1979 Pacific typhoon season

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1979 Pacific typhoon season
Season summary map
First system formed December 31, 1978
Last system dissipated December 23, 1979
Strongest storm Tip (Most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded) – 870 hPa (mbar), 260 km/h (160 mph) (10-minute sustained)
Total depressions 28
Total storms 23
Typhoons 13
Super typhoons 4
Total fatalities > 541
Total damage Unknown
Pacific typhoon seasons
1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981

The 1979 Pacific typhoon season has 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.

The scope of this article is limited to the Pacific Ocean, north of the equator and west of the international date line. Storms that form east of the date line and north of the equator are called hurricanes; see 1979 Pacific hurricane season. Tropical Storms formed in the entire west Pacific basin were assigned a name by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Tropical depressions in this basin have the "W" suffix added to their number. Tropical depressions that enter or form in the Philippine area of responsibility are assigned a name by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA. This can often result in the same storm having two names.


28 tropical depressions formed this year in the Western Pacific, of which 23 became tropical storms. 13 storms reached typhoon intensity, of which 4 reached super typhoon strength.

Typhoon Alice[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 3 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration December 31, 1978 – January 15, 1979
Peak intensity 175 km/h (110 mph) (10-min)  930 mbar (hPa)

Very early on January 1 a tropical depression developed over the low latitudes of the open West Pacific. It tracked northwestward, reaching tropical storm strength that night and typhoon strength on the 5th. Alice turned to the west, and continued to intensify with generally favorable conditions to a peak of 130 mph winds on the 8th.[1] Cooler, drier air to the north caused Alice to weaken to a minimal typhoon, but as the typhoon turned to the northwest it briefly re-strengthened to a 115 mph typhoon on the 11th. Upper level winds, combined with the dry air, weakened Alice for good, causing it to dissipate on the 14th after stalling for three days. Alice caused extensive damage in the Marshall Islands.

Typhoon Bess (Auring)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration March 19 – March 25
Peak intensity 130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  955 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Cecil (Bebeng)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration April 10 – April 20
Peak intensity 140 km/h (85 mph) (10-min)  965 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Dot (Katring)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration May 9 – May 17
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  985 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm 05W (Diding)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration May 17 – May 24
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Ellis (Etang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration June 29 – July 7
Peak intensity 140 km/h (85 mph) (10-min)  955 mbar (hPa)

Severe Tropical Storm Faye (Gening)[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration July 1 – July 9
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression 08W[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration July 23 – July 27
Peak intensity 35 km/h (25 mph) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)

Super Typhoon Hope (Ising)[edit]

Main article: Typhoon Hope (1979)
Typhoon (JMA)
Category 4 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration July 24 – August 8
Peak intensity 205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  900 mbar (hPa)

A tropical depression formed southeast of Guam on July 24.[1] It headed to the west-northwest, but upper level shear from the TUTT caused the depression to dissipate on the 27th. It turned northward then westward, where it regenerated on the 28th. Intensification became more steady, with the depression reaching storm strength on the 28th and typhoon strength on the 29th. On the 31st, Hope reached a peak of 150 mph winds, but land interaction with Taiwan to the north weakened the storm. On August 2 95 mph Typhoon Hope hit southern China, only 10 miles east of Hong Kong. It weakened over the country while moving westward, but retained its satellite signature. Upon reaching the Bay of Bengal on the 7th, Hope restrengthened to a tropical storm, but moved over India and dissipated on the 8th. In Guangdong Province in China, the typhoon was responsible for around 100 deaths or missing people. Twelve people died along with 260 injured in Hong Kong. This was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Hong Kong since Typhoon Rose in 1971.

Severe Tropical Storm Gordon (Herming)[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration July 25 – July 31
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  975 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression 11W (Luding)[edit]

Tropical depression (PAGASA)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration August 2 – August 7
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  998 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Irving (Mameng)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration August 7 – August 18
Peak intensity 150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  955 mbar (hPa)

The monsoon trough spawned a tropical depression on August 7 east of the Philippines. It tracked to the north then to the west. Steering currents weakened, causing the depression to loop to the north. It was able to strengthen there, reaching tropical storm status on the 11th and typhoon status on the 13th. Irving continued to the north, attaining a peak of 100 mph winds on the 15th.[1] Its broad, loose wind field prevented it from strengthening further, and Irving weakened as it continued northward. On the 17th, Irving hit southwest South Korea as a minimal typhoon, and merged with a frontal boundary over extreme eastern Russia on the 18th. Torrential rains led to 150 fatalities, with damage at $10–$20 million (1979 USD).

