Hurricanes and Cyclones

Odisha, and states on our Eastern Coast, are often hit by cyclones! Telephone lines collapse, water floods areas, carries away houses and cattle, and often there is loss to human life.

But what is a cyclone?

As the name suggests, a cyclone is a windstorm that moves in circles. These windstorms rotate violently and spiral inwards. A cyclone is often accompanied by thunderstorms.

Cyclone comes from the Greek word Kyklos, which means moving in circles.

These windstorms rotate clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Winds spiral inwards around an area of low pressure.

What are hurricanes?

A hurricane is basically the same thing as a cyclone or typhoon. Just their names are different based on the location at which they occur:

  • Cyclones in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean
  • Hurricane in the Northeastern Pacific and Atlantic
  • Typhoon in the Northwest Pacific

Types of Cyclones

Meso Arctic Tropical

A meso cyclone is a dense, swirling pack of clouds and winds (half a mile to six miles wide). This looks like a thin, vertical band of black clouds that spins from beneath thunderclouds.

Arctic or polar cyclones occur in Antarctic regions. They can be up to 1,200 miles wide. Polar cyclones are different from other cyclones because they are not seasonal. The formation of polar cyclones can be quite fast and their direction or movement cannot be predicted. They can last from one day to several weeks. Rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over tropical or sub-tropical areas are called tropical cyclones. As warm air rises above the sea and turns into clouds, large amounts of energy is released. This energy, released with areas of low-pressure, together result in a cyclone.