Why is a typhoon dangerous

Typhoons: three factors make them so dangerous

At a glance

  • Typhoons are tropical cyclones that can reach a diameter of up to 1000 kilometers
  • They can grow stronger than a hurricane and develop immense destructive power

Typhoons are tropical cyclones that, with a diameter of up to 1000 kilometers, have an immense destructive power. Typhoons are caused by evaporation and condensation of sea water. The water on the surface must have a temperature of at least 26 to 27 degrees. The rising, moist warm air is deflected by the Coriolis force triggered by the rotation of the earth. A vortex arises.

By almost With an inexhaustible supply of energy, this vortex over the sea is rapidly increasing and can reach enormous proportions. Due to the high water temperatures in the western Pacific, typhoons are more frequent and often even stronger than hurricanes. The largest tropical cyclones are over 1000 kilometers in diameter. Most of them arise between the 5th and 20th parallel. In the East Asian region, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan and the east coast of China in particular are repeatedly hit by destructive typhoons.

These three factors make the typhoon dangerous

  1. High wind speeds:In extreme cases, the cyclones can reach wind speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour. The strongest wind speeds in a tropical storm occur in the so-called "eyewall". The area around the “eye” of the storm is called “eyewall”. In the “eye” itself, however, there is a deceptive calm. If the typhoon hits land, its destructive power decreases rapidly because there is a lack of energy from the warm sea water and the friction of the land surface slows down the wind.
  2. Tidal waves: In tropical cyclones, the greatest damage and most human lives are usually caused by the associated tidal wave, which can be over ten meters high and flood large, often densely populated coastal areas.
  3. Heavy rain: Due to the high water content, typhoons often add very high amounts of rain due to persistent heavy rain. This is the amount of rain that falls in Berlin over the entire year. The highest amounts of precipitation, 1825 liters per square meter, came from a cyclone that hit the island of Reunion in 1966. In connection with the tidal wave, the risk of flooding increases due to this enormous amount of rain.

Briefly explained: Typhoon, cyclone and hurricane - that's the difference

Typhoon is the name commonly used in East Asia for a tropical cyclone. There is no fundamental difference to hurricanes. This is how the tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific are called. Another equivalent term is cyclone in the Indian Ocean.

When do typhoons occur?

Not only the naming of the cyclones depends on the location. The season in which tropical storms occur also depends on the respective storm region. The hurricane season in the Atlantic region officially begins at the beginning of June and ends on November 30th. In the northeast of the Pacific, tropical storms usually occur between May 15 and November 30; Typhoons occur in the northwestern Pacific from late June to December. In the north of the Indian Ocean, tropical cyclones can occur from April to December.