Tropical Cyclone Tracks from 1985–2005

11:34 pm PHT

It’s been a rainy week this week, and it seems the Filipino’s collective prayer for rain to stave of the impending water crisis worked. Well, it did cause a helluva lot of traffic last Wednesday, but at least we’re all safe, right?

Well, here’s something you might find interesting. Shown below is a map of the world with the paths of all tropical cyclones from 1985 to 2005 drawn in. Tropical cyclone is the general term for what we name tropical storms or typhoons, and what Americans call hurricanes. (See the Wikipedia media page containing the larger version of the map.)

What’s immediately obvious in the image is that the northwestern Pacific Ocean (that’s where the Philippines is) is the most active region for tropical cyclones. This region accounts for one-third of all tropical cyclone activity in the world. Looking at the map, Luzon, Visayas, Taiwan, and the coastal regions of mainland China are no longer visible. In contrast, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia don’t get much action (because they’re on the equator). Actually, among the Southeast Asian nations, we’re the most typhoon-pounded, followed by Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Elsewhere in the world, Australia, Madagascar, the United States, Mexico, the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and various South Pacific islands get hurricanes and cyclones too. In South America and western Africa, there’s virtually no storm at all (except for the freak Cyclone Catarina in 2004). Europe doesn’t really get much tropical cyclones, but snowstorms are common.

Other typhoon-related posts here in vaes9 are “Typhoon Milenyo (Xangsane): Field Report” and “Hurricanes and Typhoons”.

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