Typhoons in the Philippines

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Map of the Philippine Area of Responsibility
PAGASA's Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale[1][2]
Category Sustained winds
Super typhoon (STY) >220 km/h
>119 knots
Typhoon (TY) 118–220 km/h
64–119 knots
Severe tropical storm (STS) 89–117 km/h
48–63 knots
Tropical storm (TS) 62–88 km/h
34–47 knots
Tropical depression (TD) ≤61 km/h
≤33 knots

Typhoons in the Philippines can occur any time of the year, with the months of June to September being most active, with August being the most active individual month and May the least active. Approximately 20 tropical cyclones enter the Philippine area of responsibility yearly, an area which incorporates parts of the Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea, and the Philippine Archipelago (with the exception of Tawi-Tawi province). In each year, ten cyclones are usually expected to be typhoons, with five having the potential to be destructive ones.[3] According to a 2013 Time Magazine article, the Philippines is "the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms".[4] In the Philippine languages, tropical cyclones are generally called bagyo.[5]

Typhoons usually move east to west across the country, heading north or west as they go. Storms most frequently make landfall on the islands of Eastern Visayas, Bicol region, and northern Luzon,[4] whereas the southern island and region of Mindanao is largely free of typhoons. Climate change is likely to worsen the situation, with extreme weather events including typhoons posing various risks and threats to the Philippines.[6]

The deadliest overall tropical cyclone to affect the Philippines is believed to have been the Haiphong typhoon, which is estimated to have killed up to 20,000 people as it passed over the country in September 1881. In modern meteorological records, the deadliest storm was Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), which became the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record as it crossed the Visayas in central Philippines on November 7–8, 2013. The wettest known tropical cyclone to impact the archipelago was the July 14–18, 1911 cyclone which dropped over 2,210 millimetres (87 in) of rainfall within a 3-day, 15-hour period in Baguio.[7] Tropical cyclones usually account for at least 30 percent of the annual rainfall in the northern Philippines while being responsible for less than 10 percent of the annual rainfall in the southern islands. PAGASA Senior Weather Specialist Anthony Lucero told the newsite Rappler that the number of destructive typhoons have increased recently but it is too early to call it a trend.[3]

Tropical cyclones entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility, as well as tropical depressions that form within it, are given a local name by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), which also raises public storm signal warnings as deemed necessary.[8][9]

Preparation and response to typhoons is coordinated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Each Philippine province and local government in the Philippines has a corresponding Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO). Each provincial and local government is required to set aside 5% of its yearly budget for disaster risk reduction, preparations, and response.[3]

The frequency of typhoons in the Philippines have made typhoons a significant part of everyday ancient and modern Filipino culture.[4]

Etymology[edit]

Bagyo (sometimes spelled bagyu or bagyio[5]) is the word for 'typhoon' or 'storm' in most Philippine languages, including Tagalog, Visayan, Ilocano, Bicolano, Hanunó'o, Aklanon, Pangasinan and Kapampangan. It is derived from Proto-Austronesian *baRiuS, meaning 'typhoon'. Cognates in other Austronesian languages include Sama baliw ('wind'), Amis faliyos or farios ('typhoon'); Saisiyat balosh ('typhoon'), Babuza bayus ('storm'), Puyuma variw, Bintulu bauy ('wind'), Kelabit bariw ('storm wind'), and Chamorro pakyo ('typhoon').[10]

Storm naming conventions: local and international names[edit]

Map of the path of Typhoon Frank (Fengshen), showing it making landfall in the Eastern Visayas before taking a northwesterly path

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu started monitoring and naming storms in the Western Pacific region in 1945, originally using female names in English alphabetical order. That list was revised in 1979 by introducing male names to be used in alternation with the female names.[11] The Philippine Weather Bureau started naming storms within their area of responsibility in 1963, using female Filipino names ending in the former native alphabetical order. The Bureau continued to monitor typhoons until the agency's abolition in 1972, after which its duties were transferred to the newly established PAGASA. This often resulted in a Western Pacific cyclone carrying two names: an international name and a local name used within the Philippines. This two-name scheme is still followed today.

