Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Tracking Typhoons in The South China Sea

Fascinating working climatological chart of the South China Sea, prepared from observations made at the Phu Lien Observatory, on top of the highest Thien Van mountain near Hai Phong, Vietnam.

The present chart is a rare example (perhaps a unique survival) of an actual working chart used by in French Indo-China to record the data from Typhoons in the region in the early part of the 20th Century.  The Phu Lien Observatory was used by the French colonial government to conduct a study of typhoons observed from 1911 to 1928. A study of a total of 128 typhoons was done during this period.   

Seemingly, this chart records the data of one of the 128 typhoons recorded during the period.  The present map tracks the cousre of a Typhoon the impacted the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  The map includes pencil notes with period observations and extensive note in the margins.


The map is apparently quite rare. We find no surviving examples, although the map is mentioned in the Geographical Review of January, 1916, Vol. 1, No. 1 pp. 57-84.

We note the existence of a similar map in the BnF, which is uncolored and seems to be more of an explanatory map, rather than a map intended to record the data from contemporary storms.