Typhoon Tip

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Super Typhoon Tip (Warling)
Typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Tip 1979-10-12.jpg
Typhoon Tip at its record peak intensity on October 12
FormedOctober 4, 1979
DissipatedOctober 24, 1979
(Extratropical after October 19)
Highest winds 10-minute sustained:260 km/h (160 mph)
1-minute sustained:305 km/h (190 mph)
Lowest pressure870 hPa (mbar); 25.69 inHg
(Worldwide record low)
Fatalities99 total
Areas affected Caroline Islands, Philippines, Korean Peninsula, Japan, Northeast China, Russian Far East, Alaska
Part of the 1979 Pacific typhoon season

Typhoon Tip, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Warling, was the largest and most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded. The forty-third tropical depression, nineteenth tropical storm, twelfth typhoon, and third super typhoon of the 1979 Pacific typhoon season, Tip developed out of a disturbance within the monsoon trough on October 4 near Pohnpei. Initially, a tropical storm to the northwest hindered the development and motion of Tip, though after the storm tracked farther north, Tip was able to intensify. After passing Guam, Tip rapidly intensified and reached peak sustained winds of 305 km/h (190 mph) [nb 1] and a worldwide record-low sea-level pressure of 870  hPa (25.69  inHg ) on October 12. At its peak strength, Tip was the largest tropical cyclone on record, with a wind diameter of 2,220 km (1,380 mi). Tip slowly weakened as it continued west-northwestward and later turned to the northeast, in response to an approaching trough. The typhoon made landfall in southern Japan on October 19, and became an extratropical cyclone shortly thereafter. Typhoon Tip's extratropical remnants continued moving east-northeastward, until they dissipated near the Aleutian Islands on October 24.

Tropical cyclone Rotating storm system with a closed, low-level circulation

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain or squalls. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

1979 Pacific typhoon season typhoon season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1979 Pacific typhoon season featured the most intense tropical cyclone recorded globally, Typhoon Tip. The season also experienced above-average tropical cyclone activity. The season had no official bounds; it ran year-round in 1979, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between June and December. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Monsoon trough

The monsoon trough is a portion of the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the Western Pacific, as depicted by a line on a weather map showing the locations of minimum sea level pressure, and as such, is a convergence zone between the wind patterns of the southern and northern hemispheres.


U.S. Air Force aircraft flew 60  weather reconnaissance missions into the typhoon, making Tip one of the most closely observed tropical cyclones. [1] Rainfall from Tip indirectly led to a fire that killed 13  Marines and injured 68 at Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan. [2] Elsewhere in the country, the typhoon caused widespread flooding and 42 deaths; offshore shipwrecks left 44 people killed or missing.

Weather reconnaissance Acquisition of weather data used for research and planning

Weather reconnaissance is the acquisition of weather data used for research and planning. Typically the term reconnaissance refers to observing weather from the air, as opposed to the ground.

United States Marine Corps Amphibious warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Camp Fuji

Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) Camp Fuji is an installation of the United States Marine Corps next to the Japan Ground Self Defense Force JGSDF Camp Takigahara. It is located near the city of Gotemba in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, at the base of Mount Fuji. Camp Fuji is one of several Camps of the Marine Corps Base Camp Butler complex.

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale Tip 1979 track.png
Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

At the end of September 1979, three circulations developed within the monsoon trough that extended from the Philippines to the Marshall Islands. The westernmost disturbance developed into a tropical depression on October 1, to the west of Luzon, which would later become Typhoon Sarah on October 7. On October 3, the disturbance southwest of Guam developed into Tropical Storm Roger, and later on the same day, a third tropical disturbance that would later become Typhoon Tip formed south of Pohnpei. Strong flow from across the equator was drawn into Roger's wind circulation, initially preventing significant development of the precursor disturbance to Tip. Despite the unfavorable air pattern, the tropical disturbance gradually organized as it moved westward. Due to the large-scale circulation pattern of Tropical Storm Roger, Tip's precursor moved erratically and slowly executed a cyclonic loop to the southeast of Chuuk. A reconnaissance aircraft flight into the system late on October 4 confirmed the existence of a closed low-level circulation, and early on October 5, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued its first warning on Tropical Depression Twenty-Three-W. [1]

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

Marshall Islands country in Oceania

The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is an island country and a United States associated state near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 53,158 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The capital and largest city is Majuro.

Luzon largest island of the Philippines

Luzon is the largest and most populous island in the Philippines. It is ranked 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern portion of the archipelago, it is the economic and political center of the nation, being home to the country's capital city, Manila, as well as Quezon City, the country's most populous city. With a population of 53 million as of 2015, it is the fourth most populous island in the world, containing 52.5% of the country's total population.

