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Slowest Start Of Typhoon Season Over West Pacific Ocean, Fewer Storms Likely This Season

July 5, 2024 2:17 PM |

The 2024 Pacific typhoon season is the fifth-latest starting Pacific typhoon season on record.  The West Pacific basin is open to storm formation throughout the year but most tropical cyclones typically develop from May to October, with a clear peak in August. Based on 30 years average, the basin hosts about 26 named storms and 16 typhoons yearly. In 2023, 17 storms formed with 10 strengthening to typhoon. The 2024  season’s first named storm Ewiniar, developed on May 25, 2024 and eventually went on to become the first typhoon of the season. But, the typhoon did not hit any landmass and largely remained over the open sea till it dissipated. Earlier, the storm as a depression waded through northern parts of Philippines, on a recurving track.

The latest date on record for seeing the basin’s first cyclone is June 08, 1983. During the El Nino years , normally the West and North Pacific is more active and La Nina conditions lead to lower activity.  2024 is likely to be relatively quiet typhoon season. While the past observations can be seen as a reference of what to expect for 2024, these characteristics are not guaranteed because each ENSO event is unique. During the transition to the La Nina years, the storms are generally less in numbers and also the landfalling of cyclones is often below-normal too.

Typhoons are like hurricanes with sustained wind speed of > 74 miles per hour. A cyclone in the West Pacific with sustained wind speed of 150 miles per hour or more is declared a super typhoon.  Number of storms and their track, over the West Pacific basin have strong linkages with the performance of the Indian monsoon. More number of storms and typhoons in the South China Sea and East Philippines Sea are not considered favorable for overall health of the monsoon. At times, the remnant of such storms move across Southeast Asian countries and emerge over Bay of Bengal.  Such situations do enhance the monsoon strength on either side of the Indian coastline.

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