What is a Cyclone?



A cyclone of a kind of storm, and a storm is simply air that is movong rapidly from one place to another. A storm starts when warm, moist air from the Equator moves north wards into the Northern Hemisphere and meets a mass of cold, dry air moving southwards from the Arctic region.

These two kinds of air masses do not mix. The sharp boundary that is formed where they meet is called a “front”. As the air masses continue to move, the lighter, warm air climbs up over the cold air. As it is forced upwards, the warm, moist air is cooled.

The moisture then condenses, forming clouds. While all this is going on, the air pressure begins to fall at the center of the storm. The winds begin to blow around the low-pressure area in an anti-clockwise direction.

Thus, the warm, moist air moves northwards around the western side. A low pressure area is known as a "cyclone". The mass of air in such an area could vary in diameter from 400 to 1,000 miles.

A tornado is a also a circular storm, and it is sometimes confused with a cyclone. But a tornado may be only 30 to 1,600 meters in diameter.   

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