The Joint Typhoon Warning Center
(JTWC) is a joint United States Navy
– United States Air Force
task force located at Naval Maritime Forecast Center
in Pearl Harbor
. The JTWC is responsible for the issuing of tropical cyclone
warnings in the North West Pacific Ocean, South Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean
for United States Department of Defense
interests, as well as U.S. and Micronesian
civilian interests within the command's area of responsibility (AOR). The JTWC provides support to all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense
and other U.S. government agencies. Their products are intended for the protection of primarily military ships and aircraft as well as military installations jointly operated with other countries around the world.
The beginning of the formation of a typhoon warning center in the Pacific occurred in the wake of Typhoon Cobra in December 18, 1944. A small but significant typhoon east of the Philippines, Typhoon Cobra led to the largest naval disaster in United States history with 790 lives lost, and was the worst United States military loss from a tropical cyclone impact since 1889. Due to this typhoon, weather stations were established in Caroline Islands, and eventually in Manila, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. New weather central offices (for coordinating data) were established at Guam and Leyte. JTWC was originally established in 1959 at Nimitz Hill, Guam combined the efforts of the former naval centers located in Guam, Hawaii, and the Philippines with the Air Force center in Japan. In November 1962, Typhoon Karen destroyed the building housing the Fleet Weather Center/Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It relocated in a more typhoon-proof building in 1965. It was relocated to Pearl Harbor on January 1, 2000 due to the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.
Standards and practices
JTWC adheres to the World Meteorological Organization's
(WMO) rules for storm names and adheres to acknowledged guidelines for intensity of tropical cyclones
and tropical storms
, with the exception of using the U.S. standard of measuring sustained winds for 1 min instead of the 10 min span recommended by the WMO (see Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
). The JTWC is not one of the WMO designated Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres
, nor one of its Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres
as its main mission is to support the United States
Navy and remainder of the federal government. JTWC monitors, analyzes, and forecasts tropical cyclone formation, development, and movement year round. Its area of responsibility covers more than 90% of the world's tropical cyclone activity.
The Center is currently manned by 32 U.S. Air Force
personnel. The JTWC uses several satellite systems and sensors, radar, surface and upper level synoptic data as well as atmospheric models to complete its mission.