Hurricane vs Tornado
Natural disasters and calamities come in many shapes and sizes, each having its own unique features and destructive powers. We are all aware of the trail of destruction caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides, hurricanes and tornados. However, tornados and hurricanes are storms that create confusion in the minds of people because of their many similarities. This article tries top highlight the differences between the two bringing out their unique features.
Hurricane is a tropical storm and is a result of depression formed in an ocean followed by the storm. When the conditions are favorable such as warm surface (around 27 degrees Celsius) of ocean water, a depression is formed in the water body. When the speed of this depression exceeds 39mph, it converts into a tropical storm, and it is this tropical storm that is referred to as a hurricane when its speed exceeds 75mph. Hurricane is a spiral wind pattern having a center called the eye of the hurricane. Hurricane has a lot of energy that is the result of moisture evaporated seawater and high temperatures. If you think that the center, because of the use of the word eye is small, forget it as the centre or the eye’s diameter can be 8-10 miles long. Normally, a hurricane becomes calmer when it reaches coastal areas as they bring torrential rains and fierce winds. Interestingly, a tropical storm is labeled a hurricane if it takes place between Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, but the same storm is called a cyclone if it takes place in Indian Ocean. The strength of a hurricane is measured on a scale of 1-5 called Saffir-Simpson. The major effects of a strong hurricane are floods and thunderstorms. Everything that comes in the path of a hurricane gets destroyed. The winds accompanying a hurricane can cause ocean waves to rise over the land. It is these waves when they are of a height of 30 feet or more that we call Tsunami waves.
Tornado, on the other hand is a funnel shaped storm that usually forms on land. A tornado is the result of a cold front meeting a warm front. Warm airs are lifted by cold airs and a funnel like structure of clouds is formed that seems like hanging in air with its center or eye at the bottom. This center is devastative in nature and can destroy anything that comes in its path. It sucks in objects inside like a huge vacuum cleaner at great speeds that can touch 100mph. The strength of a tornado is expressed as weak, medium or strong.
What is the difference between Hurricane and Tornado?
• Hurricane is a result of tropical disturbance on a water body, while a tornado is always formed on land.
• A tropical storm is labeled a hurricane if it takes place between Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, but the same storm is called a cyclone if it takes place in Indian Ocean.
• Though both have eyes or center, the center of a tornado can be huge, extending up to 20 miles in diameter, whereas the eye of a tornado is very small being only a few feet in diameter
• Hurricanes occur in the months of June to November, whereas Tornados occur in the months of April to June
• Tornados last for a few minutes or hours, whereas hurricanes can have a very long duration lasting for 2-3 weeks.
• Thunderstorms are effects of hurricanes, whereas they are the cause of a tornado
• Hurricanes can cause floods and tsunamis, whereas tornados spread epidemics and also contaminate water sources.