TD 2 forms in the Atlantic; hundreds feared dead from Typhoon Morakot; Felicia hits

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:55 PM GMT on August 11, 2009

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Tropical Depression Two has formed out of the strong tropical wave off the coast of Africa we've been watching, and has a good chance of becoming the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm. Satellite loops of the storm show that heavy thunderstorm activity is increasing near the storm's center, and low-level spiral bands are getting better established. However, dry air to TD 2's north is interfering with this process, and the storm is being slow to organize. This morning's QuikSCAT pass missed TD 2.


Figure 1. Current satellite image of TD 2.

Wind shear over the storm is low, 5 knots, and is expected to remain low to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, through Thursday. Sea Surface temperatures are a marginal 26 - 27°C, and there is plenty of dry, stable air from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) to to TD 2's north. The relatively cool SSTs and dry air mean that TD 2 will not be able to intensify quickly. However, does appear likely that TD 2 has enough going for it that it will be able to become Tropical Storm Ana later today or on Wednesday. Most of the computer models show some weak development, but none of them predict TD 2 will become a hurricane. It is unusual for storms forming this far north to make it all the way across the Atlantic to hit the Lesser Antilles Islands, and the current NHC forecast track aiming TD 2 north of the islands appears to be a good one.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
Two other tropical waves, one passing through the Lesser Antilles Islands, and one about 600 miles east of the islands, are mentioned in NHC's Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook. Both of these waves have very limited heavy thunderstorm activity that is not increasing, and are not a threat to develop over the next two days. None of the computer models develop either of these waves.

A large, disorganized tropical wave is just leaving the coast of Africa, south of the Cape Verdes Islands. The GFS and ECMWF models continue to predict the possible development of this wave late this week.


Figure 2. Track and total rain amount from Typhoon Morakot. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Death toll from Typhoon Morakot in the hundreds
The death toll from Typhoon Morakot continues climb, as a landslide triggered by the storm's heavy rains hit the small town of Shiao Lin in southern Taiwan. Shiao Lin has a population of 1,300, and 400 - 600 people are missing in the wake of the landslide. Morakot killed an additional 41 elsewhere on Taiwan, with 60 missing. Earlier, the storm killed 22 in the Philippines, and went on to kill 6 in mainland China, which it hit as a tropical storm with 50 mph winds and heavy rain. Morakot's heavy rains caused an estimated $1.3 billion in damage to China.

Morakot moved very slowly as it passed over Taiwan, dumping near world-record amounts of rain. Alishan in the mountains of southern Taiwan recorded 91.98" of rain over a two-day period, one of the heaviest two-day rains in world history. The world 2-day rainfall record is 98.42", set at Reunion Island on March 15 - 17, 1952. Alishan received an astonishing 9.04 feet of rain over a 3-day period. The highest 1-day rainfall total ever recorded on Taiwan occurred Saturday at Weiliao Mountain in Pingtung County, which recorded 1.403 meters (4.6 feet or 55 inches) or rain. Nine the ten highest one-day rainfall amounts in Taiwanese history were reached on Saturday, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

Felicia continues to weaken, but is a flash flooding threat to Hawaii
Tropical Storm Felicia continues to steadily weaken, thanks to high wind shear of 30 knots. Recent satellite loops show that almost no heavy thunderstorm activity remains, and what little there is has been pushed to the northeast side of the center, exposing the surface center as a swirl of low clouds.


Figure 3. Tropical storm Felicia appeared as a swirl of low clouds with one spot of heavy thunderstorm activity to the northeast as it approached Hawaii yesterday evening.

High wind shear will continue to weaken Felicia today, and the storm is unlikely to cause major flooding problems as it moves over the islands today. The greatest danger of flooding will be over the northern islands, where Felicia's main moisture is concentrated.

Link to follow:
Wundermap for Hawaii

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I'll have an update Wednesday morning.

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3306. IKE
00Z ECMWF at 10 days had it heading more WNW toward south Florida....don't really see as much of a trough on this map compared to the latest GFS>>>>>

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Quoting Weather456:
It seems I'm going to get brunt of the storm per the models.


456 when do you think the AEW should begin organizing? How long should it take? Im not that good with broad systems.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
3304. IKE
Good morning to all.

Prognostic discussion from yesterday talked about a strong trough in the eastern USA in the 8-14 day extended.

That trough holds the key to where this goes, assuming "this" forms, which seems very likely.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I cannot even begin to express how strong this would be if it came to fruiton.

6z
162hours


Wow! That would be a big time OUCHY!
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It seems I'm going to get brunt of the storm per the models.
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Quoting IKE:
6Z GFS sends it up the east coast....trough dropping into the SE USA in about 11 days....



