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A typhoon is a tropical storm that occurs and develops in the region of the Indian or Northwestern Pacific Oceans. Typhoons and hurricanes are actually the same kind of storm but they are categorized by the regions in which they form. These storms affect areas near as well as away from coastlines and can become strong enough to cause severe flooding and damage. A tropical cyclone consists of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over warm water moving with a counterclockwise circulation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Typhoons typically occur in areas such as Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. There is no official typhoon season in the northwestern Pacific region because tropical cyclones can form throughout the year.



Typhoons are classified by regular typhoon, violent, and severe. The stronger the storm, the more damage the storm will cause. Some of the factors that define the classification of the typhoon are maximum wind speed and the average period of time the typhoon occurs. The strongest storms have sustained winds that exceed 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour). [1]. There are four different classifications of storms of this type. These classifications include tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane, and major hurricane. A tropical depression is defined as a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained wind speeds of 38 mph or less. Tropical storm is sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph. A hurricane is defined as a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained wind speeds of 74 mph or higher. Lastly, major hurricane is defined as a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or higher and corresponds with a category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane wind scale. [2].

Tropical cyclone distribution


Typhoons have a variability in average frequency in which they occur. As stated above, there is no typhoon season. Most of these tropical storms form in the Indian and northwestern Pacific Oceans. Typhoons also take place in places such as Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. There is a peak season where they occur more often but can range depending on location. For example, storms occur from the June 1 to November 30, with peak time in mid-August to late October for places in or near the Atlantic and Caribbean. Storms occur in Central Pacific from June 1 to November 30, with a peak season from July to September. East Pacific follows with May 15 to November with no peak season and North western Pacific with storms occurring year round. The years 1970 through 2010 the average number of storms that occurred per year is eleven tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Six of the storms became hurricanes. In the East Pacific Ocean there was 15 tropical storms, of which became hurricanes. Lastly, Central Pacific Ocean, with four tropical storms and 2 of them became hurricanes. [2]


With the aide of satellite imagery, typhoons can often be tracked and or predicted days before they hit land. Sometimes predicting these storms can be a hard task due to the formation of the storm. Meteorologists often depend on graphical products to help predict and track tropical storms. These graphs show coastal areas and highlights areas of disturbed weather. The coastal areas will be highlighted in different colors and dots that indicate areas in danger of being hit by the storm. The wind speed of storms are also often tracked by speed and intensity. There are several factors that are monitored when predicting typhoons such as winds, rip currents, and rainfall. Also with the aide of satellites and graphs, scientists can calculate the probability of how may miles-per-hour the wind may be and locations that can expect to be in the path. [2]

Cyclone occurrence probability


As of today, there are ten typhoons that have occurred in the Philippines that are considered deadliest storms. The first being typhoon Ike. On August 31, 1984, Ike hit the Philippines causing 1,363 fatalities. Next, is tropical storm Thelma which unleashed flash floods on the central city on Leyte Island on November 15, 1991. This storm caused more than 5,100 fatalities. The last deadliest storm that hit the Philippines was typhoon Bopha, which hit the main southern island of Mindanao on December 3, 2012, leaving about 1,900 people either dead or missing. The island of Mindanao was rarely ever hit by any major storms and unprepared for what was to come with typhoon Bopha. [3] There are far more typhoons that have hit other areas more recently such as typhoon Dujaun which formed in the western Pacific Ocean northwest of Guam on September 21, 2015. The tropical storm presented winds of 125 mph and caused a great amount of damage with three fatalities confirmed. Lastly, typhoon Haiyan being considered a super typhoon. Haiyan was described as one of the strongest tropical cyclones that has ever been recorded in Philippine typhoon history. The storm killed about 6,300 people and caused serve damage. [4]

See also

Other closely related articles in this wiki include:


  1. Than, K. (2013, November 9). What’s a Typhoon, Anyway? Retrieved October 16, 2015, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131107-typhoons-pacific-natural-disasters/.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 (2012, August 28). [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/hurricane/resources/TropicalCyclones11.pdf.
  3. The 10 deadliest typhoons in the Philippines | The National. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/the-10-deadliest-typhoons-in-the-philippines.
  4. Lee, J. J. (n.d.). Super Typhoon Haiyan: Why Monster Storm Is So Unusual. Retrieved October 19, 2015, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131108-supertyphoon-haiyan-yolanda-atmosphere-climate-change/.

External links