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What is a typhoon?

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Quick Answer

A typhoon is a tropical storm occurring in the Northwest Pacific Ocean and having sustained winds in excess of 73 miles per hour. In other parts of the world, these types of storms can be called hurricanes or cyclones.

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Typhoons form in warm waters and weaken when the water temperature goes below 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Typhoons develop slowly and mainly affect countries such as Vietnam, Japan and southern China. Typhoons cause storm surges and heavy rain and bring high winds.

A typhoon consists of spiral rain bands, an eye wall and an eye. The eye is a region of calm within the entire storm. Surrounding the eye is the eye wall, a region with high winds and heavy rain. Spiral rain bands wrap around the eye in the same direction as the winds.

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