JTWC Formation, 1958-1959.

In May 1958 the Joint Meteorology Committee to Pacific Command (JMC PACOM) in Hawaii was made up of representatives from the three services and the US Weather Bureau.  PACAF's representative was the First Weather Wing Commander, Col Nick Chavasse.

The next month - June 1958, at the first PACOM Annual Tropical Cyclone Conference (ATCC) at Pearl Harbor, Col Chavasse proposed the formation of a joint Air Force - Navy analysis and typhoon warning center at the Navy's Fleet Weather Center at Nimitz Hill, Guam. The JMC attendees agreed that an ad hoc committee should study the issue.

(Note: in 1958 FWC/TTC began naming tropical cyclones at tropical storm intensity, rather than wait until they became typhoons.)

By January 1959, the ad hoc committee issued a report sanctioning the issue.  Based on that report, and conclusions reached at PACOM's March 1959 ATCC, the JMC formally urged CINCPAC to establish a Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), and The Commander in Chief, US Pacific Command (CINCPAC) petitioned the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

On 14 April 1959, the JCS okayed the formation of the JTWC under the command of the Nimitz Hill FWC's Commanding Officer.  On 18 April 1959, CINCPAC augmented those instructions by directing that the senior Air Force officer assigned, Lt Col Robert Hoffman, be given the title of Director, JTWC, and be junior in rank to the FWC Commanding Officer, CDR Charles E. Tilden.

On 1 May 1959, CINCPAC directed the formation of the JTWC under FWC in order to eliminate redundancy and improve efficiency of tropical cyclone monitoring and warning.  At that time tropical cyclone warnings were issued for only the northwest Pacific.  The Alternate Joint Typhoon Warning Center (AJTWC) was located at the Air Force's Tokyo Weather Center.  The AJTWC moved to Fuchu Air Force Weather Central, Tokyo, Japan in 1960.  The AJTWC coordinated tropical cyclone warnings north of 25°N with JTWC until the mid-1960's.

28 June 1959 FWC/JTWC issued it's first warning on Tropical Depression Violet. The first tropical storm warning was for Tropical Storm Wilda, and the first typhoon warning was for Typhoon Billie.

On 11 November 1962 Typhoon Karen destroyed the Quonset hut that housed the Fleet Weather Center/Joint Typhoon Warning Center.  The present typhoon-resistant annex to the COMNAVMAR Headquarters building was operational in 1965.


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