1978 Pacific typhoon season

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1978 Pacific typhoon season
1978 Pacific typhoon season summary.jpg
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedJanuary 6, 1978
Last system dissipatedDecember 16, 1978
Strongest storm
 • Maximum winds220 km/h (140 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure878 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions35
Total storms31
Super typhoons1 (unofficial)
Total fatalities368
Total damageUnknown
Related articles
Pacific typhoon seasons
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980

The 1978 Pacific typhoon season was a very active season that lasted more than a year. It has no official bounds; it ran year-round in 1978, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between June and December; these dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

The scope of this article is limited to the Pacific Ocean, north of the equator and west of the international date line. Storms that form east of the date line and north of the equator are called hurricanes; see 1978 Pacific hurricane season. Tropical Storms formed in the entire west pacific basin were assigned a name by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Tropical depressions in this basin have the "W" suffix added to their number. Tropical depressions that enter or form in the Philippine area of responsibility are assigned a name by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA; this can often result in the same storm having two names.

Seasonal summary[edit]

33 tropical depressions formed this year in the Western Pacific, of which 29 became tropical storms. 15 storms reached typhoon intensity, of which 1 reached super typhoon strength. Many of the storms either remained at sea or failed to do any damage.


Severe Tropical Storm Nadine[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Nadine 1978.png Nadine 1978 track.png
DurationJanuary 6 – January 13
Peak intensity100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

Nadine stayed at sea.

Typhoon Olive (Atang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg Olive 1978 track.png
DurationApril 15 – April 26
Peak intensity150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  955 hPa (mbar)

In the Philippines, Typhoon Olive (Atang) killed 3 people and left 3,500 homeless.[1] A lengthened ex-”FS” ship of Compania Maritima was caught in it, the MV Leyte, she was wrecked in the southwestern portion of Sibuyan Island trying to reach shelter. She was then on a Manila-Cebu voyage.[2]

Tropical Storm Polly (Bising)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg Polly 1978 track.png
DurationJune 13 – June 20
Peak intensity85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  985 hPa (mbar)

Polly was the first of three short-lived June systems.

Tropical Storm Rose (Klaring)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg Rose 1978 track.png
DurationJune 21 – June 24
Peak intensity85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  990 hPa (mbar)

Rose was the second of three weak June systems.

Tropical Storm Shirley (Deling)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg Shirley 1978 track.png
DurationJune 26 – June 30
Peak intensity85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

Shirley hit Vietnam as a tropical storm.

Typhoon Trix[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg Trix 1978 track.png
DurationJuly 11 – July 23
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  965 hPa (mbar)

Trix did a loop.

Typhoon Virginia[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Virginia 1978.png Virginia 1978 track.png
DurationJuly 22 – August 2
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  975 hPa (mbar)

Virginia stayed largely at sea.

Typhoon Wendy (Emang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Wendy 1978.png Wendy 1978 track.png
DurationJuly 22 – August 3
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  960 hPa (mbar)

Wendy ultimately hit Japan.

Severe Tropical Storm Agnes[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Agnes 1978.png Agnes 1978 track.png
DurationJuly 24 – July 30
Peak intensity100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

Agnes formed on July 24, made a complete loop, and struck China on July 29 with winds of 55 mph after peaking at 60 mph,[3] it dissipated the 30th. In Hong Kong Tropical Storm Agnes killed 3 people.[4]

Tropical Storm Bonnie (Gading)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Bonnie 1978.png Bonnie 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 8 – August 12
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  985 hPa (mbar)

Bonnie hit Vietnam.

Typhoon Carmen (Iliang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Carmen 1978.png Carmen 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 10 – August 20
Peak intensity165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

Carmen was short-lived.

Tropical Storm Della (Heling)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Della 1978.png Della 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 10 – August 13
Peak intensity85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  985 hPa (mbar)

Della hit China.

Tropical Storm 13W[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg 13-W 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 14 – August 20
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  999 hPa (mbar)

13W was weak but hit Japan.

Typhoon Elaine (Miding)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Elaine.png Elaine 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 18 – August 28
Peak intensity120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  965 hPa (mbar)

Elaine struck China.

Typhoon Faye[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 3 typhoon (SSHWS)
Faye 1978.png Faye 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 25 – September 7
Peak intensity165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  935 hPa (mbar)

Faye stayed at sea.

Tropical Storm Gloria (Oyang)[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Gloria 1978.png Gloria 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 28 – August 31
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

Gloria stayed at sea.

