Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Hurricane (Typhoon, Cyclone)

  • Robert Korty
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_175


Tropical cyclone. An organized, cyclonically rotating system of convection driven by fluxes of heat derived from the ocean. Tropical cyclones are classified by their intensities using nomenclature that varies regionally. Tropical storms are tropical cyclones that have maximum sustained winds between 17 and 32 m/s (34–63 kts); intense tropical cyclones – those with winds of at least 33 m/s (64 kts) – are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins and typhoons in the western North Pacific. Typhoons whose maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds exceed 65 m/s (130 kts) are called super typhoons, and the strongest hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale; see Tables  1 and 2) are classified as major hurricanes in the Western Hemisphere. In the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, tropical cyclones are referred to as cyclones.
Hurricane (Typhoon, Cyclone), Table 1

Original Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity (Simpson...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA