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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary May 2002
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]

                                 MAY, 2002

  (For general comments about the nature of these summaries, as well as
  information on how to download the tabular cyclone track files, see
  the Author's Note at the end of this summary.)


                              MAY HIGHLIGHTS
  --> Tropics very busy for month of May
  --> Minimal hurricane strikes northern Madagascar
  --> Oman experiences rare tropical cyclone strike
  --> Another western Pacific super typhoon forms
  --> Rare tropical cyclone forms near Papua New Guinea


                 ***** Feature of the Month for May *****


     In the Feature of the Month in the April summary I introduced an
  e-mail discussion group with whom I discuss tropical cyclones, share
  information, ask questions, answer questions, etc.  Many of the group
  members have tropical cyclone and/or weather-related websites which are
  very interesting and informative.  For this month's Feature I wanted to
  list these websites, giving the URLs as well as a few brief comments
  about each.  The websites are listed alphabetically by the last name of
  the owner.

   1. AUSTRALIA SEVERE WEATHER                      Owner: Michael Bath

      Michael Bath, who lives near Wollongbar in northeast New South Wales,
      is an avid photographer, storm chaser, and weather enthusiast.  The
      website was designed and is maintained by Michael and his chase
      partner Jimmy Deguara.  There are links to such topics as severe
      weather reports, storm chasing, weather photography, tornadoes,
      weather observations, and of course tropical cyclones.  The tropical
      cyclone page contains a wealth of information including links for
      satellite images, tropical weather advisories for the Pacific and
      Indian Oceans, and annual cyclone track maps for the Australian
      Region dating back many years.  Also available are some statistics
      on Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclones compiled by Patrick Hoareau,
      and histories of significant tropical cyclones impacting the East
      Coast of Australia as well as the Gulf of Carpentaria coastline.

   2. OURAGANS.COM                                  Owner: Bruno Benjamin

      Bruno Benjamin is a tropical cyclone enthusiast who lives on the
      French island of Guadeloupe in the eastern Caribbean Sea.  Bruno's
      goal was to create a tropical cyclone website completely in French
      covering storms all around the globe.  ("Ouragan" is the French word
      for hurricane.)   There are links to separate sections for cyclone
      coverage of the Oceans Atlantique, Indien, and Pacifique.  Also
      included are links to information on historical hurricanes in the
      Antilles, and also maps and additional information about several of
      the islands in the Lesser Antilles.

   3. ATLANTIC TROPICAL WEATHER CENTER              Owner: Eric Blake

      Eric Blake, a native of Mandeville, Louisiana, and a graduate of
      Colorado State University, is now employed in the Tropical Analysis
      and Forecasting Branch (TAFB) at TPC/NHC.  Eric's website is the
      home of links, links, links, and more links.    The ATWC is a
      veritable gold mine of information, and since it is overwhelmingly
      just links, it loads very quickly, even on a fairly slow connection.
      There are links to NHC advisories, surface observations, buoy and
      ship reports, SST charts, reconnaissance flight messages, satellite
      pictures, scatterometer data, radar images, numerical model output,
      and many, many other topics.  The one hitch is that is primarily
      limited to information about the Atlantic basin only, so those
      looking for Pacific and Indian Ocean tropical cyclone information 
      will not find too much here.

   4. JIM EDDS VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY            Owner: Jim Edds

      Jim Edds is a videographer and photographer who lives in Big Pine
      Key, Florida, and works for the Florida Department of Environmental
      Protection.  Jim moved to the Keys from Northwest Florida in 1993,
      and got his first taste of hurricane chasing when Georges moved
      through the Keys in 1998.  Since then Jim has photographed many
      tropical cyclones and waterspouts with much of his footage being
      aired on The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia.  Jim's website
      contains his biography plus many examples of his photographic work.
      There are many interesting links to check out, two in particular
      being Dr. Jeffery Masters' hair-raising account of a near-fatal 
      reconnaissance mission into Hurricane Hugo in September, 1989, and 
      Jerry Wilkinson's pictorial history of the extremely intense 1935 
      Labor Day Hurricane in the Florida Keys.

   5. PUERTO RICAN HURRICANE PAGE                   Owner: Jose Garcia

      Jose Garcia, who lives in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, just turned 17 years
      of age a few days ago.  Jose's website, as the name implies, is
      dedicated to covering hurricanes which have affected Puerto Rico
      down through the centuries from 1500 onward.  The background for
      the main page is a very impressive, clear, high-resolution visible
      image of mighty Hurricane Gilbert about the time of its peak inten-
      sity of 160 kts and 888 mb.    Jose's site also contains links to
      several tropical cyclone warning centers and various tropical
      cyclone-related websites.

   6. EGLIN AFB TROPICAL WEATHER PAGE               Webmaster: Rich Henning

      Rich Henning is a Staff Meteorologist at Eglin AFB in Northwest
      Florida--also a member of the Hurricane Hunters Squadron--and is the
      webmaster for the USAF's 46th Weather Squadron's weather page.  High-
      lights include Rich's comments about tropical weather systems around
      the globe, automatically updated satellite pictures covering the
      world's tropical cyclone basins, and many, many tropical cyclone
      and other weather-related links.    One interesting feature is a
      history of tropical cyclones known to have affected the Florida
      Panhandle since the colonial period.  A couple of years ago Rich
      updated the original document, which was written in the early 1970s,
      and I assisted him with editing and proofreading.

   7. METEO DU SUD-OUEST DE L'OCEAN INDIEN          Owner: Jean Paul Hoarau

      Jean Paul Hoarau, who lives on Reunion Island in the Southwest Indian
      Ocean, is the younger brother of Karl Hoarau.  Jean Paul's website
      is another French-language tropical cyclone website and is devoted
      to covering primarily the Southwest Indian Ocean.  Jean Paul receives
      satellite imagery directly from the MeteoSat5 satellite, which is
      parked over the Indian Ocean, and also from some of the NOAA polar
      orbiters, and these are available for viewing on the website.  Also
      included are links to pages detailing several intense Southwest 
      Indian Ocean cyclones and some Western Pacific Typhoons.

   8. HURRICANE WARNING - CYCLONE JIM               Owner: Jim Leonard

      Jim Leonard, who lives in Islamorada in the beautiful Florida Keys,
      has become one of the best known tornado and hurricane chasers and
      photographers in the United States.  Jim is also a very serious
      amateur meteorologist who has studied weather and tropical cyclones
      intensely over the years and has become very knowledgeable about the
      science of meteorology.  Jim's website contains many pictures and
      video clips of his chasing experiences as well as a history of his
      chasing career.  Also included are quite a few links to various
      tropical weather sites, satellite images, and links to several storm
      chasers' homepages.

   9. GEOFF MACKLEY - FILM MAKER                    Owner: Geoff Mackley

      Geoff Mackley from New Zealand is a very experienced, far-travelled
      photographer and videographer who travels around the world shooting
      footage of severe weather and volcanoes.  Some of Geoff's other
      interests include caving, mountaineering, and mountain biking.  His
      website, which is updated frequently, contains some breathtaking
      shots of his latest adventures as well as information on current
      tropical cyclones.   There are photo galleries of many Southern
      Hemisphere severe weather events: cyclones, floods and snowstorms
      as well as hurricanes, typhoon, and volcanic eruptions.

  10. TYPHOON2000.COM                               Owner: Michael V. Padua

      Michael Padua of Naga City on Luzon in the Philippines began his
      typhoon website in 1998 when it was called Typhoon '98.  The name
      later changed to Typhoon '99, but after 2000 arrived Michael says he
      decided to leave it as Typhoon 2000 for the next millennium.  The
      site contains a wealth of information about Northwest Pacific trop-
      ical cyclones, both current and historical.  Links to warnings from
      several Western Pacific warning agencies are included, as well as
      links to satellite images, news reports, and storm archives.  There
      is also a discussion forum available, and small satellite animations
      of currently-progressing tropical cyclones.

  11. MIKE'S HURRICANE TRACKING                     Owner: Michael Pitt

      Michael Pitt is a weather technician and observer in the U. S. Navy.
      His website focuses primarily on hurricane tracking in the Atlantic
      and Northeast Pacific basins, but links are provided for obtaining
      information on other basins.  A Tropical Weather Archives Page
      provides links to TPC/NHC reports on Atlantic and Eastern Pacific
      storms as well as to the UK Meteorological Office's monthly bulle-
      tins.  As usual there are many links to tropical cyclone and other
      weather-related websites as well as automatically updated infrared
      satellite imagery covering the tropical cyclone basins.


