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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Size Doesn't Matter

typhoons of any size are a danger

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, July 25, 2013/Categories: natural history, environment

Hurricanes or cyclones vary in size. They are all dangerous.

In the Pacific, these cyclonic storms are known as typhoons and cause damage whenever they hit islands or coastlines. A tiny typhoon was recently observed in the western Pacific. It had the appearance
of a typical cyclone but was only 60 miles wide and dissipated harmlessly in several days far from land. By comparison, Hurricane Sandy, the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, spanning over 1,100 miles across, caused massive destruction to coastal communities in its path.

Tiny Pacific Typhoon  (credit: NASA)            Atlantic Super-storm Sandy (credit: NASA)

Despite their itty-bitty size, tiny typhoons result from the same forces that create larger storms bwing driven by warm ocean waters and organized wind movement. Even though small, tiny typhoons can still pack a wallop as demonstrated by cyclone Tracy that slammed into Darwin destroying 70% of the city in 1974. Tracy was only 12 miles wide when it hit the remote city in Australia's Northern Territories.

As climate change accelerates more water will evaporate into the atmosphere, adding more "fuel to the fire". Increased frequency of extreme storms of all sizes is predicted.



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