Tropical Storm Hester[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Hestor 1978.png Hester 1978 track.png
DurationAugust 28 – September 1
Peak intensity85 km/h (50 mph) (10-min)  990 hPa (mbar)

Hester stayed away from land.

Typhoon Irma (Ruping)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Irma 1978.png Irma Pacific 1978 track.png
DurationSeptember 9 – September 15
Peak intensity120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

Irma, the eighth typhoon of the 1978 season, developed in the monsoon trough southeast of Taiwan,[5] it made landfall in Honshu, Japan. With winds of up to 120 km/h, Typhoon Irma killed at least 6 people and made about 3,000 homeless. Four people were missing and about 100 were injured by floods and landslides in southwestern Japan,[6] it destroyed or damaged 1,597 homes and left 6,266 homes flooded.[7] Irma smashed windows, overturned cars, and capsized several fishing boats. Several athletes at the Japan-China Friendship Track and Field Meet in Kitakyushu were injured when a freak gust blew them ten feet in the air. A Liberian-registered tanker was swept from its moorings off the port of Kure and drifted for nearly 5 kilometers before running aground off a small island in the Inland Sea.[6] Irma remained a typhoon for only 12 hours becoming the shortest-lived typhoon of the season.[5]

Typhoon Judy[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
Judy 1978.png Judy 1978 track.png
DurationSeptember 9 – September 17
Peak intensity150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  950 hPa (mbar)

Judy did not impact land.

Severe Tropical Storm Kit[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg Kit 1978 track.png
DurationSeptember 20 – September 26
Peak intensity95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  990 hPa (mbar)

Kit hit Vietnam and The Philippines.

Typhoon Lola (Weling)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Lola 1978.png Lola 1978 track.png
DurationSeptember 20 – October 2
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  965 hPa (mbar)

Lola hit China.

Typhoon Mamie[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 1 typhoon (SSHWS)
Mamie 1978.png Mamie 1978 track.png
DurationSeptember 29 – October 4
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  960 hPa (mbar)

Mamie recurved out to sea.

Severe Tropical Storm Nina (Aning)[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
NinaOctober121978DMSP.gif Nina 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 6 – October 16
Peak intensity110 km/h (70 mph) (10-min)  975 hPa (mbar)

According to the official reports, 59 people died and more than 500,000 were in evacuation centers in the Philippines.[8]

Typhoon Ora (Yaning)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
OraOctober121978DMSP.gif Ora 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 8 – October 15
Peak intensity150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  940 hPa (mbar)

Ora brushed Taiwan.

Tropical Depression 25W[edit]

Tropical depression (PAGASA)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg 25-W 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 8 – October 12
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  999 hPa (mbar)

25W did not affect land.

Tropical Depression 26W (Bidang)[edit]

Tropical depression (PAGASA)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg 26-W 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 10 – October 16
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  1002 hPa (mbar)

26W followed 25W.

Typhoon Phyllis[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 2 typhoon (SSHWS)
PhyllisOctober181978DMSP.gif Phyllis 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 13 – October 22
Peak intensity150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min)  955 hPa (mbar)

Phyllis recurved from Japan.

Super Typhoon Rita (Kading)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Typhoon Rita 2212 October 22.png Rita 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 15 – October 29
Peak intensity220 km/h (140 mph) (10-min)  878 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Depression 28 developed October 15. Three and a half days later, it strengthened into a tropical storm. Rita became a typhoon late on October 19. Rita reached Category 5 status on October 23, reaching a minimum central pressure of 878 millibars, only 8 mb higher than Typhoon Tip's record set in 1979. After spending over three consecutive days at that intensity, Rita weakened to a Category 4 and smashed ashore on Luzon. Rita stayed a typhoon during its entire passage over the Philippines and emerged into the South China Sea as a minimal typhoon. Rita then decayed slowly and dissipated as a depression near the coast of Vietnam; the typhoon caused considerable damage and loss of life in the Philippines, though exact numbers are unknown.

Tropical Storm 27[edit]

Tropical storm (JMA)
Temporary cyclone north.svg 
DurationOctober 30 – November 3
Peak intensity65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  994 hPa (mbar)

27 was weak and short-lived.

Severe Tropical Storm Tess[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TessNovember51978.gif Tess 1978 track.png
DurationOctober 31 – November 6
Peak intensity110 km/h (70 mph) (10-min)  975 hPa (mbar)

A tropical depression developed on October 31; the depression was upgraded to a tropical storm on November 2. Tess continued to intensify and reached its peak intensity as a 70 mph (110 km/h) storm; just short of typhoon status; the storm became extratropical on November 7.

