20 Facts About Cyclones


In meteorology, a cyclone is a large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure.

The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gases, commonly known as air, that surrounds the planet Earth and is retained by Earth's gravity.

Atmospheric pressure, sometimes also called barometric pressure, is the pressure within the atmosphere of Earth.

In meteorology, an air mass is a volume of air defined by its temperature and water vapor content.

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A cyclone differs from a hurricane or typhoon only on the basis of location.

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean between 180° and 100°E.

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A hurricane is a storm that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and a cyclone occurs in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean.

A storm is any disturbed state of an environment or astronomical body's atmosphere especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather.

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans with a total area of about 106,460,000 square kilometres.

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2.


Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure.

In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point.


The largest low-pressure systems are polar vortices and extratropical cyclones of the largest scale.

Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are low-pressure areas, which along with the anticyclones of high-pressure areas, drive the weather over much of the Earth.


Warm-core cyclones such as tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones also lie within the synoptic scale.

The synoptic scale in meteorology is a horizontal length scale of the order of 1000 kilometers or more.


Mesocyclones, tornadoes and dust devils lie within the smaller mesoscale.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that rotates while in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud.

A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small to large.


Upper level cyclones can exist without the presence of a surface low, and can pinch off from the base of the Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere.

A tropical upper tropospheric trough, also known as the mid-oceanic trough,or commonly called as Western Hemisphere or "upper cold low" is a trough situated in upper-level tropics.


Cyclones have also been seen on extraterrestrial planets, such as Mars and Neptune.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury.


Cyclogenesis describes the process of cyclone formation and intensification.


Extratropical cyclones begin as waves in large regions of enhanced mid-latitude temperature contrasts called baroclinic zones.

In fluid dynamics, the baroclinity of a stratified fluid is a measure of how misaligned the gradient of pressure is from the gradient of density in a fluid.

In geography, latitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the north–south position of a point on the Earth's surface.

A temperature is an objective comparative measure of hot or cold.


These zones contract and form weather fronts as the cyclonic circulation closes and intensifies.

A weather front is a boundary separating two masses of air of different densities, and is the principal cause of meteorological phenomena outside the tropics.

Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy.


Later in their life cycle, extratropical cyclones occlude as cold air masses undercut the warmer air and become cold core systems.


A cyclone's track is guided over the course of its 2 to 6 day life cycle by the steering flow of the subtropical jet stream.

Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow, meandering air currents found in the atmosphere of some planets, including Earth.


Weather fronts mark the boundary between two masses of air of different temperature, humidity, and densities, and are associated with the most prominent meteorological phenomena.


Strong cold fronts typically feature narrow bands of thunderstorms and severe weather, and may on occasion be preceded by squall lines or dry lines.

A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, lightning storm, or thundershower, is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder.

Severe weather refers to any dangerous meteorological phenomena with the potential to cause damage, serious social disruption, or loss of human life.

A dry line is an imaginary line across a continent that separates moist air from an eastern body of water and dry desert air from the west.


Such fronts form west of the circulation center and generally move from west to east; warm fronts form east of the cyclone center and are usually preceded by stratiform precipitation and fog.

A warm front is a density discontinuity located at the leading edge of a homogeneous warm air mass, and is typically located on the equator-facing edge of an isotherm gradient.

Fog consists of visible cloud water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface.


Warm fronts move poleward ahead of the cyclone path.


Occluded fronts form late in the cyclone life cycle near the center of the cyclone and often wrap around the storm center.


Tropical cyclogenesis describes the process of development of tropical cyclones.

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