Typhoon v. Hurricane?

What makes a typhoon different than a hurricane? To the layman, can they be thought of as just tantamount to each other? Or, are typhoons more dangerous?

  • Jinx

Exact same thing, intensity-wise. These storms (where storms are defined as a tropical system having winds greater than 74 mph) are called typhoons in the western Pacific (west of the dateline), and hurricanes in the Pacific east of the dateline, and in the Atlantic north of the equator.


I think the difference is just location

from dictionary.com:

Typhoon = western Pacific or Indian oceans
Hurricane = equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea or eastern regions of the Pacific Ocean

Gotta nitpick dictionary.com’s definition though. :slight_smile: Storms in the Indian Ocean (north and south) are just called cyclones, offically anyway.

From this page in NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division FAQ:

The terms “hurricane” and “typhoon” are regionally specific names for a strong “tropical cyclone”. A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a non-frontal synoptic scale low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters with organized convection (i.e. thunderstorm activity) and definite cyclonic surface wind circulation (Holland 1993).

[ul][li]“hurricane” (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160E) [/li][li]“typhoon” (the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline) [/li][li]“severe tropical cyclone” (the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E) [/li][li]“severe cyclonic storm” (the North Indian Ocean)[/li][li]“tropical cyclone” (the Southwest Indian Ocean)[/ul][/li][/QUOTE]

Well, there are Hurricanes and there are Typhoons.