55th Anniversary of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center

 

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Current JTWC logo

On May 1, 1959, the Navy and Air Force typhoon forecast facilities throughout the Pacific were consolidated to form the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on Guam.  The Center had responsibility to provide all U.S. Government agencies in the west Pacific with warnings of any tropical cyclone west of the International Date Line, to schedule all aircraft reconnaissance into these storms, to prepare post analyses on each cyclone and annual summaries after each typhoon season, and to carry out research to improve forecasting and detection in their area of responsibility (AOR).  The original staffing was for two officers and three enlisted men from each service.

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Typhoon Karen (1962) from Truk’s radar

The Center was originally housed in a Quonset hut on Nimitz Hill.  When these facilities were destroyed by Typhoon Karen in 1962, a new  typhoon-proof building was constructed for JTWC in 1965.  The operation was moved from Guam to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1999 because of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.  Currently there are 31 staffers, divided between the Navy, Air Force, and civilian personnel.  Their AOR has expanded to include the South Pacific and Indian Oceans.