General description of the CMA Tropical Cyclone Best Track Dataset

The CMA Tropical Cyclone Best Track Dataset covers tropical cyclones that develop over the western North Pacific. The basin is to the north of the equator and to the west of 180°E, and includes the South China Sea (SCS). The present version of the dataset includes 6-hourly track and intensity analyses since 1949. Each file in the dataset contains data for one year, and the dataset will be updated annually.

Citation

Please indicate that the CMA Tropical Cyclone Best Track Data was obtained from tcdata.typhoon.org.cn, and refer to the following paper in any written work using the dataset:

  • Ying, M., W. Zhang, H. Yu, X. Lu, J. Feng, Y. Fan, Y. Zhu, and D. Chen, 2014: An overview of the China Meteorological Administration tropical cyclone database. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 31, 287-301. doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00119.1
  • Lu, X. Q., H. Yu, M. Ying, B. K. Zhao, S. Zhang, L. M. Lin, L. N. Bai, and R. J. Wan, 2021: Western North Pacific tropical cyclone database created by the China Meteorological Administration. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 38(4), 690−699. doi: 10.1007/s00376-020-0211-7
Filename Format

CHYYYYBST.txt ——

CH: First label of the dataset, denotes CHINA.

YYYY: Four-digit calendar year.

BST: Second label of the dataset, denotes BEST TRACK data.

Data Format

1. Header record

AAAAA 5 columns Header line indicator, '66666' indicates best track data.
BBBB 4 columns International ID.
CCC 3 columns Number of data lines.
DDDD 4 columns Tropical cyclone serial number.
EEEE 4 columns Chinese ID.
F 1 column Flag of the last data line:
F = 0 Decay;F = 1 Move outside of the region;F = 2 Merge;F = 3 Quasi-stationary.
G 1 column Time interval (hours):
= 6 before 2017 and non-landfall TCs since 2017, and
= 3 indicates extra records for TCs made landfall in China since 2017.
H...H 20 columns Storm names, ‘(-)n’ denotes sub-center and its number. The sub-center refers to a center that was split or induced from the original tropical cyclone circulation center.
I...I 8 columns Date of the latest revision.

About the sub-center,please refer to sub-center.pdf


2. Best track record

YYYYMMDDHH: Date and time in UTC: 4-digit year, 2-digit month, 2-digit day, and 2-digit hour.
I: Intensity category according to the Chinese National Standard for Grade of Tropical Cyclones (which has been used since 15 June 2006):
0 –– Weaker than Tropical Depression or unknown intensity;
1 –– Tropical Depression (TD: 10.8–17.1 m/s);
2 –– Tropical Storm (TS:17.2–24.4 m/s);
3 –– Severe Tropical Storm (STS: 24.5–32.6 m/s);
4 –– Typhoon (TY: 32.7–41.4 m/s);
5 –– Severe Typhoon (STY: 41.5–50.9 m/s);
6 –– Super Typhoon (SuperTY: ≥51.0 m/s);
9 –– Extratropical Cyclone (ET) stage.
LAT: Latitude (0.1°N);
LONG: Longitude (0.1°E);
PRES: Minimum pressure (hPa) near the TC center.
WND: Two-minute mean maximum sustained wind (MSW; m/s) near the TC center.
WND = 9 indicates MSW < 10 m/s,
WND = 0 indicates unknown intensity.
OWD: Two-minute mean sustained wind (m/s) for:
(a) the coastal severe wind of TCs that make landfall, and
(b) the MSW within a radius of about 300–500 km of TCs over the South China Sea.
Revision history

14 April, 2014:

  • The track of Ioke (2006) was extended to include its ENP part.

9 January, 2014:

  • Revised the extratropical transition information of Sanba(2012).

30 October, 2013:

  • Typographical errors corrected:
Year
Error
Correction
2010 Mindulle
(nameless)
Mindulle
2012 Sanba
(nameless)
Sanba
2012 Gaemi
header record: ...0021 1202...
...0021 1220...

24 June, 2013:

  • Typographical errors corrected:
Year
Error
Correction
1979 Alice
1979123112 1979123118
1978123112 (time of the second record) 1978123118 (time of the third record)
2001
Damrcy
Damrey
2003
Lmbudo
Imbudo
2005
Damrcy
Damrey
2008
Mekkhla
Mekkhala

26 March, 2013:

  • Typographical errors corrected:
Year
Error
Correction
2000
Mari
Maria
2003
Lmbudo
Imbudo
2005
Sanvn
Sanvu

4 May, 2012:

  • Typographical errors corrected:
Year
Error
Correction
1950
Helen
Helene

29 July, 2011:

  • Information regarding the last data line added to header record (F).
  • New data column (OWD) added to best track record; some related errors in WND corrected.

2010:

  • Confusion regarding MSW = 10 m/s and MSW < 10 m/s clarified.
  • Errors in best track record (I) of the extratropical cyclone stage for 2007–2009 corrected.
  • Errors in some TC positions (longitude and latitude) corrected.
  • Errors in date of Soulik (2006) corrected.
  • Errors in some TC names corrected:
Year
Error
Correction
Babe, Agness
Babs, Agnes
1952
Lois
1986
Georgette
1987
Percy, Peke, Ogden
1988
Uleki
1992
Gay
1993
Keoni, Abe, Manny
1994
Li, John, Melissa
1995
Gary
1996
Beth
1997
Oliwa
2001
Vipa
2005
Guchol
2006
Maria
Statement
  • This website provides tropical cyclone related data in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China and meteorological data sharing provisions. The data of this website is for research reference only and shall not be used for commercial purposes. China Meteorological Administration, Shanghai Typhoon Institute and the website are not responsible for any loss caused by the use (or inability to use) of the data of this website.