In 2000, cyclone monitoring duties in the Western Pacific were transferred from the JTWC to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the RSMC of the World Meteorological Organization. The international naming scheme of the typhoons was replaced with a sequential list of names contributed by 14 nations in the region, including the Philippines. The new scheme largely uses terms for local features of the contributing nation, such as animals, plants, foods and adjectives in the native language. The rotation of names is based on the alphabetical order of the contributing nations. The Philippines, however, would maintain its own naming scheme for its local forecasts. In 2001, PAGASA revised its naming scheme to contain longer annual lists with a more mixed set of names.

Currently, the JMA and PAGASA each assign names to typhoons that form within or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility. The JMA naming scheme for international use contains 140 names described above. The list is not restricted by year; the first name to be used in a typhoon season is the name after the last-named cyclone of the preceding season.[12] The PAGASA naming scheme for Philippine use contains four lists, each containing twenty-five names arranged in alphabetical order. Every typhoon season begins with the first name in the assigned list, and the rolls of names are each reused every four years. An auxiliary list of ten names is used when the main list in a year had been exhausted.[13] Not all Western Pacific cyclones are given names by both weather agencies, as JMA does not name tropical depressions, and PAGASA does not name cyclones outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

In the case of both weather agencies, names are retired after a typhoon that carried it caused severe or costly damage and loss of life. Retirement is decided by the agencies' committees, although in PAGASA's case, names are routinely retired when the cyclone caused at least 300 deaths or ₱1 billion in damage in the Philippines. Retired names are replaced with another name for the next rotation, for JMA by the nation that submitted the retired name, and for PAGASA with a name sharing the same first letter as the retired name.

Variability in activity[edit]

Tracks of tropical cyclones worldwide, 1945–2006. The Philippines is under the red and yellow tracks northeast of Borneo.

On an annual time scale, activity reaches a minimum in May, before increasing steadily to June, and spiking from July to September, with August being the most active month for tropical cyclones in the Philippines. Activity reduces significantly in October.[14] The most active season, since 1945, for tropical cyclone strikes on the island archipelago was 1993 when nineteen tropical cyclones moved through the country (though there were 36 storms that were named by PAGASA).[15] There was only one tropical cyclone which moved through the Philippines in 1958.[16] The most frequently impacted areas of the Philippines by tropical cyclones are northern Luzon and eastern Visayas.[17] A ten-year average of satellite determined precipitation showed that at least 30 percent of the annual rainfall in the northern Philippines could be traced to tropical cyclones, while the southern islands receive less than 10 percent of their annual rainfall from tropical cyclones.[18]

Tropical cyclone warning signals[edit]

PAGASA's
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS)
[19][20]
Warning Signal Meaning

TCWS #1 winds of 30–60 km/h (20-37 mph)
are prevailing or expected to occur within 36 hours
TCWS #2 winds of 61–120 km/h (38–73 mph)
are prevailing or expected to occur within 24 hours
TCWS #3 winds of 121–170 km/h (74–105 mph)
are prevailing or expected to occur within 18 hours
TCWS #4 winds of 171–220 km/h (106–137 mph)
are prevailing or expected to occur within 12 hours
TCWS #5 winds greater than 220 km/h (137 mph)
are prevailing or expected to occur within 12 hours

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) releases tropical cyclone warnings in the form of tropical cyclone warning signals.[9] An area having a storm signal may be under:

  • TCWS #1 – Tropical cyclone winds of 30 km/h (19 mph) to 60 km/h (37 mph) are expected within the next 36 hours. (Note: If a tropical cyclone forms very close to the area, then a shorter lead time is seen on the warning bulletin.)
  • TCWS #2 – Tropical cyclone winds of 61 km/h (38 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph) are expected within the next 24 hours.
  • TCWS #3 – Tropical cyclone winds of 121 km/h (75 mph) to 170 km/h (110 mph) are expected within the next 18 hours.
  • TCWS #4 – Tropical cyclone winds of 171 km/h (106 mph) to 220 km/h (140 mph) are expected within 12 hours.
  • TCWS #5 – Tropical cyclone winds greater than 220 km/h (140 mph) are expected within 12 hours.

