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tropical cyclone in which winds attain speeds greater than 74 mi (119 km) per hr. Wind speeds gust over 200 mi (320 km) per hr in some hurricanes. The term is often restricted to those storms occurring over the N Atlantic Ocean; the identical phenomenon occurring over
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a tropical cyclone that occurs in the western Pacific, to 170°E long., north of the equator. Moving west and northwest with a velocity of 10–20 km an hour, typhoons reach the coast of Indochina, China, and Korea. Changing direction toward the north or northeast, they reach a velocity of 30–50 km an hour, gusting at times to over 100 km an hour. Some typhoons reach southern Japan and, as nontropical cyclones, occasionally reach the Soviet Primor’e region, the Kuril Islands, and even as far as Kamchatka.
The frequency of typhoons is greater than that of tropical cyclones in any other region of the globe. On the average there are approximately 30 typhoons a year. Most develop to the stage of hurricanes, with a wind velocity of over 30 m per sec, while the rest reach the stage of tropical storms. Approximately 70 percent of typhoons occur between July and October, when the intertropical convergence zone shifts far into the northern hemisphere. The diameters of typhoons are relatively small, up to several hundreds of kilometers; in the center the air pressure drops and may reach record lows of less than 90 kilonewtons per sq m, or 900 millibars. Typhoons cause strong waves and are accompanied by enormous amounts of precipitation—up to several hundred millimeters, and in some cases more than 1,000 mm. In the coastal regions of East Asia, typhoons often cause great destruction as a result of floods, tidal waves, and other natural disasters.
REFERENCESRiehl, H. Tropicheskaia meteorologiia. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Mamedov, E. S., and N. I. Pavlov. Taifuny. Leningrad, 1974.
S. P. KHROMOV