Super Typhoon Babe
(T7709/沖永良部台風 in Japan
) was the only super typhoon of the 1977 Pacific typhoon season
and caused major damage in the Ryūkyū Islands
. The lowest pressure recorded in association with the typhoon was 907.3hPa on Okinoerabu Island. According to newspaper reports, Babe was "the worst typhoon to threaten Japan in 18 years". Japan Meteorological Agency
gave a special name to Babe: "Okinoerabu Typhoon". Unusually, a Hurricane Babe
existed in the Atlantic basin
at the same time.
On September 1, a weak surface circulation with associated convection occurred at 7N-150E and a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert was issued by the JTWC
. On September 2, Tropical Depression 10 formed near the Caroline Islands
at 8.3N-144.6E and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Babe at 8.9N-141.5E on the same day: a latitude
of the formation of Babe was lower than that of Tropical Storm Ivan
in the Atlantic
Basin: it formed at 9.7N-30.3W on September 3, 2004.
At first, Babe didn't show any significant development while it moved westward: the subtropical ridge between the trough and it forced it northward. Babe was forecast to continue to move westward and made a landfall in the central Philippines. But when the subtropical ridge began to weaken on September 5, Babe changed direction to the north-northwest and began to strengthen rapidly. Babe became a typhoon on September 6 and was upgraded to super typhoon on September 8. Babe was the only super typhoon of the 1977 Pacific typhoon season.
Until September 8, Babe was forecast to continue to move north-northwest and hit Taiwan. But a short wave occurred in the northern China Sea and Babe turned to the north-northeast, so avoiding Taiwan. Instead, Japan was threatened.
Babe hit Okinoerabu Island, Japan on September 9. The minimum sea-level pressure on Japanese soil of 907.3hPa was recorded. The previous record of 908.1hPa at Miyakojima on September 15, was attributed to Typhoon Sarah ("Miyakojima Typhoon"). An anemometer was broken by Babe's strong wind and meteorological staff could not continue to measure the wind.
In Japan, Babe was forecast to make a landfall at Kyūshū. But a Fujiwhara effect with the cut-off low occurred and Babe turned to the northwest. Babe eventually made a landfall as a minimal typhoon at Shanghai, China on September 10 and dissipated soon after.
Over one hundred people were injured and about half the houses on Okinoerabu Island were destroyed by Babe. Babe's unusual path affected many ships: 16 people were killed and about 100 Japanese fishing vessels were damaged in the East China Sea
The Japan Meteorological Agency
gave a special name to Babe: "Okinoerabu Typhoon" on September 13 after it struck Okinoerabu Island. Babe was the last typhoon to be so named.