Yikes!
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Quoting indianrivguy:


hahahaha, I HATE it when that happens.. good morning sir!

mornin' Senior Chief! 456, happy birthday junkie!
Quoting indianrivguy:


hahahaha, I HATE it when that happens.. good morning sir!

mornin' Senior Chief! 456, happy birthday junkie!
Quoting indianrivguy:


hahahaha, I HATE it when that happens.. good morning sir!

mornin' Senior Chief! 456, happy birthday junkie!


morning
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Puerto Rico gets smashed by a Major Hurricane.

6z

180hours
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Quoting presslord:
Happy Birthday Stormjunkie!!!

Who's "old" now, sucka?!?!?!

Happy Birthday SJ!
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3297. IKE
6Z GFS sends it up the east coast....trough dropping into the SE USA in about 11 days....

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This should take about another 24-48 hours to organize. Definitely one of the larger AEWs I have seen.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Quoting IKE:


Morning.

Had to drive to Wal-Mart at 4 am....no coffee in the house....

On my 2nd cup....


hahahaha, I HATE it when that happens.. good morning sir!

mornin' Senior Chief! 456, happy birthday junkie!
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Good Morning,

Tropical Depression near TS strength; Trouble A'brewing
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TD 2 looks a little better organized this morning, is that due to DMAX?
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3290. IKE
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I cannot even begin to express how strong this would be if it came to fruiton.

6z
162hours


And that's less than a week away. More like 6 1/2 days.
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I cannot even begin to express how strong this would be if it came to fruiton.

6z
162hours
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
.
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Happy Birthday Stormjunkie!!!

Who's "old" now, sucka?!?!?!
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3283. seminolesfan 10:29 AM GMT on August 12, 2009
LOL
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Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
the yellow number 3 is going faster then tropical d two is..that will make the wave to go wnw or nw..
I'm not sure what this is, but I'm quoted so I'll relply. when the purple capital letter takes a left at the red light..that makes tea bitter on Wednesday.
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Quoting HurricaneJoe:


Someone in the blog said a few days ago that if the storm stayed on the weak side and didn't develop too quickly, it would tend to move more West than North.


Noted. At 35W, I am at 59.4W. Thus, 59.4-35 = 14.6 times roughly 60miles = 876 miles to travel

Moving at say, 15 mph (guess), gives it (the centre) between 50 and 55 hours to get in this area.

That means that the overall system will begin affecting the area in roughly 2 days, which is Thursday.

Bye, I am off, have a good day.
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3281. IKE
From the Memphis,TN extended discussion...

"UPPER LEVEL RIDGING SHOULD REBUILD OVER THE AREA FOR THE MIDDLE OF
NEXT WEEK WITH MAINLY DIURNAL SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ALONG WITH
TEMPERATURES RETURNING BACK TO NEAR SEASONAL AVERAGES.".....


No troughs coming in or down into the SE USA...not good for storms to avoid possible landfalls.

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Quoting IKE:


More in line w/the ECMWF.


Ya, when you read their discussions they tend to favor the ECMWF and it's ensemble mean most of the time.
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Quoting CycloneOz:
I've been up since 2:57 AM EDT...

And haven't had one cup yet.

Kettle whistle would wake up the house. :(


Did you catch any of the meteor shower? Was too cloudy here in tampa bay. Got up too early for nothing. No shooting stars and no Ana.
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looks pretty active to me - one of these days one of these things is going to take the "Long Island Express" towards my neighborhood.
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3276. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


HPC shows what I believe is the wave currently ~55W going through the gulf as a trough.

http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/basicwx/day0-7loop.html


More in line w/the ECMWF.

That would help drought-stricken SE TX.
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Quoting IKE:


You're holding your breath waiting for a blank/aka 0-0-0, to end.


Wouldn't holding my breath turn me blue? :)

Everyone have a last great 0,0,0 day!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3420
Quoting IKE:
There is some dry-air around TD2......



Plenty of it.
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Quoting bajelayman2:


And it seems to be steering under the dry air, bring it closer to ...me...lol


Someone in the blog said a few days ago that if the storm stayed on the weak side and didn't develop too quickly, it would tend to move more West than North.
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Quoting IKE:
Since aquak9 is off to work...GFS at 102 hours shows... wave approaching the islands now, in the NE GOM in 4 days...shows TD2 ENE of the northern islands and blob behind it revving up again....



HPC shows what I believe is the wave currently ~55W going through the gulf as a trough.

http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/basicwx/day0-7loop.html
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3271. IKE
Quoting CycloneOz:
I've been up since 2:57 AM EDT...

And haven't had one cup yet.

Kettle whistle would wake up the house. :(


You're holding your breath waiting for a blank/aka 0-0-0, to end.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
I've been up since 2:57 AM EDT...

And haven't had one cup yet.

Kettle whistle would wake up the house. :(


Watch the kettle turn it off right before it boils.

