Comparison between Tropical Cyclone and Temperate Cyclone

Tropical CycloneTemperate Cyclone
OriginThermal Origin.Dynamic Origin: Coriolis Force, Movement of air masses.
LatitudeConfined to 10-30º N and S of equator.Confined to 35-65º N and S of equator. More pronounced in Northern hemisphere due to greater temperature contrast.
Frontal systemAbsent.The very cyclone formation is due to frontogenesis. (Occluded Front).
FormationThey form only on seas with temperature more than 26-270 C. They dissipate on reaching the land.Can form both on land as well as seas.
SeasonSeasonal: Late summers (Aug-Nov).Irregular. But few in summers and more in winters.
SizeLimited to small area.Typical size: 100 – 500 kms in diameter.Varies with the strength of the cyclone.They cover a larger area.Typical size: 300 – 2000 kms in diameter. Varies from region to region.
ShapeEllipticalInverted ‘V’
RainfallHeavy but does not last beyond a few hours. If the cyclone stays at a place, the rainfall may continue for a few days.In a temperate cyclone, rainfall is slow and continues for many days, sometimes even weeks.
Wind Velocity and destructionMuch greater.100 – 250 kmph200 – 1200 kmph in upper troposphere)Greater destruction due to winds, storm surges and torrential rains.Comparatively low. Typical range: 30-150 kmph.Less destruction due to winds but more destruction due to flooding.
IsobarsComplete circles and the pressure gradient is steepIsobars are usually ‘V’ shaped and the pressure gradient is low.
LifetimeDoesn’t last for more than a weekLasts for 2-3 weeks.
PathEast – West. Turn North at 200 latitude and west at 300 latitude.Move away from equator.The movement of Cyclones in Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal is a little different.Here, these storms are superimposed upon the monsoon circulation of the summer months, and they move in northerly direction along with the monsoon currents.  West – East (Westerlies; Jet Streams). Move away from equator.  
Temperature distributionThe temperature at the centre is almost equally distributed.All the sectors of the cyclone have different temperatures
Calm regionThe centre of a tropical cyclone is known as the eye. The wind is calm at the centre with no rainfall.In a temperate cyclone, there is not a single place where winds and rains are inactive.  
Driving forceThe tropical cyclone derives its energy from the latent heat of condensation, and the difference in densities of the air masses does not contribute to the energy of the cyclone.The energy of a temperate cyclone depends on the temperature, humidity and density differences of air masses.  
Influence of Jet streamsThe relationship between tropical cyclones and the upper level air-flow is not very clear.The temperate cyclones, in contrast, have a distinct relationship with upper level air flow (jet streams, Rossby waves etc.)
CloudsThe tropical cyclones exhibit fewer varieties of clouds – cumulonimbus, nimbostratus, etc.The temperate cyclones show a variety of cloud development at various elevations.
Surface anti-cyclonesThe tropical cyclones are not associated with surface anticyclones and they have a greater destructive capacity.The temperate cyclones are associated with anticyclones which precede and succeed a cyclone. These cyclones are not very destructive.
Influence on IndiaBoth coasts affected. But east coast is the hot spot.Bring rains to North-West India. The associated instability is called ‘Western Disturbances’.
Weather PredictionTough as the movement can be erratic due to a lot of factors.Easy because of the general westerly path of the cyclone, less variable jet stream path and simple frontal system.

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