KPIX 5 Morning Weather Anchor Roberta Gonzales answers the questions you never get to ask on-air.

Q: Hey Roberta; isn’t a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean a typhoon? – Alicia Diaz, Livermore

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A: GREAT question! It’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

A hurricane, typhoon and cyclone are all the same weather phenomenon, they just have different names depending on their location across the world. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term “hurricane” is used. When the same type of storm is in the Northwest Pacific it is called a “typhoon”. A “cyclone” is located in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Here is a fun little tidbit, there appears to be confusion about the definition of a “willy-willy”. It was back in 2008 when I spent two weeks working in Australia. One day, I traveled by boat to the Great barrier Reef, and we were chased back by a Category One “willy- willy”. I’ve never been so sea sick in my life! The National Weather Service defies a “willy-willy” as a tropical cyclone of hurricane strength located near Australia. However, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology defines the term to mean dust devil. The American Meteorological Society also agrees on the “newer” definition of a “willy-willy”. So while cyclones located in Australia were once referred to as a “willy-willy”, today it is simply a cyclone.

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Now, the fun part! Hurricane Delores has weakened as it churns off the Mexican Coast. It promises to bring big waves to Southern California and much needed rain to the Desert Southwest, San Diego and Los Angeles. The cut off point for rain chances is right about the san Benito/Monterey County areas. For the Bay Area, as of now, there is a chance of thunderstorms Sunday and Monday with muggy conditions. It’ll be hot and humid Inland in the mid 90s, partly to mostly cloudy at the Coast in the 60s.

But hurricanes, typhoon, cyclones and even “willy-willy’s” have minds of their own and the weekend weather will bear watching!

I would love to hear from you! Please send weather questions, observations and photos to me, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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