      Carl Smith lives on the Gold Coast in southeastern Queensland, and
      says he has been fascinated by severe weather since he was a child.
      In 1975, when a young man, Carl and his family rode out a very
      fierce tropical cyclone (Joan) when it made landfall in Western
      Australia.  Carl's website provides links to information on all
      currently-operating tropical cyclones as well as links to archived
      information on Australian tropical cyclones of recent years.  Also
      available are detailed tracking maps of the cyclone-prone regions
      of Australia which may be downloaded.


      Phil Smith is the elder brother of Carl and although a native of
      Australia, has lived in Hong Kong for many years where he is employed
      as a computer consultant.  Phil's site also contains links to infor-
      mation on all currently-operating tropical cyclones as well as many
      other links to tropical cyclone and other weather-related sites,
      including special pages with map animations for some recent Hong
      Kong tropical cyclones.  There are also tracking maps available for
      the South China Sea region, including southern mainland China,
      Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

  14. EYE IN THE TROPICS                            Owner: Mike Theiss

      Mike Theiss is a young storm chaser who lives in Key Largo, Florida,
      and when not chasing tornadoes and hurricanes often helps out at his
      father's snorkel company.   Mike learned much about meteorology and
      chasing from his friend and teacher, Jim Leonard.  Like Jim Leonard's
      and Jim Edd's websites, Mike's has beautiful photographs he's made
      of waterspouts, hurricanes, lightning and magnificent Florida Keys'
      sunsets.  Naturally there are links to other storm chasers' homepages
      and to various other weather-related sites.  There is also a page
      describing the Theiss-Device--a (hopefully) tornado-proof aluminum
      box with bullet-proof glass windows which Mike designed and built 
      and containing a camera inside--the idea being to place it in front 
      of an oncoming tornado and get the "Ultimate Footage of a tornado 
      up close and personal."

     Now, with all this information about these outstanding websites, hope-
  fully everyone will visit them and explore the many interesting features
  and links contained therein.  Collectively, they provide an almost com-
  plete compendium of "everything you always wanted to know about tropical
  cyclones but were afraid to ask".
                            ACTIVITY BY BASINS

  ATLANTIC (ATL) - North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico

  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones

                     Atlantic Tropical Activity for May

     While the official Atlantic hurricane season does not begin until
  1 June, the month of May has had enough tropical cyclones, subtropical
  storms, and tropical disturbances over the years to warrant being con-
  sidered a significant prelude to the hurricane season.   Since 1886
  there have been twelve tropical storms or hurricanes known to have
  formed in the month of May.  Only three of these--a storm in 1889, Able
  in 1951, and Alma in 1970--reached hurricane intensity.  The last named
  tropical storm in May was Arlene in 1981.   Subtropical storms have also
  developed in May.  Two of these systems (in 1972 and 1976) reached the
  U. S. coastline with gale-force winds.   There have been other systems
  in later years which possibly were subtropical storms and may eventually
  be added to the official Best Track file pending further analysis.
  Neither is it all that unusual for a tropical depression to form during
  May--within the last 15 years the first official tropical depression of
  the season formed prior to 1 June in 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1993.

     There were no tropical or subtropical storms nor any depressions in
  May, 2002, but there were a couple of disturbances which elicited the
  issuance of Special Tropical Disturbance Statements from TPC/NHC.  An
  area of showers and thunderstorms accompanied by a broad area of low
  pressure had developed over the northwestern Caribbean Sea by 23 May.
  Upper-level winds were quite hostile for tropical development, but heavy
  rains occurred over Jamaica and eastern Cuba for several days.  No
  reconnaissance flights were made into the region, although some were
  planned in case the disturbance began to show signs of development.

     The other system was a surface LOW which formed on 28 May about 200 nm
  east of Daytona Beach, Florida.  A small, well-defined swirl in the low
  clouds could be seen in visible imagery, but the convective activity was
  located over 100 nm away from the center and never was able to become
  established over or near the LLCC.  The LOW drifted generally westward
  for a couple of days and then weakened.  No reconnaissance missions were
  flown into this system either.


  NORTHEAST PACIFIC (NEP) - North Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 180

  Activity for May:  1 hurricane

                         Sources of Information

     Most of the information presented below was obtained from the
  various tropical cyclone products issued by the Tropical Prediction
  Center/National Hurricane Center (TPC/NHC) in Miami, Florida (or the
  Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, for
  locations west of longitude 140W):  discussions, public advisories,
  forecast/advisories, tropical weather outlooks, special tropical
  disturbance statements, etc.  Some additional information may have
  been gleaned from the monthly summaries prepared by the hurricane
  specialists and available on TPC/NHC's website.  All references to
  sustained winds imply a 1-minute averaging period unless otherwise

     The summary on Hurricane Alma was written by John Wallace of
  San Antonio, Texas.  John has written most of the Northeast Pacific
  cyclone summaries over the past two seasons and some of the write-ups
  for North Indian Ocean cyclones.   Because of his special interest in
  the storms and climatology of these two basins and his willingness to
  continue writing the summaries, I have listed John as a co-author at
  the end of this document.  His e-mail address is included there.  A
  special thanks to John for the assistance he so dependably lends.

                Northeast Pacific Tropical Activity for May

     TPC/NHC considers 15 May as the beginning of the official Eastern
  North Pacific tropical cyclone season, and indeed the first named storm
  of the year makes it appearance in May more than 50% of the time.  This
  year was no exception, becoming the third year in a row to produce a
  hurricane during the latter part of May.  A tropical depression formed
  on the 24th well south of Acapulco and drifted slowly westward.  By the
  26th the system had strengthened into a tropical storm and was named 
  Alma.   Alma subsequently turned northward and intensified into a
  95-kt hurricane, but then encountered strong upper-level shear which
  caused the cyclone to quickly weaken and dissipate.  Within 48 hours
  after reaching its peak intensity, Alma had been reduced to a non-
  convective swirl of low clouds.  (NOTE:  The CPHC in Honolulu does not
  begin issuing regular tropical weather outlooks until 1 June for the
  portion of the NEP basin lying between 140W and the Dateline.)

                            HURRICANE ALMA
                           24 May - 1 June

  A. Storm Origins

     Alma was the third consecutive May hurricane, the first time on record
  (beginning with 1971) that such an event has occurred.  The fact that it
  was uncommonly intense for a May storm secures its record further--only
  two other May storms have equaled or exceeded a MSW of 95 kts.

     The area of disturbed weather that became Alma was first noted on
  22 May while well southwest of Acapulco, Mexico.  It remained ill-defined
  until the 24th, when its organization increased enough to warrant its
  upgrade to Tropical Depression One-E at 2100 UTC, located 325 nm south of

     The depression's first day was difficult--modest northeasterly shear,
  combined with interference from the ITCZ in which it was embedded, 
  hindered its development.  One-E initially took an uncharacteristic slow,
  southwesterly track, probably along the isobars of the similarly oriented
  ridge to its north.  Its organization improved beginning early on the
  26th.  Satellite data warranted its upgrade to Tropical Storm Alma at
  0900 UTC, located 515 nm southwest of Acapulco, in spite of northeast-
  erly shear that exposed its LLCC.    The ragged cyclone held on to
  minimal tropical storm status as it tracked slowly to the west.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     Late on the 27th, Alma's fortunes changed and it intensified steadily;
  its track bent west-northwestward along the periphery of the subtropical
  ridge.  A transient eye became visible, and Alma was upgraded to hurri-
  cane status at 2100 UTC on 28 May when located about 680 nm southwest of
  Manzanillo, Mexico.

