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What are Cyclones?

Geography | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Interactive

What is a Cyclone?

Cyclones are violent storms. When we talk about storms or cyclones, the location plays an important part since there are different types of cyclones, and the location determines what to call it.

Cyclones that form near North America and the Caribbean are known as hurricanes. Cyclones formed near Philippines, Japan and China are known as typhoons and those formed near Australia and India are known as cyclones.

How are Cyclones formed?

Cyclones are generally spinning storms that rotate around a low pressure center. The center is the eye of the cyclone which watches whatever is going down. It is like the calm spinning, middle portion of a ceiling fan whereas the surrounding rotating areas are the arms which go wild.

Types of Cyclones?

Tropical Cyclones

The Tropical cyclones form over the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Oceans, mostly develop during summer. Hurricanes and typhoons are also types of tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are called category 1,2,3,4, or 5. The number increases with the increase in their intensity and wind speed. A category 1 cyclone is weak and has a speed of 74-95 mph. A category 5 cyclone is above 155 mph and is extremely disastrous and dangerous.

Polar Cyclones and Mesocyclones

Other types of cyclones are Polar cyclones and mesocyclone. Polar cyclones occur in Polar Regions in winter months in Greenland, Siberia or Antarctica. A mesocyclone is when a part of a thunderstorm cloud starts to spin and forms a tornado.

Tropical Cyclones form over the warm of the tropics. When the warm, moist air over the water rises, it is replaced by cool air. This cooler air warms and starts rising. This cycle causes huge clouds to be formed. Now, these warm clouds begin to rotate with a spin of the earth. If there is enough warm water, the cycle continues and the storm clouds and the wind speed keeps growing to form a cyclone. When this occurs over the tropical ocean it is called tropical depression. When it starts spinning faster, we get a tropical storm.

The main effects of cyclones are heavy rainfall, strong winds, land falls and tornadoes. The destruction of a cyclone depends upon the intensity of the winds. The worst cyclone in Australia was in 1974 called cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin and Northern Australia.

2 Interesting Facts about Cyclones

  1. Cyclone rotates counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere, due to earth’s rotation.
  2. When naming cyclones the letters Q,U,X,Y, Z are not used and the names are alternated between male and female names.
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