Typhoon Herb

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Super Typhoon Herb (Huaning)
Typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 5 (Saffir–Simpson scale)
Typhoon Herb.gif
Super Typhoon Herb near peak intensity
Formed July 21, 1996
Dissipated August 3, 1996
Highest winds 10-minute sustained: 175 km/h (110 mph)
1-minute sustained: 260 km/h (160 mph)
Lowest pressure 925 hPa (mbar); 27.32 inHg
Fatalities 284 dead, 306 missing
Damage $5 billion (1996 USD)
Areas affected Ryūkyū Islands, Taiwan, People's Republic of China
Part of the 1996 Pacific typhoon season

Super Typhoon Herb, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Huaning, was the strongest and the largest storm of 1996. Herb struck the Ryūkyū Islands, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, causing major damage. The name Herb was used in the Western Pacific name list for the first time after the list had been revised earlier in 1996. Although the name was not retired, the Western Pacific name list was changed from English names to Asian names in 2000, so 1996 was in fact the only occasion when the name was used (it was never used in the Atlantic Ocean or the Eastern Pacific.)

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

The active monsoon trough that spawned Typhoons Frankie (08W) and Gloria (09W) consolidated into a third area well east of the other two to develop Tropical Depression 10W near Saipan on July 23. It moved northward at first, then westward in response to the subtropical ridge to its north. Tropical Depression 10W was upgraded to Tropical Storm Herb on July 24. Tropical Storm Herb moved west, growing in size and strengthening to Typhoon Herb on July 25 before 48 hours later reaching Category 4. Herb slightly weakened while it underwent a Fujiwhara interaction with Typhoon Gloria. Shortly afterward Herb began to intensify again, and became a Category 5 super typhoon on July 30. Herb also became a very large typhoon: the largest typhoon in July and the 8th largest typhoon since 1977.

Herb struck the Ryūkyū Islands and made landfall in northern Taiwan as a Category 4 super typhoon on July 31. The eye of the storm passed directly over the capital, Taipei. Herb weakened as it crossed Taiwan and then the Taiwan Strait, to make landfall in China as a strong Category 2. Herb rapidly weakened over the country, and dissipated on August 3.


Costliest Known Pacific typhoons
Storm Season Cost, equivalent
to US$ in 2017
Mireille 1991 $18 billion
Songda 2004 $11.7 billion
Fitow 2013 $10.9 billion
Prapiroon 2000 $8.54 billion
Rammasun 2014 $8.35 billion
Herb 1996 $7.8 billion
Flo 1990 $7.49 billion
Morakot 2009 $7.07 billion
Hato 2017 $6.82 billion
Maemi 2003 $6.39 billion
Wettest tropical cyclones and their remnants in Taiwan
Highest-known totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref.
Rank mm in
1 3,060 120.47 Morakot 2009 Alishan, Chiayi [1]
2 2,319 91.30 Nari 2001 Wulai, New Taipei [2]
3 2,162 85.12 Flossie 1969 Beitou, Taipei [1]
4 1,987 78.23 Herb 1996 Alishan, Chiayi [3]
5 1,774 69.84 Saola 2012 Yilan City [4]
6 1,700 66.93 Lynn 1987 Taipei [5]
7 1,672 65.83 Clara 1967 Dongshan, Yilan [6]
8 1,611 63.43 Sinlaku 2008 Heping, Taichung [7]
9 1,561 61.46 Haitang 2005 Sandimen, Pingtung [8]
10 1,546 60.87 Aere 2004 Miaoli County [9]

Ryūkyū Islands[edit]

Prior to the typhoon's arrival in the southern Ryūkyū Islands, officials issued storm warnings for most islands and canceled 76 flights.[10] On July 31, the eye of Typhoon Herb passed roughly 16 to 20 km (9.9 to 12.4 mi) southwest of Iriomote Island. On the island, a barometric pressure of 927.1 mbar (hPa; 27.38 inHg) was measured. On Yonaguni, a maximum wind gust of 244 km/h (152 mph) was also measured. Widespread damage took place across the southern Ryūkyū Islands, with losses reaching ¥667 million (US$6.2 million).[nb 1][12][10] On Ishigaki Island, one home was destroyed and eighteen others were damaged. Extensive losses to agriculture, fisheries, and forestry took place across the region as well. Losses on Ishigaki alone reached ¥630 million (US$5.9 million).[12] In Okinawa, large swells up to 4 m (13 ft) flooded low-lying areas, leaving minor damage.[13]


In Taiwan , heavy rain from Herb caused flooding and major damage. In Taiwan, at least 51 people were killed and 22 went missing. Herb is the fourth wettest known tropical cyclone to impact the country.

Mainland China[edit]

In China, at least 233 people were killed and 284 people went missing. Total damage to agriculture and property totaled US$5 billion (1996 dollars).[14]


  1. ^ The total was originally reported in Yen. Total converted via the Oanda Corporation website.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Central Weather Bureau (2010). "侵台颱風資料庫". Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ Unattributed (September 9, 2009). "莫拉克颱風暴雨量及洪流量分析" (PDF). Water Resources Agency, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Republic of China. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Unattributed (September 9, 2009). "莫拉克颱風暴雨量及洪流量分析" (PDF). Water Resources Agency, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Republic of China. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Chen Zhi (August 2, 2012). "Typhoon Saola dumps heavy downpours around Taiwan". Xinhua General News. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center; Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center (1988). Annual Tropical Cyclone Report: 1987 (PDF) (Report). United States Navy, United States Air Force. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Lianshou, Chen. Topic 2.1 Observing and forecasting rainfall. Fifth International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Typhoon Sinlaku Central emergency operation center No.12". Central emergency operation center. September 16, 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ Chiu Yu-Tzu (July 20, 2005). "Haitang fizzles out, leaves Taiwan wet". Taipei Times. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ Padgett, Gary. "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary: November 2004". Retrieved June 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Weather Disaster Report: (1996-927-05)" (in Japanese). National Institute of Informatics. 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Historical Exchange Rates". Oanda Corporation. 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  12. ^ a b "Weather Disaster Report: (1996-918-01)" (in Japanese). National Institute of Informatics. 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Weather Disaster Report: (1996-936-04)" (in Japanese). National Institute of Informatics. 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ Chun-Chieh Wu and Ying-Hwa Kuo. Typhoons Affecting Taiwan: Current Understanding and Future Challenges. Retrieved on 2008-12-01.

External links[edit]