Global satellite image of Typhoon Tip near peak strength, and Typhoon Sarah heading toward Vietnam Typhoon Tip full.PNG
Global satellite image of Typhoon Tip near peak strength, and Typhoon Sarah heading toward Vietnam

While executing a loop near Chuuk, the tropical depression intensified into Tropical Storm Tip, though the storm failed to organize significantly due to the influence of Tropical Storm Roger. Reconnaissance aircraft provided the track of the surface circulation, since satellite imagery estimated the center was about 60 km (37 mi) from its true position. After drifting erratically for several days, Tip began a steady northwest motion on October 8. By that time, Tropical Storm Roger had become an extratropical cyclone, resulting in the southerly flow to be entrained into Tip. An area of a tropical upper tropospheric trough moved north of Guam at the time, providing an excellent outflow channel north of Tip. Initially, Tip was predicted to continue northwestward and make landfall on Guam, though instead, it turned to the west early on October 9, passing about 45 km (28 mi) south of Guam. Later that day, Tip intensified to attain typhoon status. [1]

Extratropical cyclone type of cyclone

Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are low-pressure areas which, along with the anticyclones of high-pressure areas, drive the weather over much of the Earth. Extratropical cyclones are capable of producing anything from cloudiness and mild showers to heavy gales, thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes. These types of cyclones are defined as large scale (synoptic) low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth. In contrast with tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones produce rapid changes in temperature and dew point along broad lines, called weather fronts, about the center of the cyclone.

A tropical upper tropospheric trough (TUTT), also known as the mid-oceanic trough, is a trough situated in upper-level tropics. Its formation is usually caused by the intrusion of energy and wind from the mid-latitudes into the tropics. It can also develop from the inverted trough adjacent to an upper level anticyclone. TUTTs are different from mid-latitude troughs in the sense that they are maintained by subsidence warming near the tropopause which balances radiational cooling. When strong, they can present a significant vertical wind shear to the tropics and subdue tropical cyclogenesis. When upper cold lows break off from their base, they tend to retrograde and force the development, or enhance, surface troughs and tropical waves to their east. Under special circumstances, they can induce thunderstorm activity and lead to the formation of tropical cyclones.

Outflow (meteorology) air that flows outwards from a storm system

Outflow, in meteorology, is air that flows outwards from a storm system. It is associated with ridging, or anticyclonic flow. In the low levels of the troposphere, outflow radiates from thunderstorms in the form of a wedge of rain-cooled air, which is visible as a thin rope-like cloud on weather satellite imagery or a fine line on weather radar imagery. Low-level outflow boundaries can disrupt the center of small tropical cyclones. However, outflow aloft is essential for the strengthening of a tropical cyclone. If this outflow is undercut, the tropical cyclone weakens. If two tropical cyclones are in proximity, the upper level outflow from the system to the west can limit the development of the system to the east.

Owing to very favorable conditions for development, Typhoon Tip rapidly intensified over the open waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Late on October 10, Tip attained wind speeds equal to Category 4 strength on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS), and it became a super typhoon on the next day. The central pressure dropped by 92  hPa (2.72 inHg) from October 9 to 11, during which the circulation pattern of Typhoon Tip expanded to a record diameter of 2,220 km (1,380 mi). Tip continued to intensify further, becoming a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon, and early on October 12, reconnaissance aircraft recorded a worldwide record-low pressure of 870 mbar (870.0 hPa; 25.69 inHg) with 1-minute sustained winds of 305 km/h (190 mph), when Tip was located about 840 km (520 mi) west-northwest of Guam. [1] In its best track, the Japan Meteorological Agency listed Tip as peaking with 10-minute sustained winds of 160 mph (260 km/h). [3] At the time of its peak strength, its eye was 15 km (9.3 mi) wide. [1] Tip crossed the 135th meridian east on the afternoon of October 13, prompting the PAGASA to issue warnings on Typhoon Tip, assigning it the local name Warling.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS), formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS), classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones – that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds.

Tropical cyclones are ranked on one of five tropical cyclone intensity scales, according to their maximum sustained winds and which tropical cyclone basin(s) they are located in. Only a few scales of classifications are used officially by the meteorological agencies monitoring the tropical cyclones, but some alternative scales also exist, such as accumulated cyclone energy, the Power Dissipation Index, the Integrated Kinetic Energy Index, and the Hurricane Severity Index.

