Lots of Names for Storms – Who Would Have Thought?

By Laurel Sutton

October 26, 2005

Posted to the American Name Society list by HJ Wilk:

The definitive word on the geography of cylconic storms: In the Atlantic, both South (rare, but not unknown) and North, they are known as hurricanes. In the Eastern Pacific, they are also known as hurricanes. In the Northern, Western Pacific, they are typhoons. In the Southern, Western Pacific, and on and just to the West Coast of Australia, they are cyclones.  In the Northern Indian Ocean, the type that strike Bangladesh, India, etc., they are also cyclones, as well as are those storms in the Southern Indian Ocean, the ones that strike on or are near Madagascar or the Southeast Coast of Africa..

Meteorologically speaking, these are all the same kind of storms, except the Coriolis effect is operative, and Northern Hemisphere storms turn counterclockwise, while Southern Hemisphere storms turn clockwise.

Source: C. Donald Ahrens, Meteorology Today, 5/e, ISBN 0-213-027793. West Publishing Company, Minneapolis/St. Paul, 1994

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