     The ridge north of Alma was eroded by an upper-level LOW on the 29th
  and the system turned northwest accordingly.  By the 30th, Alma was bear-
  ing due north, and it intensified quickly--by 0300 UTC T-numbers from
  the TAFB were as high as T5.5 - T6.0 (102-115 kts).  The forecaster on
  duty stated that because the Dvorak technique often overestimated the
  intensity of strengthening NEP storms, the MSW was adjusted to a
  conservative 90 kts at 0300 UTC.  Alma's MSW peaked at 95 kts at 1500
  UTC on 30 May, with an estimated CP of 965 mb, while located roughly
  630 nm west of Manzanillo.  This estimate was conservative, however, as
  TAFB and SAB estimates were at T5.5 at this time.  Alma commenced a
  weakening trend immediately afterward due to increasing shear and cooler
  SSTs.   Interestingly, CI estimates remained at 100 kts until 2100 UTC.

     Alma decelerated and became quasi-stationary on the 31st as steering
  currents collapsed.  The cyclone weakened rapidly, dropping below hurri-
  cane strength at 1500 UTC on the 31st--by then most of its convection
  had been stripped away by shear, or starved by cool SSTs and dry air.
  Alma weakened to depression strength at 0300 UTC on the 1st, its central
  pressure having risen 27 mb in only a day.  The final advisory on Trop-
  ical Depression Alma was issued at 1500 UTC on 1 June when it was located
  roughly 650 nm west of Manzanillo.  A remnant vortex persisted in the
  region until 4 June.

  C. Damage and Casualties

     No casualties or damage are known to have resulted from Hurricane

  NORTHWEST PACIFIC (NWP) - North Pacific Ocean West of Longitude 180

  Activity for May:  1 tropical depression
                     1 super typhoon

                         Sources of Information

     Most of the information presented below is based upon tropical
  cyclone warnings and significant tropical weather outlooks issued
  by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U. S. Air Force and
  Navy (JTWC), located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.   In the companion
  tropical cyclone tracks file, I normally annotate track coordinates
  from some of the various Asian warning centers when their center
  positions differ from JTWC's by usually 40-50 nm or more.   All
  references to sustained winds imply a 1-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise noted.

     Michael V. Padua of Naga City in the Philippines, owner of the
  Typhoon 2000 website, normally sends me cyclone tracks based upon
  warnings issued by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the
  Philippines' Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services
  Administration (PAGASA).  Also, Huang Chunliang of Fuzhou City, China,
  sends me each month tracks obtained from warnings issued by the
  National Meteorological Center of China (NMCC), the Central Weather
  Bureau of Taiwan (CWBT) and the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO).  A very
  special thanks to Michael and Chunliang for the assistance they so
  reliably provide.

     In the title line for each storm I have referenced all the cyclone
  names/numbers I have available:   JTWC's depression number, the 
  JMA-assigned name (if any), JMA's tropical storm numeric designator,
  and PAGASA's name for systems forming in or passing through their
  area of warning responsibility.

               Northwest Pacific Tropical Activity for May

     Two tropical cyclones formed in May in the Northwest Pacific basin.
  One of these remained a tropical depression, but the other intensified
  into the year's second super typhoon (per JTWC's warnings).  The storm,
  Hagibis, formed a couple hundred miles south of Guam, moved westward,
  then turned northward, passing west of the Marianas Islands.  Typhoon
  Hagibis did not reach its peak intensity of 140 kts until after it had
  recurved and was moving northeastward.

     Tropical Depression 06W, named Dagul (meaning a big man) by PAGASA,
  formed in the South China Sea approximately 425 nm west-northwest of
  Manila at 0600 UTC on 27 May (per JMA's warnings).   JTWC and PAGASA
  began issuing warnings on the system at 28/0000 UTC when it was located
  roughly 375 nm northwest of Manila.   TD-06W/Dagul moved slowly in a
  general north-northeasterly direction, reaching a point about 85 nm
  west of the southern tip of Taiwan by 1200 UTC on the 29th.  PAGASA
  and JMA estimated the 10-min avg MSW at 30 kts, but JTWC's intensity
  remained at 25 kts throughout the period of warning.  The 29/1200 UTC
  warning was the final one issued by JTWC, but PAGASA followed the system
  through 30/0000 UTC and JMA issued bulletins through 1800 UTC on 30 May.
  PAGASA's coordinates take the center of Dagul across southern Taiwan,
  but JMA's 29/1200 UTC position was well to the south and east of JTWC's
  and PAGASA's.   JMA's track takes the center northeastward, just skimming
  the southeastern coast of Taiwan.  The final bulletin, at 30/1800 UTC,
  located the center approximately 110 nm southeast of Taipei.  TD-06W/
  Dagul was a broad circulation with the deep convection consistently
  displaced to the southeast of the center.

                           SUPER TYPHOON HAGIBIS
                             (TC-05W / TY 0203)
                                 15 - 22 May

  Hagibis: contributed by the Philippines, means swift, or fast.

  A. Storm Origins

     JTWC issued a STWO at 13/0100 UTC for an area of convection that was
  developing approximately 300 nm south of Chuuk.  A broad area of cycling
  deep convection was associated with a weak LLCC, and a 200-mb analysis
  indicated that the system lay within a region of moderate diffluence.
  By 0600 UTC the system had moved to a position roughly 250 nm south-
  southwest of Chuuk.  An upper-level trough to the northeast and an upper-
  level LOW to the northwest were providing good divergence over the
  system, so the development potential was upgraded to fair.  A TCFA was
  issued at 1600 UTC--deep convection was increasing in the southwestern
  quadrant and a good poleward outflow channel had become established.

     The TCFA was re-issued at 1600 UTC on the 14th.  Recent QuikScat and
  TRMM passes indicated that the LLCC was situated in a monsoon trough
  extending from Palau.  The center was better depicted in 85 GHz imagery
  than in the 37 GHz band.  The LLCC remained equatorward of the sub-
  tropical ridge axis with the stronger winds and convective bands located
  south of the center.  Upper-level southeasterlies, which had been
  creating some shear, had weakened during the previous 12 hours to an
  average speed of 10-15 kts.

     JTWC issued the first warning on Tropical Depression 05W at 0000 UTC
  on 15 May, placing the center approximately 190 nm southwest of Chuuk.
  The system was located in a monsoon trough extending eastward from Palau.
  The initial warning intensity was estimated at 25 kts, and satellite ani-
  mation depicted convective bands developing to the northeast and south-
  west of the LLCC.  The depression continued moving generally northwest-
  ward and by 1200 UTC was located about 375 nm south-southeast of Guam.
  The MSW had been increased to 30 kts at 0600 UTC, and a 15/1126 UTC SSM/I
  pass indicated two banding features, one to the west and one to the south
  of the center.   Satellite intensity estimates at 1800 UTC were 30 and
  35 kts, but the MSW remained at 30 kts for the concurrent warning.  The
  LLCC was displaced to the east of the mid-level circulation, although
  deep convection was increasing in organization.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     JTWC upgraded TD-05W to tropical storm status at 16/0000 UTC while
  also relocating the center 120 nm to the west of the previous warning
  position.  Satellite imagery indicated that the circulation had consol-
  idated to the west nearer the deeper convection.  The cyclone's center
  was located approximately 180 nm south-southeast of Guam, moving north-
  westward at 15 kts.   At 0600 UTC satellite CI estimates were spread out
  from 25 to 45 kts--JTWC held the MSW at 35 kts for the time being.  Deep
  convection was confined to the northern and western quadrants.   The
  center of TS-05W passed a little over 100 nm south of Guam around 0900
  UTC, and at 1200 UTC was located about 90 nm southwest of the island,
  still trekking northwestward.  Convection had deepened near the LLCC,
  and JMA and NMCC upgraded the system to tropical storm status with JMA
  assigning the name Hagibis.   Intensity estimates at 1800 UTC were 35
  and 45 kts, and both JTWC and JMA increased their respective MSW values
  to 40 kts.   Tropical Storm Hagibis was then located roughly 150 nm west
  of Guam and had turned to more of a west-northwesterly heading.  Animated
  water vapor imagery indicated improved outflow as a shortwave trough
  approached from the northwest--convection had responded by increasing
  significantly near the LLCC.

