This image of a dual typhoon is courtesy of NASA.
What is a typhoon?
A typhoon is a West Pacific tropical cyclone, similar to the North Atlantic cyclone otherwise known as a hurricane. In fact the only differences between a typhoon and a hurricane is where on the planet they occur, they form the same way and have the same destructive power. Another difference between a typhoon and hurricane, besides the location, is that typhoons don’t have a season and if the weather conditions are right they can develop any time.
How do typhoons form?
Warm shallow tropical waters, but not just any warm shallow waters, the islands in the Pacific Ocean called the Federated States of Micronesia. 90% of all typhoons originate in this area. The consistently favorable weather systems and the warm shallow waters is the main incubator for a typhoon.
What countries are effected by typhoons?
There are 3 different paths the typhoon can take northward, recurved and striaght. If the typhoon heads northward it really effects only small islands Hawaii, Guam and sometimes they make it all the way to Russia and Alaska in a weakened state. If the typhoon is headed straight or recurved it is at its most destructive and can effect the countries of China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
What kind of damage does a typhoon do?
Like hurricanes, typhoons can cause wide spread flooding, high speed winds uproot vegetation, destroy weaker structures, overturn cars, spawn tornadoes, can bring a high storm surge and kill or displace many people.
This YouTube video shows the destructive effects of a typhoon.
Some of the worst or most destructive typhoons in history:
2010 Typhoon Megi – Megi was a category 5 super typhoon that effected the Philipenes, Taiwan and China primarily. Flash floods, evacuations, airport closures and other transportation shut downs were some of the results. Megi took 69 lives and did $694 million dollars in damage.
1983 Typhoon Forest – Forest was one of the worst typhoons in the 1983 typhoon season causing damage mostly to Japan ripping out vegetation, killed 21 people, destroying homes and even sparking a tornado.
1959 Typhoon Joan – Joan was another category 5 super typhoon causing most of the damage over Taiwan and China causing at least 67 deaths and untold crop and structural damage.
Check out Wikipedia for more information typhoons information.
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