1. Typhoon Track Charts

A typhoon track chart is a map about the location and trajectory of a typhoon. Typhoon track charts can be classified into two types. One type shows both the past track and the forecast track into one chart, and another shows only the past track when all data is fixed.

Typhoon track charts for past typhoons are made from official best track data issued by Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia. Typhoon tracking charts of this year's typhoons are first made from tropical cyclone information provided by JMA, and later updated again based on the best track data reanalyzed by JMA. The latter is considered as more reliable data, but to tell the differnece of two datasets, we need to check the date of latest updates. If the date of latest updates is different from the date of latest observations, then it's the best track. The official typhoon tracking charts can also be obtained from the JMA website.

Types of Typhoon Track Charts

  1. Typhoon tracking charts for each typhoon (small)
    • The typhoon track is drawn on a chart with a shared coordinate system for the basin.
    • Multiple typhoon tracks may be overlayed.
    • The period of a tropical depression and an extratropical cyclone is also included.
  2. Typhoon tracking charts for each typhoon (large)
    • The typhoon track is drawn on a chart with a coordinate system adjusted for each typhoon.
    • Multiple typhoon tracks may not be overlayed.
    • The period of a tropical depression and an extratropical cyclone is also included.
  3. Typhoon tracking charts drawn by geographical search
    • The typhoon track is drawn on a chart with a coordinate system adjusted for the list of typhoons.
    • Multiple typhoon tracks may not be overlayed.
    • The period of a tropical depression and an extratropical cyclone is also included.
    • For example, Search by Map belongs to this type.
  4. Typhoon tracking charts drawn by typhoon sequence search
    • The typhoon track is drawn on a chart with a shared coordinate system for the basin.
    • Multiple typhoon tracks may be overlayed.
    • The period of a tropical depression and an extratropical cyclone is not included. However, successive weakening and redevelopment may cause a period of tropical depression within the life of a typhoon. In this case the period of a tropical depression is also included.
    • For example, Typhoon Best Track Maps belongs to this type.

Symbols of Typhoon Track Charts

  1. The size of points
    • Large : the position of the typhoon each day at 0000 UTC. A number in the circle represents the "day." The "month" is omitted because it is obvious from the life of the typhoon.
    • Middle : the position of the typhoon each day at 1200 UTC.
    • Small : the position of the typhoon every 3 to 6 hours. The position of every 3 hours may be an interpolated one.
  2. The color of points
    • Blue : Tropical Depression (Class 2)
    • Green : Tropical Storm (Class 3)
    • Yellow : Severe Tropical Storm (Class 4)
    • Red : Typhoon (Class 5)
    • Magenta : Extratropical Cyclone (Class 6)
    • Gray : Hurricane or Tropical Cyclone = typhoons outside the western north Pacific region (100E - 180E northern hemisphere) (Class 7)
    • Cyan : Unknown = past time when class information was not used (Class 9)

In addition, please refer to About the expression of time about time expression, and About the Unit about the class of the typhoon.

2. Drawing Maps

This website draws maps using GMT (The Generic Mapping Tools), other than maps made by Google Maps. We appreciate the development team for creating such marvelous software.