     Hagibis steadily increased in intensity on 17 May.  The storm was
  located approximately 230 nm west of Guam at 17/0000 UTC with peak winds
  estimated at 50 kts.  A 16/2128 UTC microwave pass had depicted a band-
  ing eye feature, and early morning visible imagery indicated a signifi-
  cant increase in deep convection.   JTWC upped the MSW by 5 kts on each
  warning and at 1800 UTC Hagibis was upgraded to a typhoon.  This was
  based on CI estimates of 65 kts, a strong banding feature wrapping in
  from the north, and newly-developed deep convection over the center.
  Typhoon Hagibis was located roughly 370 nm west of Saipan and was at
  the westernmost point of its track--the storm's motion thereafter was
  northward or northeastward.  By 0000 UTC on the 18th Hagibis was tracking
  northward west of Saipan.  JMA upgraded the storm to typhoon status with
  65-kt winds--JTWC's estimated MSW was also 65 kts.   At 1200 UTC Typhoon
  Hagibis was centered approximately 350 nm west-northwest of Saipan and
  was moving northeastward at 8 kts.  (NMCC upgraded Hagibis to typhoon
  status at this time.)  JTWC increased the intensity to 80 kts, based on
  CI estimates of 77 and 90 kts.  The storm's track was being influenced
  by a poleward-oriented (southwest to northeast) mid-level ridge and a
  major shortwave trough to the northwest of the typhoon.

     JTWC increased the MSW to 90 kts at 18/1800 UTC and to 120 kts at
  0000 UTC on the 19th, based on CI estimates of 115 and 127 kts.  The
  typhoon was located about 425 nm south of Iwo Jima and tracking slowly
  northeastward.  Visible and enhanced infrared imagery had revealed the
  development of a convective eye ring feature over the previous six hours,
  which had contributed to a rapid intensification period, and a cloud-free
  13-nm diameter eye.   The MSW was upped to 130 kts at 0600 UTC--making
  Hagibis the second super typhoon of the year--and to the peak value of
  140 kts at 1200 UTC based on CI estimates of 140 kts.  Hagibis was
  centered approximately 330 nm south of Iwo Jima or about 165 nm west-
  southwest of the northernmost Marianas Islands.   The minimum central
  pressure estimated by JMA was 935 mb.  Gale-force winds extended outward
  from the 30-nm diameter eye up to 120 nm in the southeast quadrant while
  50-kt winds reached out from 45-55 nm.  The typhoon was moving northeast-
  ward at 13 kts and this motion had increased to 17 kts by 1800 UTC.  The
  140-kt intensity was maintained at 1800 UTC but Hagibis was beginning to
  show signs of weakening:  the eye had become irregular and the outer
  convective ring had collapsed on the western side of the storm.  The
  inner ring, however, was still intact.

     At 0000 UTC on 20 May Hagibis was located approximately 225 nm south-
  east of Iwo Jima and moving northeastward at 22 kts.  During the day the
  northeastward motion accelerated considerably--by 1800 UTC the storm was
  650 nm east-northeast of Iwo Jima, racing northeastward at 36 kts.  The
  typhoon's intensity began to drop rapidly as Hagibis began to transition
  into an extratropical cyclone.  The MSW was reduced to 125 kts at 0000
  UTC--just under the super typhoon threshold of 130 kts--as CI estimates
  had come down to 115 and 127 kts.  The inner convective ring over the
  western quadrant had collapsed, and the eye had cooled and become cloud-
  filled.   A large cirrus shield had developed to the northeast by 0600
  UTC due to interaction with the jet stream to the northwest of the
  system, and water vapor imagery indicated that a dry slot was being
  entrained into the southeastern quadrant.   By 1800 UTC JTWC had lowered
  the intensity to 90 kts and JMA had reduced their 10-min avg MSW estimate
  to minimal typhoon intensity.

     At 0000 UTC on the 21st Hagibis was located about 900 nm northeast of
  Iwo Jima, racing northeastward at 42 kts.  JTWC lowered the MSW to 75 kts
  based on CI estimates of 77 kts.  Animated water vapor imagery indicated
  very little deep convection in the western semicircle and cold-core
  cumulus wrapping into the center from the southwestern quadrant--extra-
  tropical transition was nearly complete.   JTWC and JMA both lowered the
  intensity to 60 kts at 21/0600 UTC with JTWC issuing their final warn-
  ing.  Hagibis was located about 1200 nm west-northwest of Midway, or
  about 1000 nm east of Tokyo, moving northeastward at 43 kts.  Satellite
  imagery revealed marine stratocumulus surrounding the western semi-
  circle with rapidly weakening convection.   JTWC classified Hagibis as
  completely extratropical while JMA maintained the storm as a tropical
  cyclone for another 12 hours, declaring Hagibis to be extratropical at
  1800 UTC.  By 0600 UTC on 22 May the former super typhoon was a weakening
  gale near the Dateline far to the south of the Aleutian Islands.

  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers

     Intensity estimates between JTWC and JMA were in close agreement up
  to the most intense phase of Hagibis' life.   JTWC's estimated peak MSW
  of 140 kts would be roughly equivalent to a 10-min avg MSW of 120 kts.
  JMA's peak intensity of 90 kts was well under this.  One surprising thing
  was that NMCC's estimated peak 10-min avg MSW was only 80 kts.  Typically
  for intense typhoons NMCC's estimates are usually higher than those from

  D. Damage and Casualties

     No reports of damage or casualties resulting from Super Typhoon
  Hagibis have been received.


  NORTH INDIAN OCEAN (NIO) - Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea

  Activity for May:  1 tropical depression **
                     2 tropical cyclones of gale intensity

  ** - system classified as tropical depression only by Thailand

                         Sources of Information

     Most of the information presented below is based upon tropical
  cyclone warnings and significant tropical weather outlooks issued
  by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U. S. Air Force and
  Navy (JTWC), located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.   Occasionally some
  information may be gleaned from the daily tropical weather outlooks
  and other bulletins issued by the Indian Meteorological Department
  (IMD), which is the World Meteorological Organization's Regional
  Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for the basin.
     The reported maximum sustained winds (MSW) are based on a 1-minute
  averaging period, which is used by all U. S. civilian and military
  weather services for tropical cyclone warnings.     For synoptic
  observations in the North Indian Ocean region, both 10-minute and
  3-minute average winds are employed, but IMD makes no attempt to
  modify the Dvorak scale for estimating tropical cyclone intensity;
  hence, a 1-minute average MSW is implied.  In the North Indian Ocean
  basin JTWC usually does not initiate warnings until a system has
  become well-organized and likely to attain tropical storm status
  within 48 hours.

     The summaries below on Tropical Cyclones 01A and 02B were written
  by John Wallace.

                North Indian Ocean Tropical Activity for May

     May is usually the peak month of the spring tropical cyclone season
  in the North Indian Ocean, and in 2002 May ran true to form.  Two systems
  were classified as tropical cyclones by JTWC, and a third system was
  treated as a tropical depression by the Thai Meteorological Department.
  Tropical Cyclone 01A formed in the Arabian Sea the first week of the
  month as the Northern Hemisphere member of a pair of twin tropical
  cyclones--Tropical Cyclone Kesiny being the Southern Hemisphere cyclone.
  TC-01A made landfall in Oman on the 10th where it reportedly caused
  considerable damage.

     The MJO impulse which spawned TC-01A and Kesiny continued to push on
  eastward and by 10 May had led to the formation of yet another pair
  of tropical cyclones--Indian Ocean "quadruplets".   The Northern Hemi-
  sphere system, Tropical Cyclone 02B, moved northward into Myanmar while
  the Southern Hemisphere twin--Errol--wandered about for a few days north-
  west of Cocos Island and never intensified above minimal tropical cyclone

     Another Bay of Bengal system was treated as a tropical depression by
  the Thai Meteorological Department only.  This system was located about
  475 nm southwest of Chittagong at 1500 UTC on 17 May.  The system moved
  in an east-northeasterly direction and inland into Myanmar.  The final
  bulletin, at 19/0300 UTC, placed the weakening center about 225 nm
  north-northeast of Yangan.  JTWC issued a TCFA for the LOW at 17/2000
  UTC, but a cancellation was issued at 18/1600 UTC which noted that the
  system had moved inland into western Myanmar around 0900 UTC.  Huang
  Chunliang sent me the Thai track for this system.  The maximum winds
  were given as 30 kts, and I do not know if this represents a 1-min or
  10-min average.  Since JTWC estimated the winds at only 20-25 kts in
  their STWOs and TCFA, I treated the winds from the Thai bulletins as a
  1-min avg MSW in the companion cyclone tracks file.   (A special thanks 
  to Chunliang for sending me the information on this system.)

