What is the difference between Tornado and Cyclone?

Natural disasters are a fact of life and two of the most destructive and dangerous weather phenomena are tornadoes and cyclones. Although both tornadoes and cyclones can cause significant damage and loss of life, they differ in many ways, including formation, location, and size. This article will explore the difference between a tornado and a cyclone.

Difference between tornado and cyclone

A tornado is a violent and rapidly rotating column of air that extends from a thundercloud to the ground. They form over land, often in areas where warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico meets cooler, drier air from Canada. When these two air masses collide, they can create instability in the atmosphere, which can lead to the formation of a tornado.

Here’s what a tornado looks like:

The massive tornado alerted the supercell as it moved through Linneus, MO not long ago. Hear reports of damage from the tornado. On route. #mowx pic.twitter.com/iIetgZnXs0

– Aaron Jayjack (@aaronjayjack)
May 7, 2023

Tornadoes typically range from a few hundred feet to a mile in diameter, and they can move at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. They are characterized by a funnel-like shape, formed by a rotating column of air. Tornadoes are typically short-lived, lasting only a few minutes to a few hours, and they are more common in the United States than other parts of the world.

On the other hand, a cyclone is a type of weather phenomenon that occurs in tropical regions, such as the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. Tornadoes are essentially the same as hurricanes and hurricanes, but they occur in different parts of the world. Cyclones are characterized by low pressure systems, high winds, and heavy rain. They can form over warm ocean waters and can be large, sometimes spanning hundreds of miles.

#tornado | A cyclonic circulation is likely to develop over the southeastern Bay of Bengal around May 6

Under its influence, a Low Pressure Area is likely to form over the same area in the next 48 hours@Indiametdept pic.twitter.com/W4NxaydGXi

– DD News (@DDNewslive)
May 2, 2023

Unlike tornadoes, tornadoes can last for several days and can travel long distances. They can also be easier to predict than tornadoes because they often follow a predictable path and are easier to track with modern technology.

Cyclone vs tornado

Below are the prominent differences between cyclone and cyclone





Formed on land

Formed in warm ocean waters


Small, usually a few hundred feet to a mile in diameter

Large, sometimes hundreds of kilometers in diameter

The making progress

Forms when warm, moist air meets cooler, drier air

Forms over warm ocean waters, often in areas of low pressure

Wind speed

Can reach speeds of 300 mph

Can reach speeds of 200 mph


Usually short-lived, lasting a few minutes to a few hours

May last several days


Can be unpredictable and difficult to track

More predictable and easier to track


More common in the United States, but can occur in other parts of the world

Occurs in tropical regions such as the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific

Hazards involved

Strong winds, heavy rain, hail, lightning and flying debris

Strong winds, heavy rain, storm surge and floods

In short, tornadoes and cyclones are both potentially devastating weather phenomena, but they differ in their location, how they form, their size, and their lifespan. While tornadoes that form over land are smaller and often more difficult to predict, tornadoes that form over warm ocean waters are much larger and tend to be more predictable.

Categories: Optical Illusion
Source: pagasa.edu.vn

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