WeatherTalk: Hurricanes can be very large or relatively small

The overall diameter of the largest hurricane known was around 1,380 miles.

Weather Graphics
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — Hurricanes come in all sizes, from very tiny and compact to very large. The smallest hurricane ever on record was Cyclone Tracy, which struck the northern Australian city of Darwin on Christmas Day in 1974. Tracy had peak winds of 125 mph, equivalent to a Category 3 Hurricane. Tracy's gale-force winds extended only 30 miles out from the eye wall. However, Tracy hit Darwin head-on and caused significant damage to the entire city.

On the other end of the spectrum, Typhoon Tip in October 1979 was incredibly massive in size. The overall diameter of Tip was around 1,380 miles at its peak, a distance equivalent to Los Angeles to Kansas City. Tip, however, stayed over mainly open waters for most of its life, and it made landfall in Japan as a considerably weaker typhoon. Tip remains the largest and most intense tropical cyclone on record.

Related Topics: WEATHER
What To Read Next
Weather changing from one kind to another within a single day is what truly defines our climate.
In 1999, an earthquake of similar magnitude in Turkey resulted in 17,000 deaths.
Ice is slippery because the pressure of weight causes a thin layer of the ice to melt.
Every winter, that period of weather is impactful because it is around the limit of what our systems are designed to handle.