Most tropical cyclones rapidly weaken over land, however, given some conditions (such as very wet soil/ground cover and tropical lower atmospheric conditions) they can sustain themselves or even intensify over land, in a phenomenon known as the brown ocean effect. So, is it at all possible for extreme "brown ocean" conditions or other potential factors to result in not only the maintenance but the formation of a tropical cyclone over land, either from an extratropical system or not? The intensity and duration of time that the storm would last without transitioning to water is irrelevant—even a few hours at tropical storm levels would be a yes.

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    $\begingroup$ In India we have monsoon depression(a low pressure system that has a warm core) and it does form over land and moves in a north west direction like a TC. lakeeriewx.com/CaseStudies/IndianMonsoon/… . Will that work for you ? Otherwise Michael Walsby's answer confirms what you already know. $\endgroup$ – gansub Aug 25 at 9:38

No, it isn't possible for cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, which are all different names for the same thing, to form over land. Storms can form over land, but not hurricanes, which draw their power from the sun-warmed ocean and rapidly lose their strength when they hit land. The power of a typical hurricane is immense, probably in excess of 50 megatons, which was the yield of the largest hydrogen bomb ever tested (by Russia).

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I know cyclonic storms, hurricanes, and typhoons are names for tropical cyclones. But as I mentioned, it's not universal that they rapidly lose strength over land. Some have even intensified, like Fay (At 08), Julia (At 16), and Kevin (Au 18), for example. This is understandable, as the power that can be generated from the latent heat of wet ground is greater than from the ocean (though over a shorter time). Also, land-based systems often migrate to the ocean and form into tropical cyclones, so I hypothesized that a similar thing could happen over a "brown ocean" in favorable conditions. $\endgroup$ – Grant Hartlage Aug 26 at 20:27

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