                            TROPICAL CYCLONE
                               6 - 10 May

  A. Storm Origins

     The disturbance that became Tropical Cyclone 01A was first noted in
  the JTWC STWO on 3 May when it was roughly 60 nm south of Dondra Head,
  Sri Lanka.  A LLCC was already present at this time, though it was
  embedded in an equatorial trough.  The incipient disturbance tracked
  roughly west-northwestward over the next two days, then turned north-
  northwestward on the 5th.  Its organization improved significantly on
  the 5th as deep convection expanded over its LLCC under an upper-level
  ridge.  Its organization improved enough to warrant the issue of a TCFA
  at 2300 UTC on 5 May, based on satellite data and ship reports of winds
  to 25 kts in its eastern and northern quadrants.  At 1800 UTC on 6 May
  the first warning was issued on Tropical Cyclone 01A, located roughly
  715 nm west of Bangalore, India.  The cyclone tracked to the northwest
  due to the influence of a subtropical ridge to its north.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     The cyclone reached tropical storm intensity at 0600 UTC on 7 May when
  it was centered approximately 815 nm west of Bangalore.   It briefly
  attained a MSW of 40 kts before weakening to minimal tropical storm
  strength due to easterly shear and the entrainment of desert air.  The
  LLCC was exposed as soon as 1800 UTC on the 7th, a situation that would
  persist throughout its life.  The storm decelerated and turned westward
  before assuming a west-northwesterly track on the 8th.

     Tropical Cyclone 01A did not intensify on the 8th.  This is interest-
  ing in light of the fact that outflow was excellent by late that day,
  particularly in the northern semicircle.  Its LLCC remained exposed with
  the deep convection displaced in the western semicircle.    The storm
  strengthened slightly on the 9th, reaching its peak MSW of 45 kts at
  0600 UTC on 9 May while centered about 240 nm southeast of Mirbat, Oman.
  Ship J8CV5 recorded a MSW of 41 kts south of TC-01A's center at approxi-
  mately 1200 UTC on the 9th.

     The storm turned northwestward and weakened on the 10th due to dry air
  entrainment and land interaction.    Deep convection shifted to the
  southern semicircle, and its LLCC decoupled from the rest of the circu-
  lation.  Landfall was very near Salalah, Oman, at approximately 0900 UTC
  on 10 May with an estimated MSW of 40 kts.  The final advisory on TC-01A
  was issued at 1200 UTC that day when it was located 70 nm west-northwest
  of Mirbat, Oman.

  C. Meteorological Observations

     Fortuitously, there were two weather stations operating near TC-01A's
  point of landfall:  one at Al Ghaydah, Yemen, and one at Salalah, Oman.
  Al Ghaydah reported a south-southeast wind of roughly 25 kts at 0800 UTC
  on the 10th, but it is not known if this wind was a gust or a MSW.  The
  MSLP was 1000 mb at 1200 UTC with a south-southeast wind of 15 kts.  The
  most reliable information from Salalah indicates a peak MSW of roughly
  29 kts from the east-northeast at 0500 UTC on the 10th.  A MSLP of 999 mb
  was recorded concurrently.  Less reliable sources reported a MSLP as high
  as 1013.4 mb at 0500 UTC, even though the MSW estimates nearly match.  In
  addition, this source recorded gusts of 41 kts at 0500 UTC; the MSLP was
  1007.3 mb at 1100 UTC with a MSW of only 14 kts.    Though conflicting,
  both sets of data may be useful.

     The southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula is normally a very
  arid region.   Muscat, on the northern coast of the Peninsula receives
  an average of 100 mm of rain a year while Aden, on the southern coast,
  records a paltry 23 mm of rain per year.  This region was hammered by
  TC-01A's downpours.  Julian Heming, from the UK Meteorological Office,
  provided the following rainfall totals:

     Thumrait                23.8 mm
     Salalah                 58.6 mm - 66.8 mm
     Qairoon Hairiti         250.6 mm

     There is a minor question as to whether TC-01A's intensity was under-
  estimated at landfall.  Meteorologist Julian Heming stated that banana
  and palm trees were uprooted in Salalah, where gusts to 57 kts were
  reported.  Dave Membery states that a forecaster at Seeb reported gusts
  exceeding 60 kts.  It is unlikely, however, that TC-01A was significantly
  more intense than 40 kts at landfall, given its poor organization.   A
  gust factor of 1.6, standard for overland tropical cyclones, reduces a
  60-kt gust to a 38-kt MSW, which agrees well with the current landfall
  intensity estimate.  Nevertheless, the damage reports might give skeptics

  D. Damage and Casualties

     Damage in Oman was substantial from Tropical Cyclone 01A.  The Oman
  Times reported it to be the first storm to hit Salalah in nearly twenty
  years, resulting in "tremendous damage to life and property".  There was
  reportedly substantial damage in the rural areas of Oman, with rooftops
  blown away, broken power and communications grids, and livestock losses.
  Indeed, some places were described as looking like a "war torn area".
  There were at least two known deaths and five missing as of the time
  of this writing.

                            TROPICAL CYCLONE
                              10 - 12 May

     The tropical disturbance that become Tropical Cyclone 02B was first
  noted west of the island of Sumatra on 7 May.  It was initially little
  more than cyclic convection that flared up beneath an upper-level ridge.
  The disturbance tracked slowly northward with no significant development
  until early on the 9th, when an ill-defined LLCC formed.   Its organi-
  zation improved markedly late that day, warranting the issue of a TCFA
  at 1030 UTC.  Quikscat data and Dvorak analyses supported the issue of
  warnings on Tropical Cyclone 02B at 1200 UTC on 10 May while located
  125 nm southeast of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.

     The cyclone's convection was initially mercurial, and "pulsed" over
  time, but become more persistent on the 11th.  It reached its peak MSW
  of 45 kts at 0600 UTC on 11 May when located 250 nm south of Yangan
  (formerly Rangoon), Myanmar.  TC-02B maintained this intensity until near
  the time of landfall, though not without further convective cycles.  The
  storm continued its slow, roughly northward track under the influence of
  a mid-level ridge to its east.

     Tropical Cyclone 02B accelerated unexpectedly and turned north-
  northeastward--landfall was at roughly 2300 UTC on 11 May just east of
  Yangan with the MSW estimated at 35 kts.   According to the JTWC, Yangan
  experienced gusts of 25 kts at this time.  The storm quickly weakened
  to a depression, and the last warning was issued at 0600 UTC on 12 May,
  placing the center about 95 nm north-northeast of Yangan.

     No casualties or deaths are known to have resulted from this system.


  SOUTHWEST INDIAN OCEAN (SWI) - South Indian Ocean West of Longitude 90E

  Activity for May:  1 tropical cyclone

                          Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Southwest Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are the warnings issued by
  the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre on La Reunion Island, part of
  Meteo France (MFR), and the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre
  for the basin.    However, tropical cyclones in this region are named 
  by the sub-regional warning centres on Mauritius and Madagascar with
  longitude 55E being the demarcation line between their respective
  areas of warning responsibility.  The La Reunion centre only advises
  these agencies regarding the intensity of tropical systems.  References
  to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period unless otherwise

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from MFR's coordinates by usually
  40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the source of the
  1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included in the
  tracks file.    Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

              Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Activity for May

     After a quiet month, the Southwest Indian Ocean produced its final
  tropical cyclone of the active 2001-2002 season.  Kesiny began developing
  late in April as a MJO impulse moved eastward across the Indian Ocean.
  This impulse was responsible for the formation of four tropical cyclones
  across the Indian Ocean during the first two weeks of May.    Tropical
  Cyclone Kesiny formed as a twin with TC-02A in the Arabian Sea.  The
  storm moved west-southwestward and eventually struck the northern tip
  of Madagascar as a minimal tropical cyclone (i.e., hurricane) where it
  was quite destructive.

