Typhoon definition - a typhoon is a violent storm that occurs in the northwest parts of pacific basin or ocean. This name is derived from a Chinese word tai-fung meaning great wind. They feature strong winds with magnitudes of reaching 74 miles per hour and accompanied by heavy rains. Within this region they are experienced throughout the year. Majority occur often during late summer whilst tropical cyclones reduce its intensity in the months of December to May. Similar phenomena in other parts of the world are referred to as hurricanes or tropical cyclones. Typhoons move from the west heading northeast directions.
Typhoon formation and development requires existence of: sufficient Coriolis force that aids in creation of a low pressure center, enough warm sea surface temperatures, unstable atmosphere, and high humidity levels in the lower parts of the troposphere, existing low level disturbances and low vertical wind gradient. But the above ingredients do not guarantee the formation of the typhoon. The ocean temperatures must be about 26.5˚c and above spanning at depths greater than 50 meters for maintenance of the warm core which drive the cyclone. The formation area should also lye between 5 to 20 degrees latitude form the equator. Westerly winds are known to have the greatest impact in the development of the tropical cyclones.
Inside a hurricane, strong winds blow counterclockwise within the area of low pressure referred to as the eye. The eye measures 16 to 64 kilometers in diameter and has a ring of clouds surrounding it. The pacific basin is the most active having the highest frequency and intensity of the storms. During august to October is when they are at the peak. During the months of June and November they shift to the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
The unique thing about them is that they follow defined paths: a parabolic direction affecting eastern china, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and eastern Philippines. The Straight runner path on the west affecting Philippines, southern china, Vietnam and Taiwan. Lastly, northward track which its effects are felt only on the small islands around the way.
These storms are known to be devastating in nature and cause massive destruction. When a typhoon is experienced, the following damages and losses are incurred:
A lot of property is destroyed. The heavy rains lead to landslides, floods and large quantities of running water that sweeps away weak structures and uproots roads. Also the abrasive force of the wind destroys property.
Loss of lives. Any time the storms appear, they take away many lives of unsuspecting dwellers in the coastal areas. Lives are lost in events of collapsing of building, cars being swept away, flooding that leads to people drowning.
Loss of plants and animals. Vegetation and animals on land are also affected. Plants are uprooted while animals die from drowning.
Contamination of water. These storms destroy pipe works and sewerage systems leading to mixing of clean and dirty water. Spills of petroleum products also get their way into the ocean waters endangering sea life.
Financial burden to countries. When hurricanes hit an area, huge financial losses are incurred and restructuring requires heavy funding and is very costly.
Displacement of people. Areas that are prone to this natural calamities are pronounced unsafe for people. This leads to evictions and displacement of people from their lands to safer regions.
Despite their negative effect, they are of benefit in this circumstances. They drive rains to dry parts of the land, aid in navigation of ships which take advantage of the weaker regions and in direction heats pole wards.