Tropical Cyclones
Main Index Home Page Stock Weather Photos Australian Severe Weather Forum Storm News and Storm Chasing Reports Tropical Cyclones / Hurricanes / Typhoons Weather Data and Links Wild Fires / Bushfires Weather Observation Techniques Weather Picture Catalogue Tornado Pictures and Reports Stock Video Footage and DVDs for sale
Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary May 2006
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                                  MAY, 2006

  (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.)


     In order for the tropical cyclone summaries to continue with any
  degree of timeliness, some changes are going to be necessary in order
  to significantly reduce the amount of time required to prepare them.  I 
  have many commitments and demands made upon my time, and to be honest, 
  I just do not have the enthusiasm I once had for writing them.   I find
  it increasingly difficult to spend hours poring over discussions and
  warnings just to glean a few tidbits of information here and there to fit 
  into a historical narrative.    However, so many persons have told me, 
  and continue to tell me, that they find the summaries and track files 
  useful, so I do not want to completely drop them.    Some streamlining 
  of the narratives detailing the synoptic history of the storms will be 
  made for cyclones in all the basins, but there is going to be a 
  significant reduction in the coverage given to Atlantic and Northeast 
  Pacific tropical cyclones.

     While these basins are personally my primary basins of interest (I
  live less than 100 km from the Gulf of Mexico), I am reducing coverage
  of these tropical cyclones for several reasons:

  (1) A significant majority of the readers of these summaries live in the
      United States, and Atlantic (and usually Eastern Pacific) storms are
      given wide coverage on the Atlanta-based Weather Channel as well as
      various other 24-hour TV cable news providers.

  (2) Many persons outside the U. S. are also able to watch the cable news
      channels and follow Atlantic cyclones in particular.

  (3) Tropical cyclone warnings can be received via e-mail or downloaded
      from websites from just about every warning agency in the world, and
      any person interested in performing detailed research on any cyclone
      can save these warnings for further study if they so desire.   In
      addition, TPC/NHC archives all their tropical cyclone advisories,
      discussions and graphics on their website, and these are available 
      long-term for any person who desires to research a particular cyclone
      in greater detail.

  (4) In addition to the narrative summaries, from the beginning I have
      prepared a tabular track file to accompany each month's summary.
      These give a concise and quantitative history of each cyclone, and
      in conjunction with the graphics which John Diebolt of Tucson is now
      preparing based upon these track files, present a very adequate
      numerical and pictorial representation of each cyclone's history.
      (A picture is worth a thousand words!)  Beginning with December,
      2004, I have been including the link to each cyclone's track graphic
      on John's website.   (For more information on John's website, see
      the Feature of the Month article in the February, 2005, summary.)

  (5) I have discovered an online encyclopedia (Wikipedia) which contains
      fairly detailed reports of tropical cyclones, especially for Atlantic
      storms.  I have included links to these reports already for several
      storms and plan to continue doing so.  I have recently been in
      contact with one of the authors and managers of the Wikipedia
      tropical cyclone project, and plans are for these reports to continue 
      to exist and grow in scope and remain available long-term.

  (6) And finally, TPC/NHC has their extremely informative storm reports
      available online beginning usually in late October (sometimes
      earlier), and for the most part completed by the end of the calendar
      year.  Indeed, ever since the 2000 season the official NHC reports
      have begun appearing before I could get the preliminary reports
      completed for many of the latter cyclones each season, so I chose
      instead to write just a brief article supplementing the official
      reports for those cyclones.

     I hope those who are primarily interested in Atlantic cyclones will
  not be too disappointed, but this is a necessary step to insure that
  reports on cyclones in other basins for which information is not so
  readily available will not be running months behind, as has often been
  the case in the past.

     Also, Kevin Boyle and Simon Clarke have assured me that they are
  still interested in writing tropical cyclone reports for the Western
  North Pacific, Northeast Australia/Coral Sea and South Pacific basins,
  so summaries for storms in those basins should continue with little


                              MAY HIGHLIGHTS

   --> Rare South China Sea super typhoon has adverse effects on several
       southeastern Asian nations
   --> First Eastern North Pacific tropical storm forms on schedule

                            ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for May:  1 tropical storm

                         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

                Northeast Pacific Tropical Activity for May

     In recent years the tropical cyclone season in the Northeast Pacific
  basin has begun almost like clockwork within the latter 10 days of May,
  and 2006 was no exception.   The first tropical depression (01E) formed
  on 27 May and later that same day became Tropical Storm Aletta.  Over
  the period 1971-2005, the month of May has averaged about one storm
  every other year, but 2006 was the seventh consecutive season in which
  the first named storm has formed in May.  By way of contrast, the 8-year
  period 1992 through 1999 saw only one May tropical storm develop--an
  unnamed storm in 1996.  The only May in which two Eastern Pacific storms
  developed was in 1984.  Aletta produced 2.25 NSD--the average NSD for May
  is 1.84 for the 35-year period.  A short report on Aletta follows.

