A cyclone is another word for "tornado" or other types of violent, spinning storms. It was a cyclone that uprooted Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," and her little dog Toto too.

In the midwestern part of the United States, a cyclone is a tornado. But ask a meteorologist and he'll tell you that technically a cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm that forms over a warm ocean, specifically in the South Pacific. Tropical cyclones are actually much bigger than tornadoes: a small cyclone could be 100 miles across, while a monster tornado would only be about a mile across.

Definitions of cyclone

n (meteorology) rapid inward circulation of air masses about a low pressure center; circling counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern

(meteorology) winds spiraling outward from a high pressure center; circling clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern
Type of:
atmosphere, atmospheric state
the weather or climate at some place

n a violent rotating windstorm

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a severe tropical cyclone usually with heavy rains and winds moving a 73-136 knots (12 on the Beaufort scale)
tornado, twister
a localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground
a tropical cyclone occurring in the western Pacific or Indian oceans
the most powerful tornado which can create enormously devastating damage
a tornado passing over water and picking up a column of water and mist
Type of:
a storm consisting of violent winds

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