These tropical cyclone warning signals are usually raised when an area (in the Philippines only) is about to be hit by a tropical cyclone. As a tropical cyclone gains strength and/or gets nearer to an area having a storm signal, the warning may be upgraded to a higher one in that particular area (e.g. a signal No. 1 warning for an area may be increased to signal #3). Conversely, as a tropical cyclone weakens and/or gets farther to an area, it may be downgraded to a lower signal or may be lifted (that is, an area will have no storm signal).

Classes for preschool are canceled when signal No. 1 is in effect. Elementary and high school classes and below are canceled under signal No. 2 and classes for colleges, universities and below are canceled under signal Nos. 3, 4 and 5.

List of Philippine typhoons[edit]

Pre–1963[edit]

The JTWC was already naming tropical cyclones in the Northwest Pacific basin since 1945, before the Philippines did so. Only a few notable storms persisted before 1963. A tropical cyclone assumably impacted Northern Luzon in July 1911, in which a record-breaking precipitation level was seen in Baguio City, with 2,210 mm (87 in) of rainfall being dumped by the storm. In 1881, a typhoon also impacted Northern Luzon, but around 20,000 people have died from the typhoon, making it the deadliest Philippine typhoon in recorded history.

1963–1999[edit]

Typhoon Angela (Rosing) prior to landfall in November 1995

In 1963, the PAGASA began naming tropical cyclones that enter their area of responsibility using female names ending with "ng". During the period of 1963 to 1999, the Philippines experienced several number of typhoons that affected or made landfall. Moreover, this period saw the most active typhoon season in the Philippines ― with 31 typhoons being named by PAGASA ― in 1993.

This period saw several notable and deadly typhoons that passed anywhere in the country. Typhoon Patsy (Yoling) of 1970 became one of the deadliest typhoons to strike Metro Manila.[21] Typhoon Nina (Sisang) in 1987 became one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Bicol Region. Typhoon Yunya (Diding) in June 1991 struck Luzon at the time of the colossal eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Later in the same year, Tropical Storm Thelma (Uring) became one of the most deadliest storms to hit the country, killing just over 5,000 people.

2000–present[edit]

Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) over the Philippines in September 2009

In the beginning of this period, significant changes were seen in the naming of tropical cyclones in the Northwest Pacific ― the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), as the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) of the basin, took over the naming of tropical cyclones by 2000,[12] and the PAGASA revised its naming scheme to contain longer annual lists with a more mixed set of names by 2001. Adjustments in the Philippine cyclone names also occurred in 2005 and in 2021.

The strongest typhoon to make landfall in the country during this time period was Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013 and Typhoon Goni (Rolly) in late-October 2020, which both made landfall with 1-minute sustained winds of 315 km/h (195 mph). Typhoon Haiyan, as of this date, is also the most deadly Philippine typhoon during this period, which killed 6,300 people. Other notable Philippine storms during this period include Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in September 2009 which became the most devastating tropical cyclone to hit Manila,[22] and Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in December 2012, which became the strongest typhoon on record to hit Mindanao.

Deadliest cyclones[edit]

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) to make landfall over Leyte in November 2013
Deadliest Philippine typhoons
Rank Storm Season Fatalities Ref.
1 "Haiphong" 1881 20,000 [23]
2 Yolanda (Haiyan) 2013 6,300 [24]
3 Uring (Thelma) 1991 5,101–8,000 [25]
4 Sendong (Washi) 2011 2,546 [25][26]
5 Pablo (Bopha) 2012 1,901 [25]
6 "Angela" 1867 1,800 [27]
7 Winnie 2004 1,593 [27]
8 "October 1897" 1897 1,500 [27][28]
9 Reming (Durian) 2006 1,399 [27][25]
10 Nitang (Ike) 1984 1,363 [25]

Wettest recorded tropical cyclones[edit]

