The 1988 Pacific typhoon season has no official bounds; it ran year-round in 1988, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Tropical Storms formed in the entire west Pacific basin were assigned a name by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 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.
A total of 26 tropical cyclones formed this year in the Western Pacific, of which all became tropical storms. Of the 26, 10 storms reached typhoon intensity, of which 1 reached supertyphoon strength. Nine tropical cyclones moved through the Philippines this season, making this season the most active for the archipelago so far this decade.
A total of 26 tropical cyclones formed this year in the Western Pacific, of which all became tropical storms. Of the 26, 10 storms reached typhoon intensity, of which 1 reached supertyphoon strength. Nine tropical cyclones moved through the Philippines this season.
Typhoon Roy, which crossed the open Western Pacific as a Category 4 hurricane in January, caused moderate to extensive damage across the Federated States of Micronesia and the Philippines, causing $23.5 million (1988 USD) but only one death.
Typhoon Susan formed at the end of May just to the north of Luzon Island in the Philippines. As a depression Susan dropped heavy rains in and around the Manila area the resulting landslides killed 6 people. As Susan moved away from the Philippines the storm strengthened into a typhoon shortly before cross in the southern tip of Taiwan and turning extratropical just after passing Okinawa.
A tropical depression formed to the east of Guam shortly before passing north of the island. Shortly after passing the island the storm strengthened into Tropical Storm Warren. Warren kept gathering strength and reached peak intensity of 135 mph while 300 miles east of Luzon Island. Typhoon Warren moved westward and brushed the extreme northern tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines causing $10 million in damage. Warren then made landfall near Shantou, China, 13,000 homes were destroyed and 17 people were killed in Guangdong Province.
Tropical Storm Bill, which formed on August 5 east of Taiwan, moved northwest to hit eastern China as a 45 mph tropical storm. Torrential rains and heavy flooding resulted in 110 casualties and widespread damage to roads and dams.
Tropical Storm Kit formed from an area of disturbed weather 300 miles east of Manila. A depression formed on the 19th of September and strengthened into Tropical Storm Kit shortly before making landfall on the extreme northern tip of Luzon Island. Kit continued towards the northwest and made landfall 120 miles northeast of Hong Kong. Widespread flooding was reported and 3 people were killed in Guangdong Province in China.
Typhoon Ruby, which developed east of the Philippines on October 20, rapidly intensified to a 145 mph typhoon while approaching central Luzon. It hit on the 24th, and rapidly weakened to a minimal typhoon over the island. Ruby, with its disrupted circulation, remained weak over the South China Sea, and land interaction with Vietnam caused it to dissipate on the 28th. Ruby caused over 300 fatalities, with widespread flooding and damage over its track. Ruby brought heavy rains and a 12 foot storm surge to Guam and the Marianas Islands. On Luzon, the storm's 140 mph (220 km/h) winds caused tremendous damage to the town of Siniloan. In the Polillo Islands, east of Manila, Ruby spawned rare tornadoes that leveled homes. In the northern part of the Philippines, many fishing boats were wrecked by 30–40 foot waves, and 32 more people drowned. Damage in the Philippines totaled 5.64 billion Philippine Pesos (1989 pesos).
The passenger ferry the MV Doña Marilyn was in the Visayan Sea when the storm struck the vessel. The ferry was not designed for deep water, and the open decks let water into the interior of the ship. The storm caused the ferry to pitch to the starboard until one of the decks was below the water, causing the ship to fill up rapidly. The passengers and crew tried to save the ship, but to no avail. The Doña Marilyn sank stern first taking 389 people with it. Only 147 people survived by clinging to life rafts.
Just 2 weeks after Ruby hit Luzon, Skip, which formed on November 3, hit the central Philippines as a 145 mph typhoon. Ruby reached the South China Sea on the 7th, and steadily weakened until dissipation on the 12th. Skip was responsible for killing 104 people (with 95 missing) and extensive damage to the coconut, rice, and sugar crops.
After passing through the Philippines, a tropical disturbance organized in the South China Sea into a tropical depression late on the morning of November 4. Turning westward and strengthening, the cyclone became a tropical storm later that day, and then a typhoon by late November 5. It moved into Vietnam on November 6 and quickly weakened, becoming the only tropical cyclone that season to make landfall in the country. Its remains later moved across the Mekong Riverdelta.