Comparison of winter storms to tropical storms

Cyclones (winter storms)
Tropical storms (hurricanes, typhoons)
Place, emergence Alongside the polar front around the 45th grade of latitude. In the (sub-)tropes over warm water (>26°C).
Season, frequency Approx. 180 low-pressure areas per year over the North Atlantic, 2 to 3 of them big winter storms. On average approx. 9 hurricanes per year on the Atlantic and in the Caribbean, 6 of them quite intense.
Mainspring North-South-temperature contrast, intensity can also increase over land. Condensation processes: intensity declines rapidly over land.
Circumference, composition 1000 to 2000 km, complex constitution, cold front and warm front 500 to 1000 km, symmetric
Durability 2 to 5 days up to 10 days
Local storm durability 3 to 24 hours 2 to 6 hours
Maximum wind speed 70 to 180 km/h (20 to 50 m/s) 120 to 300 km/h (33 to 90 m/s)
Velocity up to 120 km/h (33 m/s) 60 km/h (17 m/s)
Rainfall moderate heavy
Connoted dangers storm tide storm tide, tornados
Damages Irregular strong winds causing damage over a huge area up to 1000 km away from the centre. Many small to medium damages. Winds within a typical radius of no more than 200 km from the centre („eye“). Small and big damages up to total loss.


Source: Schweizerische Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, Swiss Re (2000):
Sturm über Europa. Ein unterschätztes Risiko. Zürich