Tropical Depression 30W (Delang)[edit]

Tropical depression (PAGASA)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Temporary cyclone north.svg 30-W 1978 track.png
DurationNovember 15 – November 20
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  1002 hPa (mbar)

30W came close to land.

Typhoon Viola (Esang)[edit]

Typhoon (JMA)
Category 4 typhoon (SSHWS)
Viola nov 23 1978 0533Z.jpg Viola 1978 track.png
DurationNovember 16 – November 24
Peak intensity195 km/h (120 mph) (10-min)  910 hPa (mbar)

Increased convective activity in the monsoon trough was first noticed on satellite data on November 14 about 690 mi (1110 km) southeast of Truk. On November 16, the disturbance was upgraded to Tropical Depression 33. Based on an improved satellite signature, TD 33 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Viola at 1200 UTC November 17.[3] Viola continued to intensify as the storm moved on a northwestward track.[9] Late on November 19 reconnaissance aircraft confirmed that Viola's surface pressure had fallen to 977 mb; and, that an eye was beginning to form. Early on November 20, Viola was upgraded to a typhoon. Viola then started to rapidly intensify and reached peak intensity on November 21 with winds of 145 mph (230 km/h). Viola recurved away from Luzon on November 22.[3] By the next day, the storm had already weakened to a category 1 and further weakened to a tropical storm. Viola dissipated on November 24.[9]

Severe Tropical Storm Winnie[edit]

Severe tropical storm (JMA)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Winnie Nov 28 1978 1715Z.png Winnie 1978 track.png
DurationNovember 25 – November 30
Peak intensity100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min)  980 hPa (mbar)

A tropical depression developed on November 25, it started to intensify while moving on a north-northwestward track. By November 28,the depression was upgraded to a tropical storm and was named Winnie. On the 29th, Winnie reached its peak intensity as severe tropical storm with (10-min) winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). Winnie became extratropical early on November 30.

Tropical Depression Garding[edit]

Tropical depression (PAGASA)
Temporary cyclone north.svg 
DurationDecember 13 – December 16
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min) 

Named by PAGASA.

Storm names[edit]

During the season 28 named tropical cyclones developed in the Western Pacific and were named by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, when it was determined that they had become tropical storms; these names were contributed to a revised list from late 1950. However the JTWC changed their naming scheme by the next year, now including both female and male names.

Nadine Olive Polly Rose Shirley Trix Virginia Wendy Agnes Bonnie Carmen Della Elaine Faye
Gloria Hester Irma Judy Kit Lola Mamie Nina Ora Phyllis Rita Tess Viola Winnie

One name, Susan, developed over the Central Pacific and was named from this list; the storm never became a part of the West Pacific basin.


Akang Bising Klaring Deling Emang
Gading Heling Iliang Loleng Miding
Norming Oyang Pasing Ruping Susang
Tering Uding Weling Yaning
Auxiliary list
Bidang Kading Delang Esang Garding

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration uses its own naming scheme for tropical cyclones in their area of responsibility. PAGASA assigns names to tropical depressions that form within their area of responsibility and any tropical cyclone that might move into their area of responsibility. Should the list of names for a given year prove to be insufficient, names are taken from an auxiliary list, the first 6 of which are published each year before the season starts. Names not retired from this list will be used again in the 1982 season; this is the same list used for the 1974 season. PAGASA uses its own naming scheme that starts in the Filipino alphabet, with names of Filipino female names ending with "ng" (A, B, K, D, etc.). Names that were not assigned/going to use are marked in gray.


Due to extreme damages and death toll caused by Typhoon Rita (Kading), PAGASA retired the name Kading in its auxiliary list; the name replaced was Katring.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Typhoon". The Canberra Times. April 27, 1978. Retrieved October 23, 2016 – via Trove.
  2. ^ "Typhoon "Atang" | Philippine Ship Spotters Society". psssonline.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  3. ^ a b c 1978 ATCR TABLE OF CONTENTS Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Historical Information
  5. ^ a b Morford, Dean R.; Lavin, James K. (January 1, 1995). "1978 Annual Typhoon Report" (PDF). Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Typhoon Irma leaves 3,000 homeless". The Canberra Times. September 18, 1978. Retrieved September 22, 2016 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "Typhoon brushes Japan; 6 die (September 16, 1978)". Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  8. ^ "59 flood deaths". The Canberra Times. October 13, 1978. Retrieved October 23, 2016 – via Trove.
  9. ^ a b "Typhoon #31 (16-24 NOV 1978)". Unisys Weather. Retrieved 19 January 2017.

External links[edit]