Hurricane–Typhoon Paka

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Typhoon Paka
Category 5 typhoon (SSHS)
Super Typhoon Paka on December 15
Formed November 28, 1997
Dissipated December 23, 1997
Highest winds 10-minute sustained:
115 mph (185 km/h)
1-minute sustained:
185 mph (295 km/h)
Lowest pressure 901 mbar (hPa); 26.61 inHg
Fatalities None reported
Damage $580 million (1997 USD)
Areas affected Marshall Islands, Guam, Mariana Islands
Part of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season

Hurricane Paka (international designation: 9728, JTWC designation: 05C, PAGASA designation: Rubing, also known as Typhoon Paka) was the last tropical cyclone in the 1997 Pacific hurricane and typhoon season, and was among the strongest Pacific typhoons in the month of December.[1] Paka, which is the Hawaiian name for Pat,[2] developed on November 28 from a trough well to the southwest of Hawaii. The storm tracked generally westward for much of its duration, and on December 7 it crossed into the western Pacific Ocean. Much of its track was characterized by fluctuations in intensity, and on December 10 the cyclone attained typhoon status as it crossed the Marshall Islands. On December 16, Paka struck Guam and Rota with winds of 230 km/h (145 mph), and it strengthened further to reach peak winds on December 18 over open waters. Subsequently, it underwent a steady weakening trend, and on December 23 Paka dissipated.

Typhoon Paka first impacted the Marshall Islands, where it dropped heavy rainfall and left $80 million in damage (1997 USD, $100 million 2007 USD). Later, it passed just north of Guam, where strong winds destroyed about 1,500 buildings and damaged 10,000 more; 5,000 people were left homeless, and the island experienced a complete power outage following the typhoon. Damage on the island totaled $500 million (1997 USD, $645 million 2007 USD), which warranted the retirement of its name. Paka also caused light damage in the Northern Marianas Islands, and overall the storm caused no reported deaths.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Japan Meteorological Agency (2007). "Best Track for Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclones" (PDF). http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/jma-eng/jma-center/rsmc-hp-pub-eg/Besttracks/bst_all.txt. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
  2. Benjamin C. Hablutzel, Hans E. Rosendal, James C. Weyman, Jonathan D. Hoag (1997). "The 1997 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season". Central Pacific Hurricane Center. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1997.php#PAKA. Retrieved 2007-04-29.