Natural Hazards

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 211–222 | Cite as

Statistics of tropical cyclone landfalls in the Philippines: unusual characteristics of 2013 Typhoon Haiyan

  • Hiroshi Takagi
  • Miguel Esteban
Original Paper


The unusual statistical characteristics of Typhoon Haiyan were investigated using the JTWC best track data from 1945 to 2013, particularly focusing on tropical cyclones making landfall in the Philippines. Haiyan generated the strongest winds among a collection of over 400 past storms, which was 16 % greater than the second strongest typhoon on record (Typhoon Zeb in 1998). The forward speed of Haiyan was nearly twice as fast as the average speed of these weather systems and could be the fastest typhoon on record. Thus, Haiyan can be characterized as both the fastest moving and strongest typhoon measured in the area. The return period for a Haiyan-class typhoon to make landfall was estimated to be 200 years. A statistical analysis also indicated that the number of tropical cyclone making landfall around Leyte Island in the Philippines—the area most severely damaged by Haiyan—has been steadily increasing over the past 7 decades. Analysis of sea surface temperature (SST) indicates that both Haiyan and Zeb occurred during seasons that were characterized by remarkably warm SSTs over the seas surrounding the Philippines.


Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Tropical cyclone landfalls Philippines Return period Forward speed Storm surge 



Funds for the present research were provided by J-RAPID Program of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant Number 26702009.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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