After peaking in intensity, Tip weakened to 230 km/h (140 mph) and remained at that intensity for several days, as it continued west-northwestward. For five days after its peak strength, the average radius of winds stronger than 55 km/h (34 mph) extended over 1,100 km (684 mi). On October 17, Tip began to weaken steadily and decrease in size, recurving northeastward under the influence of a mid-level trough the next day. After passing about 65 km (40 mi) east of Okinawa, the typhoon accelerated to 75 km/h (47 mph). Tip made landfall on the Japanese island of Honshū with winds of about 130 km/h (81 mph) on October 19. It continued rapidly northeastward through the country and became an extratropical cyclone over northern Honshū a few hours after moving ashore. [1] The extratropical remnant of Tip proceeded east-northeastward and gradually weakened, crossing the International Date Line on October 22. The storm was last observed near the Aleutian Islands of Alaska on October 24. [3]

Trough (meteorology) elongated region of low atmospheric pressure

A trough is an elongated (extended) region of relatively low atmospheric pressure, often associated with fronts. Troughs may be at the surface, or aloft, or both under various conditions. Most troughs bring clouds, showers, and a wind shift, particularly following the passage of the trough. This results from convergence or "squeezing" which forces lifting of moist air behind the trough line.

Honshu Largest island of Japan

Honshu is the largest and most populous main island of Japan. located south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Straits. The island separates the Sea of Japan, which lies to its north and west, from the North Pacific Ocean to the south and east. It is the 7th largest island in the world, and the 2nd most populous after the Indonesian island of Java.

International Date Line imaginary line that demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next

The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of demarcation on the surface of Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.


Most intense Pacific typhoons
hPa inHg
1 Tip 1979 87025.7
2 June 1975 87525.8
3 Forrest 1983 876 [4] 25.9
4 Nora 1973 87725.9
Ida 1958
6 Kit 1966 88026.0
Rita 1978
Vanessa 1984
9 Irma 1971 88426.1
10 Nina 1953 88526.1
Joan 1959
Megi 2010
Source:JMA Typhoon Best Track Analysis
Information for the North Western Pacific Ocean. [5]

The typhoon produced heavy rainfall early in its lifetime while passing near Guam, including a total of 23.1 cm (9.09 in) at Andersen Air Force Base. [1] The outer rainbands of the large circulation of Tip produced moderate rainfall in the mountainous regions of the Philippine islands of Luzon and Visayas. [6]

Heavy rainfall from the typhoon breached a flood-retaining wall at Camp Fuji, a training facility for the United States Marine Corps near Yokosuka. [7] Marines inside the camp weathered the storm inside huts situated at the base of a hill which housed a fuel farm. The breach led to hoses being dislodged from two rubber storage bladders, releasing large quantities of fuel. The fuel flowed down the hill and was ignited by a heater used to warm one of the huts. [8] [9] [10] The resultant fire killed 13 Marines, injured 68, [1] and caused moderate damage to the facility. The facility's barracks were destroyed, [7] along with fifteen huts and several other structures. [8] [11] The barracks were rebuilt, [7] and a memorial was established for those who lost their lives in the fire. [8]

During recurvature, Typhoon Tip passed about 65 km (40 mi) east of Okinawa. Sustained winds reached 72 km/h (44 mph), with gusts to 112 km/h (69 mph). Sustained wind velocities in Japan are not known, though they were estimated at minimal typhoon strength. The passage of the typhoon through the region resulted in millions of dollars in damage to the agricultural and fishing industries of the country. [1] Eight ships were grounded or sunk by Tip, leaving 44 fishermen dead or unaccounted for. A Chinese freighter broke in half as a result of the typhoon, though its crew of 46 were rescued. [6] The rainfall led to over 600  mudslides throughout the mountainous regions of Japan and flooded more than 22,000 homes; 42 people died throughout the country, with another 71 missing and 283 injured. [6] River embankments broke in 70 places, destroying 27 bridges, while about 105 dikes were destroyed. Following the storm, at least 11,000 people were left homeless. Tip destroyed apple, rice, peach and other crops. Five ships sank in heavy seas off the coast and 50-story buildings swayed in the capital, Tokyo. [12] [13] Transportation in the country was disrupted; 200 trains and 160 domestic flights were canceled. [14] Tip was described as the most severe storm to strike Japan in 13 years. [15]

Records and meteorological statistics

Depictions of Typhoon Tip and Cyclone Tracy (one of the smallest tropical cyclones ever recorded) superimposed on a map of the United States. Typhoonsizes.jpg
Depictions of Typhoon Tip and Cyclone Tracy (one of the smallest tropical cyclones ever recorded) superimposed on a map of the United States.

