Karl Hoarau, Mark Lander, Rosalina De Guzman, Chip Guard, Rose Barba

Royal Meteorological Society

Published date October 6, 2017

Did Typhoon Haiyan have a new record-minimum pressure?

  • States that since 12 October 1979, Typhoon Tip has officially remained the tropical cyclone associated with the lowest atmospheric pressure measured at sea level: 870hPa. The average winds over 1min were estimated at 165kn
  • Estimates the pressure gradient for the 11km of Haiyan's eyewall using a comparison with the pressure gradient of the eyewall of two of the most intense tropical cyclones for which the pressures were precisely measured by aerial reconnaissance
  • States that during these airborne missions, Hurricane Patricia (23 October 2015), which formed in the eastern North Pacific, had a pressure of 879hPa, and Typhoon Megi (17 October 2010), which formed in the western North Pacific, had a pressure of 890hPa
  • States that at the time of the aircraft reconnaissance, the sustained winds of 180kn for Patricia (6h before the maximum wind of 185kn) and 160kn for Megi were comparable to the 170kn of Haiyan
  • Based on the pressure gradient calculated inside the eyewall of Patricia and Megi, the authors distinguished three scenarios for Haiyan
  • Finds that each of the three scenarios gives a minimum pressure at sea level below the 870hPa of Typhoon Tip, which was the world record holder