Super Typhoon Judy (Neneng)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 4 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration August 16 – August 26
Peak intensity 205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  910 mbar (hPa)

A tropical disturbance organized into a tropical storm on August 15. It tracked to the northwest, becoming a tropical storm on the 17th. Judy rapidly intensified, reaching typhoon status on the 18th and a peak of 155 mph winds on the 20th.[1] The super typhoon began to weaken as it passed south of Okinawa, and neared the Chinese coast on the 23rd and 24th. Judy turned to the northeast, and brushed past South Korea as a tropical depression on the 26th, shortly before dissipating. Judy passed through Guam and other Pacific islands, but damage was reported light there. However, the storm brought heavy rain to Korea as a tropical depression, killing 111 and more damage to an area hit by Irving just weeks before.

Tropical Depression 14W[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration August 18 – August 20
Peak intensity 35 km/h (25 mph) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Ken (Oniang)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration August 30 – September 4
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Lola[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration September 1 – September 8
Peak intensity 150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  950 mbar (hPa)

Severe Tropical Storm Mac (Pepang)[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration September 12 – September 24
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  985 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Nancy[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration September 17 – September 22
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Owen (Rosing)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 3 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration September 22 – October 1
Peak intensity 165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  945 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Pamela[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration September 23 – September 26
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Roger (Sisang)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration October 2 – October 7
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  985 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Sarah (Trining-Uring)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 3 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration September 30 – October 15
Peak intensity 165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  930 mbar (hPa)

The monsoon trough spawned a tropical depression in the eastern Vietnamese East Sea on September 30. It drifted eastward into Luzon, and looped to the southwest where it strengthened into a tropical storm on October 4.[1] Sarah, with weak steering currents, drifted to the south, becoming a typhoon on the 7th before hitting Palawan Island. The storm turned to the west, peaking at 130 mph winds on the 10th before the mid-level circulation became decoupled from the low-level circulation. Sarah weakened, and hit eastern Vietnam on the 14th as a 60 mph tropical storm. The storm brought heavy flooding and wind, causing massive crop damage and loss of life. Sarah then weakened to a low-pressure area on October 15, but its remnants continued to move east towards east of Manila, Philippines and curved again towards Vietnam and fully dissipated on October 23.

Super Typhoon Tip (Warling)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration October 4 – October 19
Peak intensity 260 km/h (160 mph) (10-min)  870 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Typhoon Tip

Typhoon Tip is considered to be the most intense and largest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the world.[1] The cyclone formed on October 5, and after moving into a very favorable environment for development, quickly strengthened into Super Typhoon Tip on the 11th. On the 12th, Super Typhoon Tip continued to intensify, with winds at 190 miles per hour and central pressure at 870 millibars, the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded from a tropical cyclone. Tip ultimately hit Japan, causing 68 deaths and moderate damage. It dissipated on October 19.

Super Typhoon Vera (Yayang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration November 2 – November 7
Peak intensity 205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  915 mbar (hPa)

Severe Tropical Storm Wayne (Ading)[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration November 7 – November 13
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression 26W[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration December 1 – December 2
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

Typhoon Abby (Barang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 3 typhoon (SSHWS)
Duration December 1 – December 14
Peak intensity 165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  950 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Ben (Krising)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration December 20 – December 23
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  994 mbar (hPa)

1979 storm names[edit]

Western North Pacific tropical cyclones were named by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The first storm of 1979 was named Alice and the final one was named Ben. The name Alice was retired after this season and replaced by Andy, as Alice is a female name.

  • Alice (7901)
  • Bess (7902)
  • Cecil (7903)
  • Dot (7904)
  • Ellis (7906)
  • Faye (7907)
  • Gordon (7909)
  • Hope (7908)
  • Irving (7910)
  • Judy (7911)
  • Ken (7912)
  • Lola (7913)
  • Mac (7914)
  • Nancy (7915)
  • Owen (7916)
  • Pamela (7917)
  • Roger (7918)
  • Sarah (7919)
  • Tip (7920)
  • Vera (7921)
  • Wayne (7922)
  • Abby (7923)
  • Ben (7924)


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) used its own naming scheme for tropical cyclones within its area of responsibility. Lists were recycled every four years. This was the list set for 1983.[2] This is the same list used for the 1975 season.

  • Auring (7902)
  • Bebeng (7903)
  • Katring (7904)
  • Diding (7905)
  • Etang (7906)
  • Gening (7907)
  • Herming (7908)
  • Ising (7909)
  • Luding
  • Mameng (7910)
  • Neneng (7911)
  • Oniang (7912)
  • Pepang (7914)
  • Rosing (7916)
  • Sisang (7918)
  • Trining (7919)
  • Uring (7919)
  • Warling (7920)
  • Yayang (7921)
  • Ading (7922)
  • Barang (7923)
  • Krising (7924)
  • Dadang (unused)
  • Erling (unused)
  • Goying (unused)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 1979 ATCR TABLE OF CONTENTS
  2. ^ Michael Padua. "Old PAGASA Names". Retrieved 2007-04-14. 

External links[edit]