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What is the difference between a hurricane and a tornado

Both hurricanes and tornadoes are natural phenomena that, due to climate change, are becoming increasingly common and more aggressive. But, when it comes to differentiating one from the other, we do not always know what characterizes each of them. The hurricane is generally assumed to be larger than the tornado, but beyond that, what is the difference between a hurricane and a tornado?

If you want to know a little more about the differences between tornadoes and hurricanes, and discover the places where these phenomena can occur, continue reading AgroCorrn, since in this article we will tell you about it.

You may also be interested in: How Hurricanes Form: For Children

Why the hurricane and tornado are often confused

Hurricanes and tornadoes are different natural phenomena but that everyone ends up associating with each other when, in reality, the causes of one and the other are quite different. Despite this, it must be taken into account that, from the human perspective, both hurricanes and tornadoes are understood as atmospheric phenomena characterized by a marked circular motion.. That is, in both cases, we are going to have an atmospheric space in which the wind is going to move in the form of circles. This is something that we are not normally used to, since the most common is that the wind moves in linear directions. So when you do it in the form of a circle, we quickly associate these phenomena with each other regardless of their deepest characteristics.

However, despite this similarity between hurricanes and tornadoes , the reality is that both phenomena are very different from each other, both in the way they are generated and in the way they act. In addition, these are phenomena that are distinguished from each other also by their size and duration. Which reaffirms that, despite that circular movement that makes them so characteristic, they are completely different phenomena from each other.

Pay attention to the following lines because in them we will explain in depth the difference between a hurricane and a tornado.

How a hurricane and a tornado are formed, the main difference

The first thing to keep in mind is that both the formation of one and the other are completely different. Thus, these are the ways in which these air phenomena are created:

How is a hurricane formed

In the case of the hurricane, we will be talking about a stormy system that is characterized by a closed circulation around a low pressure center. In other words, it is a storm that turns in circles on itself, around a center characterized by low pressures . In this way, being a storm, it produces strong winds and very abundant rains .

How a tornado form

On the contrary, a tornado is formed from a mass of air that rotates on itself and that has two well-defined ends, one that is in contact with a cloud (specifically a cloud of the cumulonimbus type) and another that is in contact with the earth’s surface . In this way, unlike a hurricane, we are not talking about a storm, but about an air mass that moves under a specific and well-defined cloud. Therefore, in addition to being formed in different ways, they are different atmospheric phenomena.

More differences between hurricane and tornado

On the other hand, there are significant differences regarding the place and size of each of these phenomena. Thus, these are other of the main differences between tornadoes and hurricanes :

Training place

In the case of hurricanes, they always originate over the oceans, and the surface temperature must be above 27ºC. While, in the case of tornadoes, the most common is that they form on land (although there may be exceptional cases on water).

In addition, hurricanes tend to form in the tropical belt (between 5 and 15 degrees latitude). While in the case of tornadoes, the most common is to find them in areas of mid-latitudes (that is, between 20 and 50 degrees latitude).

Different size

Likewise, there are great differences regarding the size of each of these phenomena. In the case of hurricanes, we will be talking about a diameter that can range from 500 to 1,800 kilometers . This means that, despite the fact that it is a circular movement, when inside the hurricane, this movement is not perceived, since, from the human perspective, the appearance is that of a very violent storm. Similarly, in the case of tornadoes , their diameter usually never exceeds 250 meters , which makes them much easier to identify with the naked eye.

The duration

On the other hand, it must be taken into account that, precisely due to the size, the duration of one and the other is different. Hurricanes can last for days or weeks , while in the case of tornadoes this time is reduced to a few minutes or hours in the longer cases.

The speed of a hurricane and a tornado

Finally, another of the differences that characterize hurricanes and tornadoes are the speeds that their winds reach. In the case of hurricanes, the most normal thing is that the winds oscillate between 120 and 240 km / h .

However, in the case of tornadoes, despite being smaller, the speed of their winds can exceed 500 km / h , which means that they can be such destructive phenomena even in the case of the smallest.

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