                          TROPICAL STORM ALETTA
                               27 - 30 May

     Most of the information in this short report was obtained from the
  monthly summary for May prepared by the staff of TPC/NHC.   Tropical
  Storm Aletta represents the seventh consecutive year in which the
  Eastern North Pacific tropical cyclone season has begun in the month of 
  May, a month which normally sees a tropical storm or hurricane form only 
  about every other year.

     Aletta formed as a result of the interaction of a westward-moving
  tropical wave with a low-level trough near the Gulf of Tehuantepec.  The
  resultant broad low-pressure area was located several hundred miles
  south of Acapulco on 25 May.  Organization gradually increased and the
  system had developed into Tropical Depression 01E by early on the 27th,
  centered about 165 nm southwest of Acapulco.  The depression embarked on
  a northerly track toward the Mexican coast and was upgraded to Tropical
  Storm Aletta later that same day.  Aletta's peak intensity of 40 kts was
  attained at 0600 UTC on 28 May and was maintained for 36 hours.   The
  tropical cyclone moved erratically, executing a counterclockwise loop
  southwest of Acapulco on the 28th.  A strengthening ridge to the north
  prevented a rendezvous with the Mexican coastline and Aletta began
  drifting westward on the 29th while slowly weakening to a depression
  by 30/0000 UTC.   Aletta continued to weaken and dissipated about 170 nm
  south-southeast of Manzanillo later on the 30th.

     Aletta produced some locally heavy rains over portions of southern
  Mexico with a 24-hour total of 91 mm in Oaxaca State.  No damage nor
  casualties were reported.

     A graphic displaying the track of Tropical Storm Aletta may be found
  at the following link:


     The track in tabular form may be accessed at the following URL:


     The link for the online Wikipedia report on Aletta is:

  (Report written by Gary Padgett)


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

  Activity for May:  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).  A very special thanks to Michael for the
  assistance he so reliably provides.
      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.

                          SUPER TYPHOON CHANCHU
                        (TC-02W / TY 0601 / CALOY)
                                8 - 20 May 

  Chanchu: contributed by the colony of Macau, is the Macanese word for

  A. Introduction

     The second significant tropical cyclone of 2006 in the NW Pacific 
  basin, Chanchu became the earliest system to be designated a super 
  typhoon by JTWC in the South China Sea.  Super typhoons are a rarity in 
  that part of the world, and a search through the JTWC archives reveal 
  that the only other tropical cyclones to reach that intensity in the 
  South China Sea were Ryan (1995) and Sally (1996). 

     From its formation late on 8 May Chanchu crossed the Philippine 
  Archipelago on 11-12 May before peaking at 135 kts in the South China 
  Sea early on 15 May.  After alarming the community of Hong Kong, China, 
  Chanchu veered sharply away towards the north and made landfall in 
  Guangdong Province in eastern China on 17 May.

  B. Synoptic History

     Super Typhoon Chanchu began its life as a persistent area of
  convection approximately 310 nm southeast of Yap.  It was first noted in
  JTWC's STWO issued at 2030 UTC 5 May.  The tropical disturbance remained
  a weak, poorly-organized feature until 7 May when the system's 
  organization began to improve and the LLCC began to consolidate.  A TCFA
  was issued at 08/1100 UTC, relocating the disturbance to a position 
  approximately 100 nm west-southwest of Yap.  The first warning on 
  Tropical Depression 02W was issued at 08/1800 UTC with the system at this
  time passing north of Palau.  TD-02W was upgraded to a 35-kt tropical 
  storm at 09/0000 UTC, and acquired the name Chanchu at 09/1200 UTC when 
  JMA raised their 10-min avg MSW to 35 kts. 

     Tropical Storm Chanchu continued to intensify as it tracked 
  predominantly west-northwestward along the southern periphery of a 
  subtropical ridge.  It was upgraded to a 75-kt typhoon at 1800 UTC 
  10 May while centred approximately 440 nm east-northeast of Zamboanga, 
  Philippines.  Typhoon Chanchu weakened slightly as it crossed the 
  northern tip of Samar, Philippines, on 11 May.  However, despite the 
  hindering effects of land, Chanchu re-strengthened while over the 
  Sibuyan Sea on 12 May.  The storm's intensity fluctuated as it tracked 
  erratically westward across the Philippine island of Mindoro, emerging 
  into the South China Sea early on 13 May where it slowly began to 
  reorganize.  The tropical cyclone was forecast in the long-term to 
  become very intense and to make landfall in the vicinity of Hong Kong, 