                          TROPICAL CYCLONE KESINY
                             (MFR 14 / TC-23S)
                             30 April - 11 May

  A. Storm Origins

     The origins of late-season Tropical Cyclone Kesiny lay within an area
  of convection which developed on 30 April approximately 175 nm west-
  northwest of Diego Garcia.  Water vapor imagery showed pronounced out-
  flow over the broad LLCC which was associated with a near-equatorial
  trough.  The deeper convection was located well south of the center.
  The disturbance was relocated farther to the west on 1 May, but then
  commenced a slow drift to the east-southeast.  JTWC issued a TCFA for
  the system at 2100 UTC on 2 May based upon improving convective organ-
  ization.  The center of the broad LLCC was then located approximately
  450 nm east-southeast of the Seychelles Islands.  The TCFA was re-issued
  at 03/0600 UTC, placing the center about 400 nm west-southwest of Diego
  Garcia.  Also at 0600 UTC, MFR upgraded the system to tropical depression
  status.  The LLCC had tracked farther eastward than anticipated under the
  steering influence of strong equatorial westerlies.  Shortly afterward,
  around 0900 UTC, JTWC issued their first warning on TC-23S with an
  initial warning intensity of 30 kts.

     JTWC upped the MSW (1-min avg) to 35 kts at 1800 UTC based on Quik-
  Scat data.  The depression at this time was moving southward at 6 kts,
  but a mid-level ridge south of Diego Garcia was forecast to build,
  creating a more southwesterly steering influence.   A QuikScat pass
  around 0600 UTC on 4 May reported 40-kt winds, although the LLCC was
  still east of the deep convection.   Based on the QuikScat data, JTWC
  increased the 1-min avg MSW to 40 kts while Mauritius upgraded the system
  to Tropical Storm Kesiny with 35-kt winds (10-min avg).   Kesiny was
  located at the time roughly 400 nm west-southwest of Diego Garcia.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     Tropical Storm Kesiny gradually increased in intensity--by 0600 UTC
  on 5 May both MFR and JTWC had increased their respective MSW estimates
  to 45 kts even though the majority of the deep convection remained
  decoupled to the west of the center.   Kesiny was moving westward at
  8 kts and was forecast to move generally to the west-southwest, guided
  by a mid-level ridge south of the storm.   Winds had reached 55 kts
  (from both warning centers) by 1800 UTC.  Outflow was improving over the
  northwest quadrant and the vortex center had moved under the deep con-
  vection.   A strengthening HIGH southeast of Madagascar was forecast to
  continue steering the storm on a west-southwesterly track.

     By 0600 UTC on 6 May Kesiny had reached a position approximately
  675 nm east-northeast of the northern tip of Madagascar, or about 475 nm
  southeast of the Seychelles.  Satellite CI estimates were 55 to 60 kts,
  but a recent QuikScat pass had indicated winds of 65-70 kts in the
  southern semicircle and earlier microwave imagery had revealed a possible
  banding eye feature.  MFR increased the intensity to 60 kts while JTWC
  upped the 1-min avg MSW estimate to 65 kts.   The intensity estimates
  were the same at 1800 UTC when Kesiny was located about 600 nm east of
  Madagascar.  The storm was moving west-southwestward at 4 kts, and
  animated water vapor imagery indicated improving equatorward outflow and
  a weak poleward outflow channel.

     The intensification trend, however, was reversed on 7 May and Kesiny
  weakened significantly, apparently due to weakening outflow in both
  channels.  MFR lowered the MSW to 55 kts at 07/0000 UTC, and to 50 kts
  at 0600 UTC.   JTWC dropped the 1-min avg MSW to 55 kts at 0600 UTC,
  and by 1800 UTC both centers were reporting the intensity at 45 kts.
  Kesiny at the time was located about 500 nm east of the northern tip of
  Madagascar, moving toward the west-southwest at 6 kts.   Convection in
  all quadrants was weakening in the presence of poor outflow conditions.
  Kesiny's intensity reached a local minimum around 0600 UTC on the 8th 
  when it was centered about 400 nm south of the Seychelles, or approxi-
  mately 350 nm east of Madagascar's northern tip.  Both MFR and JTWC had 
  lowered their respective MSW estimates to 40 kts, based on CI estimates 
  of 35 and 45 kts.  The LLCC was partially-exposed, but a resurgence of
  convection was seen occurring in the western semicircle.    Kesiny was 
  forecast to continue tracking west-southwestward without significant 

     However, the storm's intensity began to increase again as the 8th
  progressed.  MFR upped the intensity to 45 kts at 1200 UTC and to 50 kts
  six hours later, while JTWC bumped the 1-min avg MSW estimate back to
  45 kts at 1800 UTC.    The storm's outflow was improving and Kesiny
  responded by intensifying once more.  The strengthening storm was located
  at 1800 UTC about 230 nm east of the northern tip of Madagascar, moving
  westward at 11 kts.  By 0600 UTC on 9 May both MFR and JTWC had increased
  their respective MSW estimates to 60 kts, based on CI values of 55 and
  65 kts.  The storm was only 90 nm east of northern Madagascar, and recent
  visible satellite imagery had revealed a developing banding eye feature.
  The system lay under good diffluent flow which had aided intensification.

     MFR upgraded Kesiny to tropical cyclone (hurricane) status at 1200 UTC
  with the MSW estimated at 70 kts.  The cyclone was almost on the coast-
  line of northeastern Madagascar about 75 nm southeast of the island's
  northern tip.  By 1800 UTC the storm had crossed the northern extremity
  of the island and was just inland near the west coast.  The banding eye
  feature had disappeared and CI estimates were 45 and 55 kts.    JTWC
  dropped their MSW estimate to 55 kts (1-min avg) while MFR reported the
  intensity at 45 kts (10-min avg).  The center was back over the waters
  of the Mozambique Channel at 10/0000 UTC, and by 0600 UTC had moved
  approximately 100 nm offshore.  The MSW estimates from MFR and JTWC were
  35 and 40 kts, respectively, and the much-weakened storm was moving
  west-southwestward at 10 kts.

     Instead of undergoing a modest re-intensification over the Channel as
  had initially been forecast, Kesiny continued to weaken and turned south-
  ward, keeping the center near the coastline of northwestern Madagascar.
  MFR downgraded Kesiny to a tropical depression at 1200 UTC and JTWC
  followed suit at 1800 UTC.  The system was located about 50 nm northeast
  of Mahajanga, moving south-southwestward at 8 kts.  The winds had dropped
  to 25 kts by 11/0600 UTC and MFR issued their final bulletin on Kesiny.
  The depression had made landfall at 10/1830 UTC about 40 nm northeast of
  Mahajanga and was tracking southward at only 2 kts.  JTWC issued their
  final warning on Kesiny at 11/1800 UTC, placing the center inland to the
  northeast of Mahajanga.  The system was forecast to drift southward and
  dissipate over land.

  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers

     Maximum sustained winds as estimated by La Reunion and JTWC were in
  very good agreement for the duration of Tropical Cyclone Kesiny, being
  within 10 kts of each other after conversion to the same time averaging
  period.  Indeed most of the time they were within 5 kts of each other.
  JTWC's warnings did not reflect the peak intensity of 70 kts assigned
  by MFR just before Kesiny made landfall in Madagascar, but this was due
  to the 12-hour interval between JTWC's warnings.  At 0600 UTC on 9 May
  both warning centers estimated 60 kts--by the time of the next JTWC
  warning at 1800 UTC, the storm had made landfall and was weakening.

  D. Damage and Casualties

     Even though not as intense as some destructive cyclones which have
  struck Madagascar, Kesiny had precipitation power.   Torrential rains
  led to severe and widespread flooding and landslides.  Differing numbers
  of fatalities were reported in various press releases, but it appears
  that at least 20 and possibly as many as 33 persons died, primarily
  due to drowning and by being buried in landslides.  An additional 180 
  were reported as missing--many of these will possibly be added to the 
  fatality count--and over 1200 persons were injured.  A report of the 
  Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that 
  average winds of 60-65 kts with gusts to 98 kts were recorded, but the 
  particulars of time and location were not given.  Over 520,000 persons 
  were adversely affected by the cyclone and approximately 5000 were left 

     The port city of Toamasina was hard-hit.  Much of the city was flooded
  and all roads leading into the town were cut-off--the only access was by
  sea or air.    Residents were without electricity and fresh water for
  several days.  Some rivers in the region reportedly rose from 12 to 18
  metres above their normal levels.  In northern Madagascar the rice, bean
  and maize crops, traditionally harvested between early May and mid-June,
  were hard-hit with 50 to 75% of the crops destroyed.  More information
  about the effects of Tropical Cyclone Kesiny can be obtained at the
  following URL:> .



