what are difference between cyclone and tornado

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air usually spawned by a thunderstorm. Its average diameter is of the order of a kilometer. It is formed over land. Most tornadoes don't last more than an hour or so.


A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds blowing in large spiral around a relatively calm center known as 'eye'. It is formed over warm water. The eye can extend up to 50 Km and the hurricane may extend outward by hundreds of kilometer. Hurricanes last for several hours and can last for more than 2 weeks over open waters.


Hurricane and cyclone are basically the same natural phenomena. Usually hurricane is a bigger and stronger cyclone that can hit the shores and may wreck havoc in populated places

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A Cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. These cyclonic circulations of wind and clouds can sometimes, but not always, lead to a storm characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain.

A Tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cloud. The most intense of all atmospheric phenomena, tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.


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The difference between a cyclone and a tornado is much more than whether they just occur over land or water. While this is one of their differences, you have to look farther into what makes them grow into the weather disasters and phenomenon that they can become, in order to truly understand what makes them different.

It is true that a tornado is a land event, while cyclones are created and fester over the oceans. A tornado, even the largest ones, is relatively small when compared to the cyclone. You might have a tornado that stretches for several miles, but a cyclone can stretch for several hundred miles. The atmosphere just above a land mass will encourage the development of a tornado, while that same factor will sap the life from a cyclone, and, in many cases, eventually help to destroy it.

The time frame from the birth of a tornado until it dies out, is generally measured in minutes. The time frame from the birth to the death of a cyclone, is measured in hours and days.

There is no way to say which of the two is more destructive. It mostly has to do with the area of development, and what might be in its path. However, the tornado delivers devastation to buildings, infrastructure, and people, in a very centralized location in relation to its development. A cyclone can cause widespread damage to any number of regions within its path. The type of damage is also different. The tornado provides fierce, intense damage, while the damage of a cyclone is caused by continuous battering, and drawn out exposure.

Outside of being potentially deadly weather phenomenons, the greatest link between a tornado and the cyclone is found after the cyclone reaches land. The atmospheric instability, the ambient and atmospheric temperatures, and the weather conditions that surround the cyclone, can make a fantastic recipe for the development of tornados. Alternatively, the tornado does not provide the right conditions to develop a cyclone.

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A cyclone and hurricane are basically the same except for the fact that one forms in the Pacific ocean and the other in the Atlantic ocean.

A tornado is very similar to a cyclone and a hurricane except it forms over land and if it is over fresh water it is known as a water spout and if it forms in the desert it is known as a dust devil.

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