2016 Northwest Pacific Typhoon Season Predictions

2016 Northwest Pacific Typhoon Season Predictions 

It’s that time of the year again!! Time for us to step out on the proverbial “limb”, and give our predictions for the upcoming 2016 Northwest Pacific Typhoon Season! Four guys from Westernpacificweather.com will do our best to see if we can accurately predict the level of activity in the upcoming season, AND tell you why we think what we do! 

First, let’s get right to the NUMBERS, because that’s what you really came for!








Rob Speta




Mike Adcock




Patrick Malejana




Michael Williams




WPACWX.com Average





Let’s see how the guys break down the 2016 Pacific Typhoon Season…


 By: Meteorologist Robert Speta

The 2016 Typhoon Season is upon us and this season looks like things could be dialed back a bit from 2015 where records were shattered from January to the end of the Tropical Season.

A return to the normal in some ways but in others we might see some oddities.

My forecast reasoning is based upon historical El-Nino events combined with the general weather pattern in the past decade with above average Sea Surface Temperatures dominating the oceans due to global warming.

 Tropical Storms 24

Typhoons 14

Super Typhoons 6


 In years past following a strong El Nino year we typically see a lull in the tropics during the first half of the following season. This year this has remained true with no named tropical systems in the first 3 months of 2016. This is mainly due to the big troughs dipping down out of the Polar Regions ushering in a vast amount of wind shear in the tropics.

Despite this the second half of the seasons typically bring in more than average typhoons and super Typhoons as the shear lets up and above average sea surface temperatures reign. Furthermore the trend in the western Pacific has been above average super typhoons almost to the point where we may need to change our definition on what is an “average” Super Typhoon season.

Thus my forecast is slightly below average considering the slow start to the season. But expect an active second half of the year with a near normal amount of Super Typhoons.

As noted in more seasonal outlooks this is basically an educated guess. Last year’s season surprised even the most experienced forecasters. It would be little to no surprise to me if this year was the same.


 By: Meteorologist Mike Adcock

 The 2016 Western Pacific Typhoon Season should take a leisurely pace compared to 2015.  The key difference will be an ending El Nino and a possible shift toward La Nina by the end of the year.

2016 should feature a later-than-normal start with the first tropical cyclone developing toward late June or early July.  With the delayed start, peak activity will quickly occur by late August and into September, before declining again toward the end of the year.  Further, with the declining El Nino, I expect the mean development point to shift significantly west compared to the paast two season.  This increases the landfall threat to the Philippines, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam.  Because of the shortened development wind between formation and landfall, the raw number of typhoons and super typhoon should significantly decrease.  Regardless of strength of storm, the latter part of the year should yield much needed moisture to the southwestern portion of the basin (i.e. Philippines and in the vicinity of the South China Sea). 

Tropical Storms – 24

Typhoons – 11

Super Typhoons – 3 


The starting point for the forecast are the years following major El Nino events–namely 1998, 1983, and 1973.  These years resulted in 23-27 tropical storms, 9-12 typhoons, and 2-4 super typhoons.

With the El Nino ending, water temperatures and shear across the Pacific should favor tropical cyclone formation further west.  Also, 2016 follows a significantly active Central Pacific Hurricane Season where records were shattered left and right.  Much like a pendulum, we should see the Central Pacific shift back to near-normal activity, essentially eliminating the risk of cyclones entering the Western Pacific from the Central Pacific.

Further, as the mean development point moves westward, this will reduce the risk of tropical cyclones re-curving northward along the western periphery of the subtropical ridge.  As more tropical cyclones make landfall in the Philippines and the Indochina Peninsula, the risk of recurvature lowers.  With more landfalls and a western development region, the number of typhoons and super typhoons will drop significantly compared to 2015’s eastern development region. 


 By: Weathercaster Patrick Malejana 

My forecast for the 2016 Northwest Pacific Typhoon Season is for average or slightly below-normal activity. My forecast reasoning hinges on the continued weakening of the El Nino state this year and a possible move towards a La Nina Phase by the latter part of 2016. Numerous recent analogs for this transition include the years 1998, 2000, 2007, 2010, and 2011 which were characterized as having weak to moderate La Nina based on the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI). These years also featured normal to slightly below-normal activity with 2010 being the least active season on record. 