You MUST have your coffee....lol

Just finished mine and am off for a run shortly.

Have a good day guys.
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3269. IKE
There is some dry-air around TD2......

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I've been up since 2:57 AM EDT...

And haven't had one cup yet.

Kettle whistle would wake up the house. :(
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3420
Quoting HurricaneJoe:
Looks like the dry air around TD2 is trying to weaken it some.

Link


And it seems to be steering under the dry air, bring it closer to ...me...lol
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3265. IKE
Since aquak9 is off to work...GFS at 102 hours shows... wave approaching the islands now, in the NE GOM in 4 days...shows TD2 ENE of the northern islands and blob behind it revving up again....

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I mean TD 2.On the latest loop it is moving Southwest.
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Looks like the dry air around TD2 is trying to weaken it some.

Link
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Quoting serialteg:


howd you get to that particular image from the quickscat site?


Its not from the QuikScat site, but the Eumetsat Ocean and Sea Ice, http://www.knmi.nl/scatterometer/ascat_osi_25_prod/ascat_app.cgi. On the right hand side you can select QuikScat.
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3260. IKE
Quoting StormW:
Good morning!


Morning.

Had to drive to Wal-Mart at 4 am....no coffee in the house....

On my 2nd cup....
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Morning StormW / Ike,

Looks like the system East of the islands is going to seriously threaten us in Barbados, you think?
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Good morning everyone :)
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Good morning, Isee that the system East of the islands is moving South-West, aiming for Barbados and the lower islands.

Is this weird or what. I guess this fits with the steering current, as the blob that left us has steered SouthWest tot he South American coast.

This is going to be one weird season.
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3256. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
231 AM AST WED AUG 12 2009

.DISCUSSION...RELATIVELY QUIET WEATHER CONDITIONS PREVAILED DURING
THE EARLY MORNING ACROSS THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO.
THE PUNTA SALINAS DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED MOSTLY ISOLATED SHOWERS.
WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY WILL BEGIN TO BE AFFECTED BY AN ELONGATED
WAVE THAT EXTENDS FROM THE NORTHERN LEEWARDS INTO THE SOUTHEAST
CARIBBEAN. THE NORTHERN SEGMENT OF THE WAVE IS POISED TO MOVE
ACROSS USVI AND PR LATER TODAY BRINGING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS TO THE AREA...WHICH WILL BECOME LOCALLY
MORE NUMEROUS ACROSS WESTERN AND INTERIOR PUERTO RICO DUE TO SEA
BREEZE EFFECTS. THIS FIRST PERIOD OF WEATHER IS TO BE FOLLOWED BY
ADDITIONAL BANDS OF MOISTURE TRAVELING AHEAD OF NEXT TROPICAL
WAVE LOCATED NEAR 55 WEST. THIS SECOND WAVE IS EXPECTED TO START
IMPACTING THE LOCAL AREA THIS EVENING AND EXIT WEST PUERTO RICO
FRIDAY MORNING. MAIN IMPACTS OF THE WAVE WILL BE INCREASING CLOUDS
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AS WELL AS GUSTY WINDS AND LOCALLY HEAVY
RAINS AND ROUGH SEA CONDITIONS. WAVE SHOULD INTERACT WITH FAVORABLE UPPER
LEVEL CONDITIONS INDUCED BY UPPER TROUGH THAT IS FORECAST TO MOVE
WEST OVER HISPANIOLA. DRIER AIR IS TO SLIDE BEHIND THE WAVE FRIDAY
AFTERNOON BUT ON SATURDAY THE NORMAL SHOWERS AND ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO FOLLOWS NEXT AND WE SHOULD MONITOR ITS
PROGRESS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WEST TO WEST NORTHWEST DURING THE NEXT
FEW DAYS. PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST ADVISORIES FROM TPC/NHC ON THIS
SYSTEM.

ANOTHER LARGE TROPICAL WAVE IS TRACKING BEHIND TROPICAL DEP 2 AND WE
SHOULD MONITOR ITS PROGRESS SINCE GFS IS INDICATING POSSIBLE
DEVELOPMENT...AND THE CHANCE THAT IT MAY HAVE SOME IMPACT ACROSS THE
NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN NEXT TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. KEPT MAX SURFACE
WINDS AT 25 KNOTS FOR GRIDS FOR DAY 7 AND 8 PERIOD. A REMINDER...IT
IS AUGUST AND CLIMATOLOGICALLY A TIME WHEN THE TROPICS BECOME MORE
ACTIVE. ALL LOCAL RESIDENTS...MARINERS AND VISITORS ARE REMINDED TO
MONITOR THE WEATHER CLOSELY...AS WE APPROACH THE MORE ACTIVE PART OF
THE HURRICANE SEASON.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.