Difference between Hurricane and Blizzard

Key Difference: A hurricane is tropical cyclone that is characterized by thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rains. Whereas, a blizzard is a winter bound storm, which is mainly caused by strong continued winds. A hurricane can cause wind speeds of 74mph to over 155mph, as compared to a blizzard whose wind speeds are between 35mph and 45mph.

Hurricane, blizzard, typhoons, cyclones, etc. such terms can confuse anyone. However, all these terms are really similar with selected differences. The terms hurricane and blizzard are different names, and are used as different phenomena in different areas. Let’s understand the correct difference between these two oceanic phenomena.

A hurricane is also known as a tropical cyclone. It has a closed, circular fluid motion. On the other hand, a blizzard is a winter bound storm, which is mainly caused by strong continued winds. A hurricane is characterized by thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rains. A hurricane needs a warm area to develop and cannot exist in cold areas; hence they are most common in tropical areas. Whereas, a blizzard is mainly a severe snow storm with very stong winds. Strong winds combined with a temperature just below freezing create a miserable chill factor.

Like hurricanes, blizzards also carry very heavy winds with them. Hurricanes generally develop where water is at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 27 degree Celsius). Blizzards generally develop where strong winds blow snow, and it is at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. -12 degree Celsius).  A hurricane can cause wind speeds of 74mph to over 155mph, as compared to a blizzard whose wind speeds are between 35mph and 45mph.

Blizzards may happen in two ways. The winds pull cool air in the direction of the equator from the poles and bring warm air toward the poles from the equator. When there is a warm and cold air collision, a front forms, and rainfall occurs. Warm air can also rise to form clouds, and the blizzard snow, as it floats up a mountainside. Blizzards can cause power disruption and make warmth inside of homes fall hazardously low. Strong winds joined with a temperature just below sub-zero creates a pathetic chill factor.

Hurricanes form from a low pressure system, where the hot air rises and the cold air sinks underneath. Bands of rain clouds slowly form around the center of the system, while the winds and jet steam push the hurricane further into the ocean. It starts as a wave, turns into a storm and then finally a hurricane. Hurricanes travel clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. A hurricane can last up to days, if it receives the right pressure conditions. A hurricane will dissipate over ground, however can still cause damage due to the strong winds and rain.

Comparison between Hurricane and Blizzard:

 

Hurricane

Blizzard

Definition

A hurricane is also known as a tropical cyclone. It has a closed, circular fluid motion. A hurricane is characterized by thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rains.

A blizzard is a storm with dry, driving snow, strong winds, and intense cold. It basically a heavy and prolonged snowstorm covering a wide area.

Composition

Moist air, water

Snow, wind

Shape

Closed, circular fluid motion. The low pressure center is known as the eye and the strong winds surrounding the eye is called the eye wall.

A snow storm must have strong winds that are greater in blowing or drifting snow, which is prolonged period of time nearly 3 hours or more.

Types

Hurricane is a type of cyclone

Blizzard is type of snowstorm, but both are extremely different from each other.

Speed

Wind speed of 74mph to over 155mph

Wind speed of 35mph to over 45 mph

Rotation

Clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere

There is no particular rotation

Scale for Measurement

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

There is no scale for measuring blizzard severity. In simple terms, if a snowstorm has winds of over 35 mph and visibility of less than 1/4 a mile and these conditions persist for three or more hours, then a storm is classified as a blizzard.

How are they formed

Warm low-pressure air rises, while cold high-pressure air moves underneath it.

Due to the conflicting air masses, high winds develop and storms can erupt, sometimes turning into full-blown blizzards.

 

Location

Tropical zone, over warm waters in the Atlantic and Pacific ocean

Cold places like in Australia, in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, and Victoria, Antarctica, etc.

Life

Days

Days, weeks or months

Image Courtesy: boston.com, commons.wikimedia.org

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Comments

Thank you so much. This helped so much on my argumentative essay about hurricanes and blizzards and wich one is more destructive

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