 
Bill is correct. A hurricane, typhoon, willy-willy, etc are all exactly identical except for their geographic location. If you saw unmarked sat pix and radar of them you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Of course the ones in the southern hemisphere will rotate the opposite direction.

Tsunami is a totally different thing ... see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami .

Tim
 
Originally posted by B Ozanne
Another Australian name is the Willie Willie, it's true!

Not anymore, it isn't — and I don't know when it was. As far as I know, "willy-willy" is, if ever used now, a colloquial term for a dust devil (although many an unmeteorological person calls tornadoes by this same name too).
 
Not anymore, it isn't — and I don't know when it was. As far as I know, \"willy-willy\" is, if ever used now, a colloquial term for a dust devil (although many an unmeteorological person calls tornadoes by this same name too).

I used to have a National Geographic map of the world and it included ocean currents, seasonal winds, and common tropical cyclone paths. One of them was labeled "Willy-Willy."
 
Originally posted by B Ozanne

I used to have a National Geographic map of the world and it included ocean currents, seasonal winds, and common tropical cyclone paths. One of them was labeled \"Willy-Willy.\"

>GASP!< National Geographic?! They've fixed it now, at least. I guess it must have been a quaint colloquial thing then, kind of like "g'day mate" and "fair dinkum" is now.
 
Now that I think about it that was a really old map. But come on, Australians have all sorts of crazy words for things. From breaky to pokies, if you can shorten it and make it sound cute the Australians have done it.
 
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