29th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


2009 tropical cyclone predictions and societal challenges in the tropical islands of the western North Pacific Ocean

Charles 'Chip' Guard, NOAA/NWSFO Guam, Barrigada, Guam

After several years of below normal tropical cyclone activity in the Micronesian Islands of the western North Pacific Ocean, considerable activity returned to the region in 2009. Despite the relatively late arrival of El Nino and its on-again off-again behavior, the increased activity was predicted several months ahead of time, and as a result, the local governments were ready. Both the long-term seasonal forecasts and the short-term individual tropical cyclone forecasts presented several challenges, mostly in predicting event intensity. In the long-term, it was El Nino intensity and in the short-term, it was individual tropical cyclone intensity. Despite being ready, societal impacts did occur, but for the most part, they were limited and most had happy endings. Some of these included a 3-day-old baby experiencing the wrath of the direct hit of a super typhoon on a sparsely-populated volcanic island, the populations of two isolated islands enduring the development of a couple of typhoons while spending the night in the eye-wall clouds, and 37 passengers from four outrigger canoes and a 19-foot motor boat fighting 10 to 16-foot seas for several days. A large search and rescue effort was underway for nearly a week in an active monsoon trough with a developing super typhoon. Good tropical cyclone forecasts negated the need for many Typhoon Watches and Warnings, saving several Governments and the Department of Defense tens of millions of dollars. Many of the storms continued to the west of Micronesia, producing one of the wettest periods in recent history in the Philippines. This presentation will discuss many of the forecast and warning challenges and highlight many of the decision-making tools used to overcome them.

Poster Session 1, Posters: TCs and Climate, Monsoons, HFIP, TC Formation, Extratropical Transition, Industry Applications, TC Intensity, African Climate and Weather
Tuesday, 11 May 2010, 3:30 PM-5:15 PM, Arizona Ballroom 7

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