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Monday, April 02, 2007

Typhoons...




First Typhoon of the year, (named Kong-Rey) for the western Pacific is in progress, as of this writing, near Guam. I was alerted to it by an email from the Jaquette's former Guam residents, like many of us. So I went to my storm information sites on the web, which I'll share down further in this blurb, to see what in fact was going on.




Many people have the impression that typhoons, which are simply intense tropical cyclones and go by the name hurricane in the eastern Pacific and the Atlantic, have a 'season'. Actually they don't since, unlike the Atlantic equivalent, they can occur any month of the year. Certainly there is a range of months that the typhoon frequency is more prevalent but there is no month in which they haven't ocurred here in the western Pacific.




When checking out the storm potential I will first go to http://tsr.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/, a web site called Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) and has about as much info as one can absorb about tropical storms world-wide. It presents a graphic world map displaying current TS activity wherein all you have to do is click on the one of interest to zero in on more detail including actual and predicted tracking information as well as strength etc. etc. Please check it out. It's good.




Another site I like is http://www.typhoon2000.ph/micro.html or as the link suggests Typhoon2000. To get the following picture you have to look down a bit on that page for "View Tracking Map" and click on the link. (Note: I added the tag pointing out the location of Guam.)

I would also like to get information directly from the US military 'Joint Typhoon Warning Center" web site at https://www.npmoc.navy.mil/jtwc.html, but alas, they have blocked access from the Philippines - I think because in the past some BAD Hacker (not all hackers are bad according to the most accurate definition) committed his dastardly deed from the PI thereby punishing all its residents. But try it cuz you'll probably be able to bring it up. Also many of the other sites get updated info from JTWC so indirectly as least, the info is available.


And if you like moving pictures and can spare the download time there is one called "Guam IR Loop" http://www.goes.noaa.gov/guam/guamloops/guamir.html. It downloads about 8 infra-red satellite images at 1 hour increments (I don't mean it takes 8 hours to download - though it might if you're still bound to a modem) then replays them in a cyclic order to display the storms motion. It is somewhat limited in its geographic coverage but does cover Guam, The Philippines, Taiwan, Eastern China, and southern Japan. But then why would those of you in Iowa care about typhoons anyway?


Another that presents lots of data is http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/w_pacific/2007/index.html. The "2007" part is for the year and if you edit that to 2006 you will see a collage of last year's storms here in the western Pacific. Looks like a lot - right?

WestPAC storms in 2006

There are other sites I do check from time-to-time but the above are my favorites at this time.

Well, enough of this. I'll undoubedly come back to typhoons when one threatens, and I'm sure there will be some to tell you about. So stay tuned.....

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