Abstract

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), a specialized component of the Naval Oceanography Command Center, Guam, is the busiest tropical cyclone warning center in the world. Its area of responsibility encompasses four broad oceanic areas of tropical cyclone activity stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, in both hemispheres. Our paper discusses the challenges imposed on the center as a result of its vast multibasin area of responsibility, the products the center produces, its warning philosophy, observational networks, analysis and forecast schemes, and the military aspects of the operation. Because of the multibasin, dual-hemisphere responsibility, there is no off-season. The challenges of information and time management, analysis and forecast improvement, expansion of meteorological understanding, and enhancement of the warning process are discussed. Current methods used to meet these challenges are presented. In addition, the paper gives a brief overview of JTWC's colorful history, with emphasis on the aircraft reconnaissance era and the evolution of satellite reconnaissance. The joint Navy-Air Force Operations Evaulation to assess the impact of the loss of aircraft reconnaissance and the Office of Naval Research Tropical Cyclone Motion-90 Experiment are briefly discussed. Finally, the paper takes a cursory look at JTWC's postanalysis program, which includes the Annual Tropical Cyclone Report; training, qualification, and certification programs; and technique development to improve tropical cyclone analysis and forecasting.

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