Fred Rasmussen wrote last week from the Obit Desk, after a big storm battered, Australia: “Why is it called a Force 5 cyclone? Is there any difference between a cyclone and a hurricane?” Only in where you happen to be when one blows you down. They’re all tropical cyclones.
“Hurricane” is derived from the names of Carib and Mayan storm gods, “huracan, or “hunraken.” We apply it to these storms in the North Atlantic basin and Northeast Pacific. In the northwest Pacific they’re typhoons. Elsewhere, they’re cyclones.
(PHOTO: Japan Meteorological Agency, Cyclone Yasi)