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Pacific ENSO Update

3rd Quarter, 2012 Vol. 18 No. 3


Thanks to an active May and June, tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific was above normal during the first half of 2012. Through the end of June 2012, the JTWC had numbered seven significant tropical cyclones. Of these, the JMA named six. Of the seven JTWC significant tropical cyclones, four became typhoons, two became tropical storms, and one remained a tropical depression. Of the four typhoons, one of them (Guchol (05W)) became a super typhoon as it moved northward while east of Luzon. Guchol later made landfall along the southern coast of Japan. Three of the seven early season tropical cyclones stayed in or near the South China Sea. Four of them: Typhoon (TY) Sanvu (03W), TY Mawar (04W), Super Typhoon (STY) Guchol (05W), and Tropical Storm (TS) Doksuri (07W), developed from tropical disturbances that passed through Micronesia. Guam was placed under a tropical storm warning as Typhoon Sanvu (a tropical storm at that time) passed to the southwest. Winds reached 40 mph in gusts and several inches of rain occurred over the few days that this cyclone was near. STY Guchol formed to the southeast of Guam, but unlike Sanvu a couple of weeks earlier, moved on a more westerly track and passed near Ulithi in Yap State just as it was becoming a tropical storm.

Tropical cyclone activity in the eastern North Pacific (EastPAC) has been near normal, with six cyclones named by the National Hurricane Center in Miami through mid-July. Of the six named cyclones, five became hurricanes, while one (TS Aletta) reached a peak of only 40 kt. Two of the EastPAC hurricanes (Daniel (04E) and Emilia (05E)) crossed 140° W into the RSMC Honolulu area of responsibility. Both of these were weakening and dissipated shortly after crossing 140° W, and posed no threat to Hawaii. No tropical cyclones formed in the RSMC Honolulu area of responsibility.

The Southern Hemisphere cyclone season of 2011-2012 ended well below average in most categories of activity. The JTWC numbered only 21 tropical cyclones for the South Indian Ocean and South Pacific combined, versus a normal of 28. The RSMCs of the Southern Hemisphere named only 17 of these, with RSMC Fiji naming two, the three RSMCs of Australia (Brisbane, Perth and Darwin) naming five, and RSMC La Reunion naming the other ten in its area of responsibility in the South Indian Ocean.


The PEAC archives western North Pacific tropical cyclone numbers, track coordinates, and 1-minute average maximum sustained wind taken from operational warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Western North Pacific tropical cyclone names are obtained from warnings issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), which is the World Meteorological Organization's Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for the western North Pacific basin. The PEAC archives South Pacific tropical cyclone names, track coordinates, central pressure, and 10-minute average maximum sustained wind estimates from advisories issued by RSMCs at Brisbane, Nadi, Wellington and Port Moresby. The numbering scheme for Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclones and the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind estimates are taken from warnings issued by the JTWC, which has a warning responsibility to its constituency across the South Pacific and South Indian oceans that overlaps the local centers. Tropical cyclone advisories for eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones are provided by RSMC Miami, and tropical cyclone advisories for the central North Pacific (140° W to the 180° meridian) are provided by RSMC Honolulu. There are sometime differences in the statistics (e.g., storm maximum intensity) for a given tropical cyclone between the JTWC and the local centers that are noted in this summary.

Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
c/o NOAA NWS - Weather Forecast Office Honolulu
2525 Correa Road, suite 250
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-2324

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Page Last Modified: December 12 2012 23:18:30 GMT


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