Typhoon Tip was the largest tropical cyclone on record, with a diameter of 1,380 mi (2,220 km)—almost double the previous record of 700 mi (1,130 km) set by Typhoon Marge in August 1951. [16] [17] [18] At its largest, Tip was nearly half the size of the contiguous United States. [19] The temperature inside the eye of Typhoon Tip at peak intensity was 30  °C (86  °F ) and described as exceptionally high. [1] With 10-minute sustained winds of 160 mph (260 km/h), Typhoon Tip is the strongest cyclone in the complete tropical cyclone listing by the Japan Meteorological Agency. [3]

The typhoon was also the most intense tropical cyclone on record, with a pressure of 870 mbar (25.69 inHg), 6 mbar (0.18 inHg) lower than the previous record set by Super Typhoon June in 1975. [1] [20] [21] The records set by Tip still technically stand, though with the end of routine reconnaissance aircraft flights in the western Pacific Ocean in August 1987, modern researchers have questioned whether Tip indeed remains the strongest. After a detailed study, three researchers determined that two typhoons, Angela in 1995 and Gay in 1992, registered higher Dvorak numbers than Tip, and concluded that one or both of the two may have therefore been more intense. [22] Other recent storms may have also been more intense than Tip at its peak; for instance, satellite-derived intensity estimates for Typhoon Haiyan of 2013 indicated that its core pressure may have been as low as 858 mbar (25.34 inHg). [23] Due to the dearth of direct observations and Hurricane hunters into these cyclones, conclusive data is lacking. [22]

Despite the typhoon's intensity and damage, the name Tip was not retired and was reused in 1983, 1986, and 1989. [3]

See also


  1. All wind speeds in the article are maximum sustained winds sustained for one minute, unless otherwise noted.

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Typhoon Sarah was among the deadliest typhoons on record in the western Pacific Ocean, killing around 2,000 people. It formed during the peak of the busy 1959 Pacific typhoon season near Guam, and moved generally to the west-northwest. Continued observations from the Hurricane Hunters allowed the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) to track Sarah from its origins to its peak as a powerful typhoon, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 305 km/h (190 mph) on September 15. Shortly thereafter, the typhoon struck the small Japanese island of Miyako-jima, where the barometric pressure fell to 908.1 mbar (26.82 inHg), the second-lowest on record for the country. Sarah turned to the north and northeast, weakening from its peak intensity. On September 17, the typhoon made landfall just west of Busan, South Korea with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph), the nation's strongest landfall at the time and only to be surpassed by Typhoon Maemi in 2003. Sarah later became extratropical over the Japanese island of Hokkaido on September 18, although the remnants persisted for several days, crossing into the Russian Far East and later dissipating on September 23.

Meteorological history of Hurricane Patricia

Hurricane Patricia was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere and the second-most intense worldwide in terms of barometric pressure. It also featured the highest one-minute maximum sustained winds ever recorded in a tropical cyclone. Originating from a sprawling disturbance near the Gulf of Tehuantepec in mid-October 2015, Patricia was first classified a tropical depression on October 20. Initial development was slow, with only modest strengthening within the first day of its classification. The system later became a tropical storm and was named Patricia, the twenty-fourth named storm of the annual hurricane season. Exceptionally favorable environmental conditions fueled explosive intensification on October 22. A well-defined eye developed within an intense central dense overcast and Patricia grew from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24 hours—a near-record pace. The magnitude of intensification was poorly forecast and both forecast models and meteorologists suffered from record-high prediction errors.

Typhoon Irving (1982)

Typhoon Irving, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ruping, was a mid-season tropical cyclone that affected the Philippines and China during September 1982. An area of disturbed weather developed within the monsoon trough in early September 1982 near Guam. Following an increase in organization, a tropical depression developed on the morning of September 5. Later that day, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Irving. Irving tracked westward, nearly becoming a typhoon before hitting the central Philippines. There, Irving uprooted trees, downed power and telephone lines, triggered landslides and forced the cancellation of several domestic airline flights. Irving damaged 7,890 houses in Albay and Sorsogon provinces alone, resulting in 138,500 people rendered homeless. Nation-wide, 65 people were killed, 26 others were hurt, and 29 were rendered missing. A total of 44,383 families or 248,040 residents sought shelter. Moreover, 18,488 homes were damaged and 5,599 others were demolished. Damage in the country was assessed at US$23.3 million, including US$14.2 million in crops. While crossing the island chain, Irving turned northwestward. After entering the South China Sea, Irving continued generally northwest, and became a typhoon on September 11. After developing a well-defined eye, Irving attained peak intensity the following day. Land interaction with Hainan Island resulted in a weakening trend, and Irving was downgraded to a tropical storm before striking the southern coast of China. Across the Leizhou Peninsula, 90% of homes were damaged. Onshore, Irving rapidly weakened and the storm dissipated on September 16.


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