Cyclone Mandous: What's the difference between cyclone, hurricane and typhoon? - Hindustan Times
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Cyclone Mandous: What's the difference between cyclone, hurricane and typhoon?

By | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar
Dec 10, 2022 04:06 PM IST

The second tropical cyclone post-monsoon, ‘Mandous’ has evoked much curiosity behind its name and origin already and one might further wonder how cyclones are different from hurricanes or typhoons.

Cyclone Mandous continues to wreak havoc in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, as the storm crossed the states on Saturday after landfall. Andhra Pradesh's Venkatagiri-Gudur highway in Nellore, places in Chittoor district, and parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, remained affected by waterlogging and overflowing of rivers due to heavy rainfall, as per the news agency ANI. Even though the storm has weakened into a depression, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), its impact remains visible as normal life has been completely thrown out of gear in the affected regions.

Cyclone Mandous: People stand on Kasimedu fishing harbour being hit by the high tides due to the strong winds triggered by Cyclone Mandous, in Chennai on Friday.(ANI)
Cyclone Mandous: People stand on Kasimedu fishing harbour being hit by the high tides due to the strong winds triggered by Cyclone Mandous, in Chennai on Friday.(ANI)

But how are cyclones different from hurricanes or typhoons?

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The second tropical cyclone post-monsoon, ‘Mandous’ has evoked much curiosity behind its name and origin already and one might further wonder how cyclones are different from hurricanes or typhoons. The American space agency NASA bears the answer to that.

Also Read | As Tamil Nadu braces for cyclone Mandous, Chennai cancels over 12 flights, shuts parks

The NASA explains the terms "hurricane" and "typhoon" are just the regional names for tropical cyclones and there’s no difference between them. “All tropical cyclones are alike in that they draw heat from warm water at the ocean's surface to power horizontal, rotating wind,” it says.

While in the Atlantic and East Pacific, tropical cyclones are called "hurricanes,” in the West Pacific, they are called “typhoons,” while in the Indian Ocean and near Australia, they go by the name of “cyclones”.

Also Read | Heavy rainfall lashes Chennai, 15 distts as cyclone Mandous nears

The naming of cyclone ‘Mandous’

Thirteen-member nations, who are part of the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations economic and social commission for Asia Pacific panel (WMO/ESCAP) on tropical cyclones, have proposed names like Mandous, carrying cultural, and symbolic meanings that have been finalised to to be used in a sequential manner. While Mandous, which translates into "treasure box" in Arabic, was proposed by the United Arab Emirates, its predecessor, Sitrang was Thailand’s suggestion and the next of them, when it occurs, would be named Mocha - pronounced as Mokha, as per Yemen’s proposal.

India is also a part of this panel and in its turn, its proposal to name the cyclone “Tej” would be used. Apart from India, Bangladesh, Iran, Maldives, Pakistan, Myanmar, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE, and Yemen make the member nations group.

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