Where Do Typhoons Occur?

A typhoon is the name given to a tropical cyclone that forms in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones are all names for the same type of storm, and different names are used based on where the storm originates.

Tropical cyclones that form in the eastern Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean are termed hurricanes, while those that occur in the Indian or south Pacific oceans are simply called cyclones. Despite the difference in names, these terms all refer to a specific type of organized, rotating weather system of clouds and thunderstorms. These cyclones occur around the world in a band that stretches approximately 300 miles north and south of the equator, as the specific conditions required for their formation can only occur in subtropical or tropical waters. As of 2014, only one tropical cyclone has ever been recorded in the southern Atlantic, Hurricane Catarina, which struck the coast of Brazil in 2004.

All of these storms are first classified as a tropical storm until they grow large enough to produce an average sustained wind speed over 74 mph, after which they are given a specific name based on their location. The names are selected in alphabetical order from the list for each region, with a new list of names being used each year.