International Cyclone Definitions
Hurricanes, Typhoons, and More
A “tropical cyclone” is the generic term for a giant whirlwind with storm activity surrounding a low-pressure center over tropical or subtropical waters. The terms “hurricane” and “typhoon” are regionally specific names for strong tropical cyclones. While the categories used don't match exactly, the following table is a rough guide for comparing the names given to storms in different parts of the world.
|U.S. name||U.S. Saffir-|
|SW Indian |
|Tropical Depression||—||Tropical Depression||Depression or Severe Depression||Tropical Depression||Tropical Depression||Tropical Low||—|
|Tropical Storm||—||Tropical Storm||Cyclonic Storm||Moderate Tropical Storm||Tropical Cyclone (Gale)||Tropical Cyclone||1|
|Tropical Storm||—||Severe Tropical Storm||Severe Cyclonic Storm||Severe Tropical Storm||Tropical Cyclone (Storm)||Tropical Cyclone||2|
|Hurricane||1||Typhoon||Very Severe Cyclonic Storm||Tropical Cyclone||Hurricane||Severe Tropical Cyclone||3|
|Hurricane/Major Hurricane||2–3||Typhoon||Very Severe Cyclonic Storm||Intense Tropical Cyclone||Hurricane||Severe Tropical Cyclone||4|
|Major Hurricane||4–5||Typhoon/ Super Typhoon||Super Cyclonic Storm||Very Intense Tropical Cyclone||Hurricane||Severe Tropical Cyclone||5|
Source: Commonwealth of Australia, Bureau of Meteorology.
Fact Monster/Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
More on International Cyclone Definitions from Fact Monster:
- Hurricane Season - Find 2010 hurricane season predictions and a review of the 2009 hurricane season, including storm names, strength, and cost.