Typhoon, Hurricane, Cyclone: What's the Difference?

By Ker Than for National Geographic
9/25/2013 11:52:26 AM

The following is an excerpt from National Geographic:

A powerful typhoon that struck Hong Kong on Sunday killed at least 30 people and forced the evacuation of thousands of people on the China mainland, and hundreds of flights were canceled.

Typhoon Usagi - Japanese for rabbit - is the third and strongest Pacific typhoon to form this year. It was classified as a severe, or "super," typhoon after meteorologists recorded gusts of up to 160 miles per hour (260 kilometers per hour).

Typhoon Usagi killed at least 25 people after crashing ashore in southern China on September 23. Photograph from AFP/Getty Images

If you've never lived in Asia, you might be wondering what it feels like to experience a typhoon. But if you've ever survived a hurricane or cyclone, you already know the answer.

That's because hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon. Scientists just call these storms different things depending on where they occur.

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