what is the difference between a tropical storm and a subtropical storm?

Tropical storms and subtropical storms are both types of cyclones, which are large-scale systems of low pressure that rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. However, there are key differences between tropical storms and subtropical storms:

Structure and Energy Source:

Tropical Storms: These storms are fully warm-core systems, meaning that they derive their energy primarily from warm ocean waters. The heat and moisture from the warm water fuel the development and intensification of the storm.

Subtropical Storms: These storms have characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones. While they also have a warm core at their center, they can derive some of their energy from temperature contrasts in the atmosphere, in addition to the warm sea surface. Subtropical storms often form in areas with cooler sea surface temperatures compared to tropical storms.


Tropical Storms: Typically form in tropical regions, where the sea surface temperatures are sufficiently warm to sustain their development.

Subtropical Storms: Can form in a broader range of latitudes, including both tropical and subtropical regions. They may be found farther away from the equator compared to tropical storms.

Wind Distribution:

Tropical Storms: Tend to have more symmetric and concentrated wind patterns around the center of circulation.

Subtropical Storms: Often have a more asymmetric wind distribution, with the strongest winds occurring at a distance from the center.


Tropical Storms: Can intensify into hurricanes or typhoons if the right conditions persist.

Subtropical Storms: Can transition into fully tropical storms if they move over warmer waters and experience conditions favorable for tropical cyclone development.

Final Conclusion on what is the difference between a tropical storm and a subtropical storm?

In summary, while both tropical storms and subtropical storms are types of cyclones, the key differences lie in their energy sources, structures, locations, wind patterns, and the potential for transition into different types of cyclones.

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