HURRICANE? CYCLONE? TYPHOON?:
They're all the same, officially tropical cyclones. But they just use distinctive terms for a storm in different parts of the world.
Hurricane is used in the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, central and northeast Pacific.
They are typhoons in the northwest Pacific.
In the Bay of Bengal and the Arabia Sea, they are called cyclones.
Tropical cyclone is used in the southwest India Ocean.
In the southwestern Pacific and southeastern India Ocean they are severe tropical cyclones.
A storm gets a name and is considered a tropical storm at 39 mph (63 kph).
It becomes a hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone, or cyclone at 74 mph (119 kph).
There are five strength categories, depending on wind speed.
The highest category is 5 and that's above 155 mph (249 kph). Australia has a different system for categorizing storm strength.
If they are north of the equator they rotate counterclockwise. If they are south, they rotate clockwise.
WHO DECIDES THE NAMES?
The lists are maintained by the World Meteorological Organization; the names are ones that are familiar in each region.
Names are taken off the list and replaced to avoid confusion if a hurricane causes a lot of damage or deaths.
For example, Katrina was retired after it devastated New Orleans in 2005.
The Philippines has its own naming system, so Typhoon Haiyan is also being called Yolanda.