Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons

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How storms can affect travel

Tornadoes produce extreme winds and severe electrical storms. The storm front forming a tornado often brings torrential rain and increases the risk of flooding.

Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons produce strong winds and rain. They can make travelling or living abroad very dangerous.

These storms can cause high waves, flash floods and landslides leading to significant loss of life and damage to infrastructure. Essential services such as medical care, transportation, power distribution, telecommunications networks, and supplies of water, food and fuel could be disrupted.

Storms can cause severe damage along the coast and inland. Some areas, including small islands, may be cut off for extended periods of time.

You may have to wait for a long time for flights to resume and roads to reopen. The Government of Canada may be unable to help you.

Preparing for a storm

Before you leave

While you're there

Getting ready for a storm

During a storm

Check for alerts on TV, radio or online.

In most parts of the world, there are 2 kinds of alerts:

If you have to shelter in place

If you have to evacuate

After a storm

Even after you get an official message that the storm is over, there can still be danger and safety hazards in your area. 

Let your family and friends in Canada know you are safe.


A tornado, also commonly called a twister, is a violently rotating column of air between the ground and a thundercloud. Tornado season usually begins in March and lasts until June.

Tornadoes usually form during a severe thunderstorm.

Most form over land and some form over water, in which case they're often called waterspouts.

The United States is the destination hardest hit by tornadoes.

They often occur in the northern parts of “Tornado Alley” which include:

Other destinations that experience frequent and intense tornadoes are:

Some other countries also experience tornadoes, though less frequent and intense.

These include: 

Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones

Tropical cyclones are also called hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones depending on where they occur.

Hurricanes – when they occur

Typhoons – when they occur

Cyclones – when they occur


Monsoons are heavy seasonal rains that occur in parts of East, South and Southeast Asia, Oceania, and western sub-Saharan Africa. They take place at different times of the year, depending on the region.

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