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  1. beachboy's Avatar
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    #1

    twisters

    What´s the difference between typhoons, cyclones, tornadoes, twisters and hurricanes? Is it relevant for Americans to know this difference, I mean, do they know this difference when they watch the news?

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    #2

    Re: twisters

    Tonadoes are generally land-based and hurricanes usually start from the open seas.

    Cyclone is an old fashioned word for tornado (the tornado in the Wizard of Oz was referred to as a cyclone, and that was in the 1930s). And twister is a modern term, popularized by a movie of the same name.

    A hurricane in the South Pacific is called a typhoon.


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    #3

    Re: twisters

    Cyclone is an old fashioned word for tornado

    Not quite. It is a typhoon, and as of when I uprooted from Australia 10 years ago, was still what the violent tropical storms were termed. I lived through two of them, in North Queensland, and glad they were only cyclones and not your American tornados.

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    #4

    Re: twisters

    Right you are. I checked! The current meteorological definition of a cyclone is as David describes, in that hemisphere. In American slang, they referred to tornadoes, a hundred years ago.

    All are circular winds; tornadoes (and twisters and old-fashioned cyclones) are land based and localized. Hurricanes, typhoons and modern cyclones are of a wider scale and are born over water.

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