Typhoon Paka

Super Typhoon Paka ( 05C ) ( in the range of PAGASA also super typhoon rubing ) was an exceptionally powerful and long-lived tropical cyclone, which caused significant damage to the southern Mariana Islands in December 1997.

Paka is the Hawaiian name for Pat

Storm History

When the weather situation in the northern Pacific moved into a pattern of early winter from a late autumn weather, convection extending from the monsoon trough east of the international date line addition. In late November 1997, an equatorial westerly winds developed in a double gutter on both sides of the equator; which is located in the southern hemisphere evolved directly to Tropical Storm Pam, while the other in the northern hemisphere a convection area was formed, which was about 2000 km southwest of Hawaii. The disturbance gradually organized itself better, and on 28 November was from her that Tropical Depression Five -C, about 465 km west- northwest of Palmyra Atoll. From the operational side, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center ( CPHC ) only began on December 2, with the issuance of severe weather warnings on the system.

Tropical Depression continued his train continued north- northeast direction and managed not initially to increase substantially. On 1 December, it turned due to a strong high pressure area on its northern side, together with a meteorological trough, which extended westward over the international date line in a westerly direction. On December 2, the CPHC classified the low pressure area due to satellite observations for Tropical Storm Paka, as the system is about 1,000 km south- southeast of Johnston Atoll was. Because of high clouds weather observers had difficulties at times, a correct assessment of the circulation at low altitude. To become a tropical storm, Paka remained nearly stationary for about two days before the storm wandered again in a westerly direction. Due to warm water temperatures, the system intensified steadily and on December 3, and on the following day, the storm wind speeds reached 105 km / h before he came to dry air and weakened. During a twelve-hour period on December 6, the wind speeds have decreased to minimal tropical storm conditions. Then Paka began again with an intensification and on 7 December exceeded the storm the date line in the western North Pacific with one-minute sustained winds of 80 km / h

After reaching the western North Pacific, the observation duties went from CPHC over to the Japan Meteorological Agency ( JMA ) and by this Paka was first performed as a storm with 10-minute wind speeds of 65 km. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center ( JTWC ) unofficially took over the tasks of the warning devices of the United States Department of Defense. Paka continued its intensification continued after crossing the date line and held on the evening of 7 December and the following morning wind speeds of 115 km / h ( 1- minütig constantly, JTWC ). Wind shear in the height however, took a bit later, and the system was again weaker. By 1200 UTC on 9 December led the JTWC Paka as a tropical storm with wind speeds of 85 km / h and predicted a further weakening, due to Oberflächenwetteranalsysen a continued high level of heavy winds was adopted. On December 10, the shear began to dissolve slowly, as the storm drew upon the Marshall Islands and the following night was incremented by the JTWC Typhoon Paka on. Officially Paka was only classified as a typhoon, when the JMA at 0000 UTC on 11 December wind speeds of 120 km / h (10 - minütig constantly, JMA ).

After Paka had become a typhoon, enhanced the system fairly quickly and on 12 December the typhoon reached 10-minute winds of 150 km / h or 1 -minute wind speeds of 215 km / h ( JTWC ). As the forward speed increased then, the system slowed slightly and JTWC at 0600 UTC on December 13 classified the typhoon with wind speeds of 175 km / h (1 - minütig ongoing). However, once again gained power and on December 14, 1200 UTC, the storm reached the unofficial designation super typhoon while he was still far in the open Pacific Ocean. The JMA classified the typhoon with 10-minute continuous winds of 175 km / h After the storm its first climax with wind speeds of 260 km / h ( 1- minütig ongoing) reached on December 15, Typhoon Paka began to weaken, as he reached the southern Mariana Islands. The NEXRAD Doppler radar on Guam revealed the presence of a primary eye with a diameter of 74 km and a fragmented inner wall of clouds at 19 km in diameter. The storm slowed down and started to become stronger as he continued moving to the west, and on 16 December at 0530 UTC happened northern half of Pacas outer edge of the eye, the island of Rota again; 20 minutes later pulled the southern part of the inner edge of clouds over the north of Guam. Around 1200 UTC moved the center of Paka passed about 28 kilometers north of Hagåtña, reaching the next point of his approach to Guam.

Typhoon Paka continued to increase steadily in intensity after the typhoon had passed the Marianas and late on 17 December, he reached the peak of 185 km / h ( 10 - minütig ongoing), about 440 km west- northwest of Guam. On 18 December by the JTWC wind speeds of 295 km / h were measured (1- minütig ongoing). On December 19 Paka joined the responsibility of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAGASA ) and rubing was baptized. Shortly after Paka wandered through an area of continually -increasing wind shear that caused a trend towards steady weakening of Paka. On December 21 Paka was graded to a tropical storm and on 23 December said the Japanese weather agency for Paka dissolved.


Marshall Islands

On his way through the Marshall Islands as a tropical storm Paka produced wind gusts that reached 75 km / h over the Majuro and Kwajalein Atoll.


Because the typhoon just intensified as he passed through the south of the island, the initial Northeast to east winds were less than the second series wind from the southeast.


Paka wandered on December 16th in the Rota Channel. With wind speeds 160-240 km / h typhoon was passing near the Andersen Air Force Base with his eyes. The sea reaches more than eleven feet above the normal value. About 1500 buildings were destroyed and another 10,000 damaged. About 5,000 people were left homeless. The loss of life on Guam was minimal. Due to the widespread use of concrete in the construction of residential houses, strict building codes and public shelters for those who do not have adequate accommodation The damage to infrastructure and property, however, was disastrous. However, total losses to buildings were limited to those in light metal construction and wooden structures.

A gust of Super Typhoon Paka on Guam was measured at 380 km / h; However, the anemometer was damaged by the storm and so this value is not official. If the value would be confirmed as it had been at the highest wind speed that was not related to a tornado ever recorded on Earth's surface. ( The current maximum limit was 372 km / h on Mount Washington in New Hampshire measured. )


On 17 December 1997, the U.S. President Bill Clinton declared a federal disaster area, Guam, thereby allowing the allocation of federal aid. A week later, the Northern Mariana Islands were declared a disaster area. Overall, FEMA has received 14,770 Einzelänträge to grant aid of residents of Guam. FEMA has granted aid worth a total of 27,367,575 U.S. dollars.