With that said, this year’s Typhoon Season should slowly pick up in the next few months with high activity likely occurring during the climatological peak between July and October. The following are my personal forecast for the 2016 Typhoon Season:

Tropical Storms – 22

Typhoons – 12

Super Typhoon – 4 


 By: Weathercaster Michael Williams

 When thinking about the upcoming Pacific Typhoon Season, I think one must consider the effect of the waning V.S.E. (Very Strong El Nino) event of the past 18 months. In doing so, I felt it was wise to simply go back to the last V.S.E. events, and see what the circumstances were in those seasons. It’s not really scientific, but it does share some interesting insights into how the season progresses following a V.S.E. 

The last 2 V.S.E. events took place in 1982-83, and again in 1997-98. The 82-83 event was more similar to the 2015-16 V.S.E. that is currently fading. It should be noted that the 1983 typhoon season was a busy one, and I’ll get to those numbers in a moment. The 1998 typhoon season was also busy, but the numbers did not outpace climatological norms by very much, so it was rather unremarkable in that respect.

However, there are significant comparisons and similarities between the two seasons:

  1. 1983 saw 32 TD’s; 23 TS’s; 10 TY’s; and 4 STY’s. 1998 saw 27 TD’s; 18 TS’s; 9 TY’s; and 3 STY’s.
  2. Both seasons got off to a late start, with a June start in 1983, and 1998 setting the record for the latest start of a Pacific Typhoon Season on July 6.
  3. Both seasons saw early impacts in the north, however, 1983 saw a significantly greater number of early storms in and near the Philippines.
  4. Both seasons saw significant late-season action in the South China Sea, with Vietnam being the most affected.
  5. Both seasons were relatively short seasons. In an environment that usually sees an 8-9 month-long season, 1983 was 7 months long, and 1998 was an amazingly short 6 months long.

My prediction for the 2016 Pacific Typhoon Season

I can’t pretend to be very scientific in my prediction. I am simply going to follow along with the averages, given the current state that the atmosphere is in. Once again, we are on the downhill side of the V.S.E. event similar to the 1982-83 event, so my estimations are going to lay a bit north of the average. By the numbers:

1      I think we will see 30 TD’s; 21 TS’s; 10 TY’s; and 4 STY’s in the 2016 Pacific Typhoon Season.

2      I think we will see another late start to the season, coming in mid-late June (15-30).

3      I think early activity will impact the Philippines and Japan, with China catching up in the middle months,  and Vietnam getting in on things in the latter months of the season.

Of course it would be impossible to give numbers of SPECIFIC locations that the storms might hit, because that is simply not possible in that sense at this time. But, the seasons with a V.S.E. event in decline have thus far proven to be busy for more southerly locations within the overall region, and I think this season will be no exception.


Here’s a little bit about each of the prognosticators:


Meteorologist Robert Speta is a Broadcast/Operational Meteorologist and the creator of westernpacificweather.com. He has eight years of Operational Meteorology experience in the United States Navy and is currently on air casting the weather for international news network NHK World. Robert is also a member of the American Meteorological Society.




mike a-smallMeteorologist Mike Adcock is an Operational Meteorologist with 13 years of experience in the United States Air Force.  During that time, Mike has forecasted weather in six of seven continents with a focus on aviation meteorology.  Currently, he is working toward a BS Geosciences degree from Mississippi State.  Mike has also been a member of the American Meteorological Society since December 2010.




WeatherCaster Patrick Malejana is based in Long Island, NY where he is working as an Operations Administrator with a private jet charter company.  Pat lived in the Philippines for 15 years and frequent typhoons hitting the country got him interested with meteorology. Pat has a B.S. in Aerospace Systems Technology.




MEW at DZRJ small

WeatherCaster Michael Williams is a long-time veteran of radio, where he has been a news director and anchor for several stations for the majority of his career. Being born in the sub-tropical region of the USA, Michael became interested in tropical weather at a very early age, spending many years in self-study of tropical cyclones and related phenomena. Now living in the Philippines, Michael lends his talents in public information delivery to the website and on Facebook for residents of the Western Pacific.




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