  Activity for May:  1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity

                         Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are 
  the warnings and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning
  Centres at Perth, Western Australia, and Darwin, Northern Territory. 
  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Australian centres' coor-
  dinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the
  source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included
  in the tracks file.   Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

                 Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean
                         Tropical Activity for May

     An impulse of the MJO left the African coast at the end of April and
  migrated eastward across the Indian Ocean.  During the first week it was
  responsible for spawning a cross-equatorial pair of cyclones:  Kesiny
  in the Southwest Indian Ocean and TC-02A in the Arabian Sea.  As the
  enhanced convection reached the eastern Indian Ocean, another pair of
  systems formed--making a set of what could be termed tropical cyclone
  "quadruplets".  TC-02B formed in the Bay of Bengal on the 10th while
  Tropical Cyclone Errol was named on the 9th well north of Cocos Island.
  Errol meandered about for several days but never intensified beyond
  minimal gale intensity.  At 1200 UTC on 10 May, all four Indian Ocean
  systems were of gale force, based on JTWC's warnings, although Kesiny
  was rapidly weakening.

                           TROPICAL CYCLONE ERROL
                                 8 - 16 May

  A. Storm Origins

     Tropical Cyclone Errol developed as the southern member of a pair
  of cyclone twins, the Northern Hemisphere member being Tropical Cyclone
  02B in the eastern Bay of Bengal.  An area of convection developed on
  8 May approximately 80 nm west of Sumatra with cycling scattered con-
  vection which persisted for more than 12 hours.  A 200-mb analysis
  indicated that the disturbance was situated in the divergent region of
  an upper-level ridge anchored over Thailand.  The suspicious area was
  relocated farther south at 1800 UTC with no indication of a significant
  LLCC.  Early on the 9th the disturbance began to undergo rather rapid
  organization.  At 0400 UTC the Perth TCWC upgraded the system to Tropical
  Cyclone Errol with 35-kt winds while at 0600 UTC JTWC issued a TCFA for
  Errol.  Deep convection had increased, although it was sheared west of
  the LLCC, and a recent QuikScat pass had indicated 30-kt winds east of
  the center.  Satellite intensity estimates were 25-30 kts, and a 200-mb
  analysis indicated that the system was equatorward of the ridge axis
  in a region of moderate easterly vertical shear.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     JTWC issued their first warning on Errol at 09/1800 UTC with the
  center located approximately 300 nm north-northwest of Cocos Island.
  JTWC estimated the MSW (1-min avg) at 30 kts while Perth maintained the
  10-min avg MSW at 35 kts.  A recent QuikScat pass had indicated winds
  to 35 kts west of the LLCC.   Errol was forecast to track westward under
  the steering influence of a low to mid-level ridge, currently south-
  southwest of the cyclone but forecast to slide eastward.  At 0600 UTC
  on 10 May Errol's center was relocated eastward to a position about
  360 nm north of Cocos Island.   JTWC increased their 1-min avg MSW
  to 35 kts based on continued QuikScat winds to 35 kts west of the
  exposed LLCC.  During the 10th Errol remained quasi-stationary, perhaps
  drifting to the west slightly.  The intensity remained static with deep
  convection over the center cycling in intensity.

     By 0400 UTC on 11 May CI estimates had increased a bit to 45 kts.
  JTWC upped their 1-min avg MSW estimate to 45 kts while Perth maintained
  the intensity at 35 kts.  Errol continued drifting westward and by 1800
  UTC had reached a point approximately 350 nm north-northwest of Cocos
  Island.  A 37 GHz TRMM image at 11/1602 UTC suggested that a weak
  secondary circulation lay directly west of Errol.  Current intensity
  estimates had dropped a bit by early on the 12th and JTWC lowered their
  reported MSW to 40 kts at 12/0600 UTC.   At 1800 UTC the center of Trop-
  ical Cyclone Errol was located roughly 300 nm north-northwest of Cocos
  Island, moving south-southwestward at 6 kts.   A recent microwave image
  indicated that the deep convection was displaced to the southwest of the
  LLCC.   Errol was forecast to track slowly southwestward toward a weak-
  ness in the subtropical ridge.

     At 0400 UTC on 13 May Perth made a significant relocation of Errol's
  center southward and eastward--to a position roughly 250 nm north-
  northwest of Cocos Island.  The system was moving south-southeastward
  at 6 kts and deep convection was sheared 45 nm to the south-southwest of
  the LLCC.  Satellite intensity estimates were still 35 and 45 kts, but
  both Perth and JTWC reported the intensity at 35 kts.   At 1800 UTC the
  partially-exposed center of Errol was approximately 200 nm north-
  northwest of Cocos Island and appeared to be weakening.  At 2100 UTC
  Perth cancelled the gale warning and issued their final warning on the
  cyclone.  JTWC issued their final warning at 14/0600 UTC, placing the
  center 130 nm north-northwest of Cocos Island, moving southeastward at
  7 kts with maximum winds of only 25 kts.   The residual LOW continued
  moving southeastward and was last mentioned in a STWO from Perth at
  0400 UTC on the 16th when it was located about 500 nm southwest of
  Christmas Island.

  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers

     Intensity estimates between Perth and JTWC agreed very well for Errol.
  During the time the cyclone was in warning status, Perth estimated the
  maximum 10-min avg wind at 35 kts.  For most of Errol's history, JTWC
  also estimated the MSW (1-min avg) at 35 kts, but did raise the MSW to
  45 kts on the 11th.   This would equate to a 10-min avg MSW of 40 kts,
  which is only 5 kts higher than Perth's estimate.

  D. Damage and Casualties

     No damage or casualties are known to have resulted from Tropical
  Cyclone Errol.



  Activity for May:  1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity

                        Sources of Information

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northeast Australia/Coral Sea tropical cyclones are the warnings
  and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at
  Brisbane, Queensland, and Darwin, Northern Territory, and on very
  infrequent occasions, by the centre at Port Moresby, Papua New
  Guinea.  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging
  period unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Australian centres' coor-
  dinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the
  source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included
  in the tracks file.   Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

                      Northeast Australia/Coral Sea
                        Tropical Activity for May

     The TCWC at Brisbane once issued tropical cyclone warnings for the
  entire tropical region lying east of Darwin's AOR to longitude 160E.
  However, when the former Australian territory of Papua New Guinea was
  granted independence in 1973, that nation established a meteorological
  service and Brisbane turned over tropical cyclone warning responsibility
  to them for a limited region immediately surrounding Papua New Guinea
  and extending eastward to 160E generally north of latitude 10S.  Very
  few tropical cyclones form and reach gale intensity in this region.
  Tropical Cyclone Upia in May, 2002, was the first system named by the
  Papua New Guinea TCWC at Port Moresby since Tropical Cyclone Adel in
  May, 1993.  Upia remained a fairly weak cyclone and did not significantly
  affect any islands in the area.

                           TROPICAL CYCLONE UPIA
                                25 - 29 May

  A. Storm Origins

     Tropical Cyclone Upia was the first tropical cyclone to develop within
  the limited AOR of the TCWC at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in nine
  years.  The last system forming in this region was Tropical Cyclone Adel
  in May, 1993.    (A description of Adel can be found in the tropical
  cyclone summary for December, 2001.)   On 23 May an area of convection
  developed approximately 120 nm north of the Solomon Islands.  A well-
  defined mid-level vortex was present but the LLCC was broad and difficult
  to locate.  QuikScat data indicated maximum winds of 20-25 kts while a
  200-mb analysis revealed that the disturbance was located equatorward of
  a ridge axis in a region of good diffluence and weak vertical shear.
  JTWC assigned a fair development potential to the disturbance.

