The Intersection


In 2004, as we all remember too well, four hurricanes–Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne–struck Florida in fairly rapid succession.

In early 2005 (as relatively few Americans know), the Cook Islands had to deal with four extremely intense tropical cyclones–Meena, Nancy, Olaf, and Percy–in the space of a month.

Now 2006 is seeing its rapid-fire shellacking, and the unlucky country is the Philippines. First came Typhoon Xangsane, then Super Typhoon Cimaron, then Typhoon Chebi–all very intense, and all hit the main Philippine island of Luzon in the space of just over a month.

And it’s not over yet. Here comes another one: Typhoon Durian, also projected to explode in intensity right before making landfall. Something about this particular stretch of ocean to the east of the Phillipines is just proving an ideal breeding ground right now…but as the prior examples show, such clustering has happened somewhere in the world in each of the past three years. I haven’t looked for examples going back farther, I’m sure there are some though…..

UPDATE 6 am ET: Oh brother, now Durian has rapidly intensified and is projected to perhaps become a Category 5 before landfall…..and seems directly aimed at Manila.


  1. #1 John L. McCormick
    December 2, 2006

    Chris, thank you for staying on top of the typhoon happenings and news accounts in the Pacific.

    This tragic account of the devastation of the most recent of four typhoons (Durian – top winds of 155 mph) to hit Phillipines Islands this year is available at the following link.

    To say there are a reported 400 dead this early since the direct hit on Manilla is to imagine what the total count of dead and missing will be.

    John McCormick

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