     Drifting westwards, Typhoon Chanchu underwent rapid intensification 
  over the South China Sea on 14 May.  It was upgraded to a super typhoon 
  at 1800 UTC 14 May while located approximately 515 nm south of Hong 
  Kong, China, before peaking at 135 kts six hours later.  Chanchu 
  abruptly veered north on 15 May as the subtropical ridge split apart, 
  and this northward path into the resulting weakness took the storm into 
  a less favourable environment.  At 15/0600 UTC Chanchu was downgraded 
  back to typhoon intensity.  The tropical cyclone gradually weakened 
  further but remained a powerful system for the next two days while 
  moving on a north to north-northeasterly trajectory through the South
  China Sea towards the Chinese coast, away from Hong Kong.    The 
  typhoon made landfall near Shantou, Guangdong Province, late on 17 May 
  with the MSW estimated at 75 kts.  Chanchu continued up the eastern 
  coastal region of China and was downgraded to a 45-kt tropical storm on 
  JTWC's final warning at 18/0000 UTC.  JMA also downgraded Chanchu to a 
  tropical storm at this time but continued to issue bulletins until it 
  was declared extratropical over the East China Sea at 19/0000 UTC.  The
  weak residual LOW continued northeastward, passing over the Japanese
  islands of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu, eventually exiting into the
  North Pacific near Tokyo.

     The highest MSW estimated by JMA was 90 kts with a minimum CP of 
  930 mb.  PAGASA estimated a peak intensity of 80 kts while Typhoon 
  Chanchu/Caloy was within their AOR.  PAGASA first assigned the name 
  Caloy at 09/0000 UTC after the system had crossed 135E. 

     A graphic displaying the track of Super Typhoon Chanchu/Caloy may be
  found at the following link:


     The track in a tabular format may be accessed at the following URL:


  C. Damage and Casualties

     Typhoon Chanchu was responsible for 41 deaths in the Philippines, 
  including 21 persons who perished when a motor boat capsized off 
  Masbate Island.  In China, at least twenty-five people were reported 
  dead with four missing.  Eleven fishing vessels from Vietnam were sunk, 
  killing 44 fishermen, and at least 190 Vietnamese were reported 
  missing.  The above casualty information, along with a much more
  detailed description on the impact of Super Typhoon Chanchu, may be 
  obtained at the following link: 


  (Report written by Kevin Boyle)


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

  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones



  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones



  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones


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

  Activity for May:  No tropical cyclones



     The purpose of this section is to list some websites where many and
  varied types of tropical cyclone information are archived.  Many readers
  will know about these already, but for the benefit of those who don't,
  I wanted to include them. 

  (1) Aircraft Reconnaissance Information

     Various types of messages from reconnaissance aircraft may be
  retrieved from the following FTP site:


     Information regarding how to interpret the coded reconnaissance
  messages may be found at the following URL:


  Links are also included to websites with further information about the
  U. S. Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and the NOAA Air-
  craft Operations Center.

  (2) Archived Advisories

     All the advisory products (public advisories, forecast/advisories,
  strike probabilities, discussions, various graphics) issued by TPC/NHC
  are archived on TPC's website.  For the current year (using 2004 as an
  example), the archived products can be found at:


  Links to tropical products archives for earlier years are available at
  the following URL:


  JTWC warnings for past storms are archived on the NRL Monterry website:


  On the NRL site, the link to past years can be found in the upper left 
  corner of the screen.

     I am not aware at the moment of any other TCWC which archives all
  its tropical cyclone warning/advisory products for public access, but
  if I learn of any, I will add them to this list.

  (3) Satellite Imagery

     Satellite images of tropical cyclones in various sensor bands are
  available on the NRL Monterrey and University of Wisconsin websites,
  courtesy of Jeff Hawkins and Chris Velden and their associates.  The
  links are:



  On the NRL site, the link to past years can be found in the upper left 
  corner of the screen.  For the CIMSS site, a link to data archives is 
  located in the lower left portion of the screen.

     Additional tropical satellite imagery, along with looping ability for
  composite microwave imagery for the Western Hemisphere north of the
  equator, can be found at:

  (1) For the Eastern North Pacific:


  (2) For the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea:


     I'm sure there are other sites with available imagery available, and
  as I learn of them, I will add the links to this list.


                               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 August, 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
  from the archive sites listed below.  (Note: I do have a limited e-mail
  distribution list for the track files.    If anyone wishes to receive
  these via e-mail, please send me a message.)

    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.   Back issues can be obtained from the following websites
  (courtesy of Michael Bath, Michael V. Padua, Michael Pitt, Chris
  Landsea, and John Diebolt):


     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 Annual Tropical Cyclone
  Report (ATCR) for 2004 (2003-2004 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 2004 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, storm reports for all the 2004 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 McLeans Ridges, New South Wales,
  Australia, for assisting me with proofreading the summaries.


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

  Kevin Boyle  (Eastern Atlantic, Western Northwest Pacific, South
                China Sea)
  E-mail:  [email protected]

  Simon Clarke  (Northeast Australia/Coral Sea, South Pacific)
  E-mail:  [email protected]


Document: summ0605.htm
Updated: 8th August 2006

[Australian Severe Weather index] [Copyright Notice] [Email Contacts] [Search This Site]