     At 0600 UTC on 24 May the partially-exposed broad LLCC was located
  approximately 75 nm north of the Solomon Islands.  Deep convection was
  cycling but was increasing in areal extent near the LLCC.  An area of
  deep convection was also persisting southwest of the center.  JTWC issued
  a TCFA at 25/0130 UTC, placing the center about 100 nm southwest of
  Bougainville.  A developing banding feature was wrapping in toward the
  LLCC from the southeast, and the MSW was estimated at 25-30 kts.  The
  first warning from JTWC was issued at 1200 UTC on the 25th with the MSW
  (1-min avg) estimated at 35 kts.  A recent SSM/I pass had depicted deep
  convection beginning to build over the LLCC with a convective band
  developing in the southeast quadrant.  By 1800 UTC the center of TC-25P
  was located approximately 165 nm southwest of Bougainville, moving south-
  westward at 4 kts.  Also at 1800 UTC, the Port Moresby warning center
  issued the first advisory on Tropical Cyclone Upia, assigning a 10-min
  avg MSW of 40 kts.

  B. Track and Intensity History

     At 0000 UTC on 26 May Upia's center was located approximately 165 nm
  southwest of Bougainville.   Moderate upper-level northeasterlies were
  hampering outflow over the northern half of the storm.  Strengthening
  low-level tropical easterlies appeared to be offsetting the low-level
  equatorial westerlies, thereby imparting a temporary southwesterly drift
  to the system.  By 0600 UTC Upia was moving slowly south-southeastward
  at 4 kts, influenced by a low to mid-level subtropical ridge to the
  east.  By 1800 UTC the cyclone was moving southward at 4 kts with the
  respective MSW estimates from Port Moresby and JTWC being 40 and 35 kts,
  based on CI estimates of 35 and 45 kts.  Some warming of cloud tops had
  been noted along with a decrease in the areal coverage of deep convec-
  tion.  Water vapor imagery and a 200-mb analysis indicated that Upia had
  slipped poleward of the subtropical ridge axis.

     By 27/0000 UTC the weak tropical cyclone had become quasi-stationary.
  Multi-spectral imagery at 26/2030 UTC had depicted a fully-exposed LLCC
  about 40 nm north of the previous warning position.  Some recent pictures
  revealed that convection had started to rebuild over the center; however,
  apparently as soon as new convection formed it was sheared to the south
  by upper-level northerlies overlying the system.  At 0600 UTC Upia's
  fully-exposed center was drifting northward with the nearest convection
  located 65 nm to the south.  By 0000 UTC on 28 May the cyclone was once
  more drifting south-southeastward, being located approximately 180 nm
  south-southwest of Bougainville.  The LLCC was located just north of
  some new deep convection which had redeveloped during the previous few
  hours.  Port Moresby upped the intensity to 50 kts while JTWC's 1-min
  avg MSW remained at 35 kts.

     At 28/0600 UTC JTWC issued their final warning on Tropical Cyclone
  Upia.  The intensity was lowered to 30 kts based on CI estimates of
  30 kts and a recent QuikScat pass which had indicated winds of 30 kts
  near the center.  At the same time Port Moresby decreased their MSW
  estimate to 45 kts.   The final warning on Upia from Port Moresby (that
  I have available) was issued at 1800 UTC, further reducing the winds to
  35 kts.  The system subsequently moved south of their AOR and into Bris-
  bane's region of warning responsibility.  At 29/0600 UTC Brisbane issued
  a warning downgrading Upia to an ex-tropical cyclone.  The system had
  merged with a large tropical trough with winds still forecast to reach
  near gale force in the vicinity of the LOW.  The final bulletin on the
  former tropical cyclone, at 1800 UTC, placed the LOW approximately 250 nm
  west-southwest of Honiara on Guadalcanal.

  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers

     Intensity estimates from Port Moresby and Brisbane tended to be some-
  what higher than JTWC's estimates.   JTWC never reported the 1-min avg
  MSW for Upia any higher than 35 kts.   Port Moresby estimated the MSW
  (presumably 10-min avg) at 40 kts (equivalent to a 1-min avg MSW of
  45 kts) for most of the cyclone's history, increasing to 50 kts at
  28/0000 UTC with an estimated central pressure of 995 mb.  This would be
  the equivalent of a 1-min avg MSW of 60 kts--considerably more intense
  than the 35 kts estimated by JTWC.  On the next warning at 28/0600 UTC,
  JTWC reduced the 1-min avg MSW to 30 kts while Port Moresby lowered the
  10-min avg MSW estimate to 45 kts, and further to 35 kts at 1800 UTC.

  D. Damage and Casualties

     No reports of damage or casualties resulting from Tropical Cyclone
  Upia have been received.

  E. Additional Discussion

     I'd especially like to thank Jeff Callaghan of the Brisbane TCWC for
  alerting me to the development of Upia and for passing along some of
  Port Moresby's warnings.  It seems appropriate to conclude this discus-
  sion of Tropical Cyclone Upia with the text of an e-mail from Jeff:  "We
  here in Brisbane would like to acknowledge the great work the PNG cyclone
  forecasters did during Upia.  They don't get many tropical cyclones in
  their area of responsibility, but despite this they retain great interest
  in these systems and during the event made excellent use of new web-based
  technologies such as Jeff Hawkin's SSMI/TRMM site, Chris Velden's CIMSS
  site and the various QuikScat sites.  This surely is an example of how
  the web can help forecasters in countries like PNG."


  SOUTH PACIFIC (SPA) - South Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 160E

  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones

                              EXTRA FEATURE

     In order to shorten the amount of typing in preparing the narrative
  material, I have been in the habit of freely using abbreviations and
  acronyms.   I have tried to define most of these with the first usage
  in a given summary, but I may have missed one now and then.  Most of
  these are probably understood by a majority of readers but perhaps a
  few aren't clear to some.  To remedy this I developed a Glossary of
  Abbreviations and Acronyms which I first included in the July, 1998
  summary.  I don't normally include the Glossary in most months in
  order to help keep them from being too long.  If anyone would like to
  receive a copy of the Glossary, please e-mail me and I'll be happy
  to send them a copy.


  AUTHOR'S NOTE:  This summary should be considered a very preliminary 
  overview of the tropical cyclones that occur in each month. The cyclone
  tracks (provided separately) will generally be based upon operational
  warnings issued by the various tropical cyclone warning centers.  The
  information contained therein may differ somewhat from the tracking and
  intensity information obtained from a "best-track" file which is based
  on a detailed post-seasonal analysis of all available data. Information
  on where to find official "best-track" files from the various warning
  centers will be passed along from time to time.

    The track files are not being sent via e-mail.  They can be retrieved
  in the following manner:

       (a) FTP to: []
       (b) Login as: anonymous
       (c) For a password use your e-mail address
       (d) Go to "data" subdirectory (Type: cd data)
       (e) Set file type to ASCII (Type: ascii)
       (f) Transfer file (Type: get remote_file_name local_file_name )
           (The files will be named with an obvious nomenclature--using
           May as an example:   may02.tracks)
       (g) To exit FTP, type: quit

    Both the summaries and the track files are standard text files
  created in DOS editor.  Download to disk and use a viewer such as
  Notepad or DOS editor to view the files.

     The first summary in this series covered the month of October,
  1997.   If anyone wishes to retrieve any of the previous summaries,
  they may be downloaded from the aforementioned FTP site at HRD.  The
  summary files are catalogued with the nomenclature:  may02.sum, for

    Back issues can also be obtained from the following websites
  (courtesy of Michael Bath, Michael V. Padua and Michael Pitt):>> OR>>

     Another website where much information about tropical cyclones may
  be found is the website for the UK Meteorological Office.  Their site
  contains a lot of statistical information about tropical cyclones
  globally on a monthly basis.  The URL is:>


     JTWC now has available on its website the complete Annual Tropical 
  Cyclone Report (ATCR) for 2001 (2000-2001 season for the Southern 
  Hemisphere).  ATCRs for earlier years are available also.

     The URL is:>

     Also, TPC/NHC has available on its webpage nice "technicolor"
  tracking charts for the 2001 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, preliminary storm reports for all the 2001
  Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific cyclones are now available, as
  well as track charts and reports on storms from earlier years.

     The URL is:>

     A special thanks to Michael Bath of Wollongbar, New South Wales,
  Australia, for assisting me with proofreading the summaries.


  Gary Padgett
  E-mail:  [email protected]
  Phone:  334-222-5327


  John Wallace (Northeast Pacific and North Indian Ocean)
  E-mail: [email protected]


Document: summ0205.htm
Updated: 27th December 2006

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