Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
Tropical cyclones are referred to as hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones depending on where they occur in the world.
- Hurricane: Atlantic and Northeast Pacific oceans
- Typhoon: Northwest Pacific ocean
- Cyclone: South Pacific and Indian ocean
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.
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.
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:
- Check our Travel Advice and Advisories for up-to-date information on your destination.
- Confirm your travel arrangements before you leave home and make sure your travel insurance covers trip cancellation or interruption in the event of a typhoon or cyclone.
- Leave copies of your travel documents and detailed information on your itinerary, tour operation, flights, hotels, cruise ships, telephone numbers and email addresses with family or friends at home.
- Monitor local media to stay informed of the latest warnings and advisories. Follow the advice of local authorities and emergency response personnel. Maintain close contact with your family to keep them informed of your situation. Know how to contact the Canadian government office nearest to your destination.
- Carry contact details for the nearest Canadian government office and our Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC), which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and accepts collect calls (613-996-8885 where available) from Canadians requiring assistance abroad. You can email the EWRC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sign up for our Registration of Canadians Abroad service so that the Government of Canada can contact you if necessary. Stay informed of developing situations through our Travel Advice and Advisories, our Travel Smart mobile web app, our email updates and RSS feeds, and our Twitter and Facebook channels.
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:
- Know the risks
- Make a plan
- Get an emergency kit
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.
- Japan Meteorological Agency
- Tropical Storm Risk
- Before a hurricane (getprepared.gc.ca)
- Canadian Hurricane Centre (Environment and Climate Change Canada)
- During a hurricane (getprepared.gc.ca)
- Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs (getprepared.gc.ca)
- Emergency Kit (getprepared.gc.ca)
- National Hurricane Center (U.S.)
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