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What is Cyclone Fani, How is it Different from Hurricanes and Tornadoes?

The IMD has issued a formal cyclone alert for Odisha, West Bengal and parts of Andhra Pradesh and had even suggested evacuation of the low lying coastal areas.

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Updated:May 3, 2019, 7:10 AM IST
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What is Cyclone Fani, How is it Different from Hurricanes and Tornadoes?
Image for representation. (Image: PTI)

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a cyclone warning, on Tuesday, and has said that Cyclone Fani has intensified into an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm' and will make landfall on the Odisha coast by Friday afternoon.

The IMD has issued a formal cyclone alert for Odisha, West Bengal and parts of Andhra Pradesh and had even suggested evacuation of the low lying coastal areas.

However, cyclones are not the only tropical that have hit countries around the world. While Cyclone Titli already ravaged Odisha last year and cyclone Fani is gearing up to make landfall, a tropical disturbance off the coast of Florida could already kick-start hurricane season for them this year.

But what is the difference between cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes?

It turns out, there is no difference! The only difference is based on the region of the tropical storm’s origin. Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon; we just use different names for these storms in different places. The term ‘hurricane’ is used in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, while the same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

A tornado, however, is a completely different thing. It is a violently spiralling funnel cloud that extends from the bottom of a thunderstorm to the ground. It is important not to confuse a tornado with a hurricane or tropical cyclone because the only similarity they have is that they both contain strong rotating winds that can cause damage. But unlike hurricanes and cyclones, they only occur over land.

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| Edited by: Anu Parthiban
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