Typhoon Kujira near peak intensity on May 4, 2009
Wettest tropical cyclones and their remnants in the Philippine islands
Highest-known totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref.
Rank mm in
1 2210.0 87.01 July 1911 cyclone Baguio [29]
2 1854.3 73.00 Pepeng (Parma) (2009) Baguio [30]
3 1216.0 47.86 Trining (Carla) (1967) Baguio [29]
4 1116.0 43.94 Iliang (Zeb) (1998) La Trinidad, Benguet [31]
5 1085.8 42.74 Feria (Utor) (2001) Baguio [32]
6 1077.8 42.43 Lando (Koppu) (2015) Baguio [30]
7 1012.7 39.87 Igme (Mindulle) (2004) [33]
8 902.0 35.51 Dante (Kujira) (2009) [34]
9 879.9 34.64 September 1929 typhoon Virac, Catanduanes [35]
10 869.6 34.24 Openg (Dinah) (1977) Western Luzon [36]

Most destructive[edit]

Animated enhanced infrared satellite loop of Typhoon Haiyan from peak intensity to landfall in the Philippines
Costliest Philippine typhoons
Rank Storm Season Damage Ref.
PHP USD
1 Yolanda (Haiyan) 2013 ₱95.5 billion $2.2 billion [37]
2 Pablo (Bopha) 2012 ₱43.2 billion $1.06 billion [38]
3 Glenda (Rammasun) 2014 ₱38.6 billion $885 million [39]
4 Ompong (Mangkhut) 2018 ₱33.9 billion $627 million [40]
5 Pepeng (Parma) 2009 ₱27.3 billion $581 million [41]
6 Ulysses (Vamco) 2020 ₱20.2 billion $418 million [42]
7 Rolly (Goni) 2020 ₱20 billion $369 million [43]
8 Pedring (Nesat) 2011 ₱15.6 billion $356 million [38]
9 Lando (Koppu) 2015 ₱14.4 billion $313 million [44]
10 Frank (Fengshen) 2008 ₱13.5 billion $304 million [45]

See also[edit]

