Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons

 Tropical cyclones are referred to as hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones depending on where they occur in the world.

Typhoons and cyclones may occur year-round, but the peak months for typhoons are from June to December and for cyclones from November to April. Their strength and path can change quickly, so it is important to monitor local weather reports.

The hurricane season runs from mid-May to late November. The most threatened areas are the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and the east and Gulf coasts of the United States – specifically, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

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. To find out when monsoons occur in a specific country or region, consult our Travel Advice and Advisories.

Travel disruptions

Typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes produce strong winds and rain and can generate high waves and damaging storm surges, flash floods and landslides that can result in significant loss of life. They can also cause extensive damage to infrastructure, cutting off access to transportation, emergency services, medical  care, telecommunications networks, power distribution, and  water, food and fuel supplies. Travel to and from small islands may be cut off for long periods.

Although the most severe damage usually occurs along coastlines, typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes can also cause significant damage up to 40 kilometres from the coast. During a severe storm, local authorities may require anyone staying near the coast to move to safety centres inland. Travellers may be evacuated from their hotels to emergency shelters and may be stranded for long periods waiting for flights to resume and roads to reopen. The Government of Canada may be unable to help you if this happens.

Necessary precautions

If you choose to travel to regions where hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones or monsoons are common, taking the following steps can help reduce your personal risk: 

If a major weather event takes place while you are abroad, remember that the key to surviving hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tropical storms and tornadoes is preparation. Review your personal safety practices and take sensible measures before, during and after a storm: 

For more detailed information on preparing for, and surviving a major storm, consult Public Safety Canada’s Your Emergency Preparedness Guide and Hazards and Emergencies.

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