Typhoon Juaning has moved out over the South China Sea after delivering rainfall at a rate of 2 inches per hour to many parts of the Philippines. Heavy flooding has killed about 25, according to the Philippine Star.
A typhoon is the name given to tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific. In the Atlantic they are called hurricanes. Names are assigned to storms from a set of five lists that are cycled sequentially. The names come from the nations, including the United States, affected by typhoons. They are not usually people's names, as is the case in the Atlantic.
The Philippines assigns its own names to storms that reach its shores. Typhoon Juaning is the Philippines name for Typhoon Nock-Ten. NASA projects that storm to intensify over water as its projected route takes it to the Chinese island of Hainan and then to Vietnam. Naga City in the Philippines received over 6 inches of rain in two days from the storm. Manila received 5.7 inches of rain from Typhoon Juaning.
Because of the greater size of the Pacific Ocean, far more typhoons are generated each year than are hurricanes in the Atlantic. Typhoons also tend to be larger and more severe because of the greater amount of ocean exposed to tropical heat. It is not unusual to have over 30 storms in the Western Pacific in a year and the long term average is 31. The U.S. Navy reports that from 1959 through 2010, the Western Pacific saw 19 to 45 tropical cyclones each year.
The islands of the Philippines are the target of many of those tropical cyclones. Of the 19 storms in 2010, eleven came close to the islands and two struck. One of those two was a super typhoon, Typhoon Juan (Megi). Its winds were reported by MSNBC to be 155 mph or greater.
Unisys storm track graphics from 2009, 2010 and 2011 show just how often the islands are struck or just missed by storms. The storm season is year round but the highest numbers of storms are generated in the months from June to November, just as in the Atlantic hurricane season. This is just the beginning for the Philippines typhoon season.
- South China Sea
- tropical cyclones
- tropical heat
- the Pacific Ocean