Difference Between Hurricane and Tornado

Topics: Tornado, Wind, Tropical cyclone Pages: 3 (942 words) Published: February 27, 2011
It's easy to find similarities between the weather phenomenon, we call a hurricane and the one we call a tornado. Both cause most of their damage through high winds and rain, and the arrival of both can cause evacuations, emergency warnings and general chaos. But there are numerous differences between the two weather systems, from the elements that form them to the type of devastation they leave behind. The confusion between a tornado and a hurricane may stem from a common nickname- cyclone. Technically speaking, a true cyclone is a hurricane which forms in the Pacific Ocean. Some suggest that a cyclone is a high-pressure storm system while a hurricane is a low-pressure storm system. When it refers to a tornado, it is almost always a regional nickname, not an official designation. Tornadoes may also be called twisters or funnel clouds.

A tornado is an isolated storm event which almost always forms ahead of a front. Certain storm clouds begin to strengthen into 'super cells', and the collision between the high pressure and low pressure systems causes the winds to circulate around each other. While the storms along the front and the super cells appear on radar, tornados are rarely spotted until they've formed at least a measurable circulation of air. Tornadoes can form quickly, touch down for a few minutes and then spin back into the super cell. They may also remain on the ground, generating winds up to 250+ miles per hour, and cover a large swath of land. Hurricanes, on the other hand, are systems within themselves. The entire system forms from a low pressure system generally located in the tropics. The heated ocean water serves as fuel for the cloud formations, which slowly begin to form bands of rain clouds around the center of the low pressure. Pushed further into the ocean by prevailing winds and the jet stream, a potential hurricane begins as a 'wave', then a 'depression', followed by 'storm' when the sustained...
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