Whats a cyclone or tropical cyclone?

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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A cyclone is an area of low atmospheric pressure characterized by rotating winds and ascending air. For the most part, weather systems are classified according to wind speed.

A tropical disturbance is an organized system that originates in the tropics or subtropics that holds together for at least 24 hours. A tropical depression is a tropical cyclone that has a maximum sustained wind speed of 38 mph. A tropical storm is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 73 mph. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum winds of at least 74 mph. A commonality of all these storms is that they are organized and produce "organized convection", for example, a thunderstorm.

Storms in different parts of the world may be the same type of disturbance, they are just referred to by different names. Almost all cyclones originate in the tropics.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A cyclone is a very large and powerful storm. The winds of this storm revolve around a central area that has a low atmospheric pressure and in warm waters. If these storms occur in the northern hemisphere they are called hurricanes. Hurricanes rotate in an anti-clock wise direction. If they occur in the southern hemisphere they are called tropical storms. Tropical storms rotate in a clock wise direction. Cyclones in general are very large storms and can span up to 2,000 kilometers.

Both hurricanes and tropical storms are types of cyclones. They just begin in different areas.

krishna-agrawala | Student

A cyclone is a low-pressure area created in the atmosphere causing wind to spiral inward. Thus there are two defining characteristics of a cyclone. One, the atmospheric pressure is lowest at the center of cyclone, and second, the winds spiral in towards the center. Storms usually accompany formation of cyclones, and occasionally reach such high speeds that they become extremely violent.

A tropical cyclone is a cyclone that occurs over warm ocean waters in the tropics. These cyclones are more severe than the other cyclones. Tropical cyclones produce much of the rainfall in the Pacific area.  These great circular winds do not usually cause much damage, and they may bring needed rain to dry areas.

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