Difference Between Tornado and Typhoon (With Table)

On Earth, various types of weather phenomena take place like cyclones, hurricanes, storms etc. Typhoon and Tornado are part of the weather phenomena. It is very natural and likely occurs due to suitable climatic conditions such as pressure, temperature and moisture. Most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, i.e. Troposphere or the Stratosphere. It happens because of the particular angle of a Sun and the latitude in the tropical region.

Tornado vs Typhoon

The main difference between Tornado and Typhoon are that Tornadoes forms on a land surface, whereas Typhoons form on water bodies. The duration of both Typhoon and Tornado matters. For example, Typhoons can last from hours to months, whereas Tornados often last for minutes. Typhoons are very much destructive, killing almost 6000 people per year.

Tornado forms when there is a spinning of air violently, and it has contact between both land surface and with cumulonimbus clouds. Commonly it is referred to by the name twister or whirlwind. The rotating column of air is known as a vortex. Some tornadoes can have multiple vortexes also. There are different types of tornadoes, such as landspout and waterspout. It most frequently occurs in North America.

Typhoons are the more severe form of cyclones, and usually, they occur in the northwest Pacific ocean in the countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. It occurs in every part of the world but is referred to by different names. Typhoons are hundreds of miles wide and can last up to a month. It is categorised according to the wind speed on a scale of 1 to 5. Windspeed can be up to 157 miles per hour or more.

Comparison Table Between Tornado and Typhoon

Parameter of Comparison




Tornadoes occur on the land surface.

Typhoons occur in water bodies.


Tornadoes can be classified into Multiple Vortex, Landspout, and Waterspout.

Typhoons are categorised based on their windspeed on the level of 1 to 5.


Tornadoes can be 50 to 100 feet long.

Typhoons can be up to hundreds of miles.


It occurs during the Spring and Summer seasons.

It occurs during mid-summer to early rainfall.


Tornadoes are most common in North American and European countries.

Typhoons are most common in the North-west Pacific Ocean.

What is Tornado?

A tornado is a form of a storm that takes place in the hot and humid areas during the time of Spring and Summer season in the northern hemisphere. There should be a combination of both hot and cold air to form tornadoes. During thunderstorms, tornadoes occur, but it is not necessary that every thunderstorm may result in a tornado. 

Tornadoes form rotating and spinning columns with the help of powerful winds. Vortex can be both horizontal and vertical. A vortex can have multiple vortexes inside it. Tornadoes can be few feet to hundred feet and have a speed of 100 to 200 miles. Usually, tornadoes last from 10 minutes to half an hour. But the longer tornado is, the more destruction it is to cause.

Tornadoes also occur on the water, but they cannot be said as true tornado. It occurs in the tropical countries which are closer to the equator or are at the low latitudes. Tornadoes can be detected with the help of Pulse-Doppler Radar. The scales on which Tornado is measured are Fujita Scale and TORRO Scale. A single storm can produce more than one tornado. But if multiple tornadoes are formed through the same storm, then it is called Tornado Family.