How Are Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Typhoons Different?

Hurricanes are massive storms made out of an organized series of thunderstorms that form over the ocean. Typhoons are the same as hurricanes, except they occur in a different part of the world. Tornadoes are smaller storms that usually form over land as a result of individual thunderstorms.

Another difference between hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes is their wind speed. A hurricane or typhoon's fastest recorded wind speed seldom reaches above 180 mph. The wind speed inside tornadoes can be much faster, with the highest category of tornado producing wind speeds up to and over 300 mph. Also, hurricanes and typhoons last much longer than tornadoes. Most hurricanes and typhoons last for several weeks. However, it is rare for tornadoes to last for more than an hour.

There are also a smaller number of hurricanes and typhoons every year than tornadoes. In regard to the Atlantic hurricane season, an average of 10 hurricanes form every year. This is much lower than the 800 to 1,000 tornadoes that form every year in the United States alone. The ability for meteorologists to forecast hurricanes is also easier, due to the length of time it takes hurricanes and typhoons to develop. Forecasting tornadoes is much more difficult, as they can appear suddenly, often giving meteorologists little more than 15 or 30 minutes' warning before the storm forms.