Meteorology (Weather)/Hurricanes

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Question
I am curious about the differences of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, so I was researching it and some pages said that Katrina was a 'Atlantic tropical cyclone' and that Sandy was just a Hurricane. So I was wondering whats the difference between an 'Atlantic tropical cyclone' and a 'Hurricane'. I would appreciate the answer very much.


         -Jenna

Answer
Hi Jenna

First, a hurricane is a tropical storm except with higher winds:

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/A1.html

http://tinyurl.com/hurricane-speed

Both  Katrina & Sandy were hurricanes and had winds of more than 74 miles per hour.

Some people use the term "cyclone" to mean hurricane when talking about intense low pressure systems that occur over the ocean. The true difference is that to be a "tropical storm" or a "hurricane they both need to have "warm cores":

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/tropics/tc.htm

For more about Sandy & Katrina see:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/assessments/pdfs/Sandy13.pdf

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/assessments/pdfs/Katrina.pdf

A good site to learn more about hurricanes:

http://hurricaneknowledge.com/

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Donald Rosenfeld

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Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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