For other storms impacting the Philippines in deadly seasons, see:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) (May 2015). "About Tropical Cyclones: Classification of Tropical Cyclones". PAGASA.
  2. ^ Esperanza O. Cayanan (July 20, 2015). "The Philippines modified its Tropical Cyclone Warning System" (PDF). World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  3. ^ a b c de la Cruz, Gwen (March 19, 2016). "IN NUMBERS: Typhoons in the Philippines and the 2016 polls". Rappler. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Sophie (November 11, 2013). "The Philippines Is the Most Storm-Exposed Country on Earth". Time. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Glossary of Meteorology. Baguio. Retrieved on June 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Overland, Indra et al. (2017) Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs: Risk and Opportunity Multiplier, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and Myanmar Institute of International and Strategic Studies (MISIS).
  7. ^ J. L. H. Paulhaus (1973). World Meteorological Organization Operational Hydrology Report No. 1: Manual For Estimation of Probable Maximum Precipitation. World Meteorological Organization. p. 178.
  8. ^ Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division. "Frequently Asked Questions: What are the upcoming tropical cyclone names?". NOAA. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  9. ^ a b Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) (May 2015). "Public Storm Warning Signal". PAGASA.
  10. ^ Robert Blust & Stephen Trussel (2010). "*baRiuS". Austronesian Comparative Dictionary. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Padua, David Michael. "Names". Typhoon2000.
  12. ^ a b "Tropical Cyclone Naming". World Meteorological Organization. May 30, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  13. ^ "Philippine Tropical Cyclone Names". Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Ricardo García-Herrera, Pedro Ribera, Emiliano Hernández and Luis Gimeno (September 26, 2003). "Typhoons in the Philippine Islands, 1566–1900" (PDF). David V. Padua. p. 40. Retrieved April 13, 2010.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (2009). "Member Report Republic of the Philippines" (PDF). Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  16. ^ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (1959). "1958". United States Navy. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  17. ^ Colleen A. Sexton (2006). Philippines in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-8225-2677-3. Retrieved November 1, 2008. most active typhoon season for the philippines.
  18. ^ Edward B. Rodgers; Robert F. Adler & Harold F. Pierce. "Satellite-measured rainfall across the Pacific Ocean and tropical cyclone contribution to the total". Retrieved November 25, 2008. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. ^ Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) (May 2015). "Public Storm Warning Signal". PAGASA.
  20. ^ Esperanza O. Cayanan (July 20, 2015). "The Philippines modified its Tropical Cyclone Warning System" (PDF). World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Metro Manila, 25 provinces placed under state of calamity". GMANews.TV. September 26, 2009. Archived from the original on September 29, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  23. ^ Philippine Storm Surge History. Project NOAH, University of the Philippines. November 23, 2013. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  24. ^ del Rosario, Eduardo D. (April 2014). FINAL REPORT Effects of Typhoon YOLANDA (HAIYAN) (pdf) (Report). NDRRMC. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d e Alojado, Dominic (2015). Worst typhoons of the philippines (1947-2014) (pdf) (Report). Weather Philippines. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  26. ^ Ramos, Benito T. (February 10, 2014). Final Report on the Effects and Emergency Management re Tropical Storm SENDONG (WASHI) (pdf) (Report). NDRRMC. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  27. ^ a b c d "10 Worst Typhoons that Went Down in Philippine History". M2Comms. August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  28. ^ Lotilla, Raphael (November 20, 2013). "Flashback: 1897, Leyte and a strong typhoon". Rappler. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  29. ^ a b J. L. H. Paulhaus (1973). World Meteorological Organization Operational Hydrology Report No. 1: Manual For Estimation of Probable Maximum Precipitation. World Meteorological Organization. p. 178.
  30. ^ a b Nick Wiltgen (October 21, 2015). "Former Super Typhoon Koppu (Lando) Weakens to Remnant Low over Northern Philippines". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  31. ^ Guillermo Q. Tabios III; David S. Rojas Jr. Rainfall Duration-Frequency Curve for Ungaged Sites in the High Rainfall, Benguet Mountain Region in the Philippines (PDF) (Report). Kyoto University. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  32. ^ Leoncio A. Amadore, Ph.D. Socio-Economic Impacts of Extreme Climatic Events in the Philippines. Retrieved on February 25, 2007.
  33. ^ Padgett, Gary; Kevin Boyle; John Wallace; Huang Chunliang; Simon Clarke (October 26, 2006). "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary June 2004". Australian Severe Weather Index. Jimmy Deguara. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
  34. ^ Steve Lang (May 7, 2009). "Hurricane Season 2009: Kujira (Western Pacific Ocean)". NASA. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  35. ^ Coronas, José (September 1929). "Typhoons and Depressions – a Destructive Typhoon Over Southern and Central Luzon on September 2 and 3, 1929" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. Weather Bureau. 57 (9): 398–399. Bibcode:1929MWRv...57..398C. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1929)57<398b:TADDTO>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  36. ^ Narciso O. Itoralba (December 1981). Annual Tropical Cyclone Report 1977. Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. p. 65.
  37. ^ del Rosario, Eduardo D. (April 2014). FINAL REPORT Effects of Typhoon YOLANDA (HAIYAN) (pdf) (Report). NDRRMC. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  38. ^ a b Uy, Leo Jaymar G.; Pilar, Lourdes O. (February 8, 2018). "Natural disaster damage at P374B in 2006-2015". PressReader. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  39. ^ Ramos, Benito T. (September 16, 2014). FINAL REPORT re Effects of Typhoon (pdf) (Report). NDRRMC. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  40. ^ Jalad, Ricardo B. (October 5, 2018). Situational Report No.55 re Preparedness Measures for TY OMPONG (I.N. MANGKHUT) (pdf) (Technical report). NDRRMC. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  41. ^ Rabonza, Glenn J. (October 20, 2009). FINAL Report on Tropical Storm \"ONDOY\" {KETSANA} and Typhoon \"PEPENG\ (pdf) (Report). NDRRMC. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  42. ^ Jalad, Ricardo B. (January 13, 2021). SitRep no. 29 re Preparedness Measures and Effects for TY ULYSSES (PDF). ndrrmc.gov.ph (Report). Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  43. ^ Jalad, Ricardo B. (November 10, 2020). "SitRep No.11 re Preparedness Measures for Super Typhoon Rolly" (PDF). NDRRMC. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  44. ^ Pama, Alexander P. FINAL REPORT re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Typhoon LANDO (KOPPU) (pdf) (Report). NDRRMC. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  45. ^ Ramos, Benito T. (July 31, 2008). Situation Report No. 33 on the Effects of Typhoon “FRANK” (Fengshen) (pdf) (Technical report). NDCC. Retrieved October 23, 2010.

External links[edit]