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

Blog comments not recommended
Someone managed to post a comment on my blog both Saturday and Monday containing links to a malicious web site that infected some people's computers when they clicked on the link. Our tech people have identified how to stop these attacks, but it will take some development time to engineer a fix. I recommend people not click on any links in comments posted on any wunderground blog unless you are highly confident of the destination of the link, or of the strength of your anti-virus software. I'll announce when the software fix has been made. I apologize to anybody who may have been affected by this. If you have specific information on which comments may have caused the problem, and who may be responsible, please submit a support ticket to help us out. At this time, it appears that actually reading comments on wunderground blogs is not a danger.

I'll have an update Wednesday morning.

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Quoting WeatherStudent:
dammit, guys, yet anotehr florida landfaller on this latest run, not good, it's been picking on florida for several runs now, stay tune i guess
not trying to scare the gulf residents, but remember the models had Ike in Florida's sights for many runs...in other words, don't be worried /stressed about these runs when it is still so far off.
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Quoting acCane08:
Does anyone remember who made the Google Earth maps of where everyone lived..and if they are still viewable?? Thanks!


Zoomiami made them and I use them in my posts
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3054. Skyepony (Mod)
Model preformance stats for TD2
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TD2

AOI

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Does anyone remember who made the Google Earth maps of where everyone lived..and if they are still viewable?? Thanks!
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Quoting winter123:


That didn't really answer, even say Katrina as it was entering the GOM, it would have been shown as 996mb. So how do you tell how strong its forecasting it? Guestimate? I don't get it...
you can tell by the isobars around the "storm". the more rings the higher the winds/stronger the storm.
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3048. 7544
hey isn 53k a ts by now

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.4 / 995.2mb/ 53.0kt
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6858
3047. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


LATEST 415 UTC IMAGE

02L/TD/A
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54449
Quoting Drakoen:
The GFS has a good idea of where this future cyclone may end up going. The ECMWF does as well since steering currents are not very complex.


For once. lol
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Ok folks. I have to stop staring at the pretty funktop and get my butt in bed. Have a good night and I'll be on in the AM.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
dammit, guys, yet anotehr florida landfaller on this latest run, not good, it's been picking on florida for several runs now, stay tune i guess


No need to get excited or concerned right now man. Just keep an eye on the situation for now. And most importantly, just make sure you have your preparation plans in place just in case this ever does become a threat.
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3043. Drakoen
The GFS has a good idea of where this future cyclone may end up going. The ECMWF does as well since steering currents are not very complex.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30565
3042. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting winter123:


That didn't really answer, even say Katrina as it was entering the GOM, it would have been shown as 996mb. So how do you tell how strong its forecasting it? Guestimate? I don't get it...


SHIPS & other intensity models.
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Quoting reedzone:
Tampa, Florida is for the 3rd time today.. the target on the GFS 00z Model run.


That means that we can safely assume Tampa will not be hit! =P
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It is being persistent with a Florida hit, therefore anyone in Florida needs to keep a very careful on the tropics over the next few weeks. I hope it's not 2004 all over again...
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3039. centex
Do we have any bouy data at current location?
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Ryan I would be behind you 100% if there wasnt any consensus among the other models. But there is so they're either all right or all wrong.
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3036. 7544
Quoting cchsweatherman:
Over the past couple hours, it seems that Tropical Depression 2 has been strengthening steadily as convection continues to build and expand. Also been noticing some good outflow in all quadrants throughout the night aiding in intensification.


hi ch can we might see a relocation of the center soon
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Not only that, as I posted before the models simply arent high resolution enough to notice a sub 1000mb pressure when it's only maybe 10miles across. Pressure drops off quick in a TC
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Quoting KimberlyB:


Thanks much. Just saw the updated info.

no problem.
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Quoting reedzone:


Great question! :)

the GFS is known to show storms weaker then what it really is.. say Felix (2007), an excellent example. When Felix was a raging category 5 storm in the Carribean, the GFS had it as a weak TS.


That didn't really answer, even say Katrina as it was entering the GOM, it would have been shown as 996mb. So how do you tell how strong its forecasting it? Guestimate? I don't get it...
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

every 30 minutes for nhc and every 15 mins for RAMMB


Thanks much. Just saw the updated info.
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3031. 7544
6th run same 'ouch again



Link
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6858
Tampa, Florida is for the 3rd time today.. the target on the GFS 00z Model run.
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post 3019


is that future ana we see coming in to the frame with an increase?


Dmax?


Thoughts?
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Quoting KimberlyB:
How often does the floater imagery update?

every 30 minutes for nhc and every 15 mins for RAMMB
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GFS00z ... looks like "ana" makes a hole for "bill" on the west side of the steering high.
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Over the past couple hours, it seems that Tropical Depression 2 has been strengthening steadily as convection continues to build and expand. Also been noticing some good outflow in all quadrants throughout the night aiding in intensification.
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How often does the floater imagery update?
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Quoting Funkadelic:


I guess Florida should start watching this come the weekend.. Just to let everyone know what deep crap I'm in.. Let's just say my roof right now would cave in if a catagory 1 came my way. But oh well life goes on I guess

We need some rain in Jamaica. According to records it's the worst drought since 1992 and the dam only has 26% of water left and on top of that you can get arrested and fined for using excessive amounts of water.
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The GFS initialized at 18z on 8/11 from WU has a much more southerly course than previously
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Quoting weatherblog:
Ana kind of reminds me of Ingrid and Karen from '07 where they got sheared to death before they could get to the east coast. Anyone else agree?

Any sort of remnant circulation this time of the year approaching Florida is scary
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Quoting winter123:


While i'm here having insomnia and need to wake up in like 6 hours, i'll ask something i've always wondered. How can you tell intensity from those models? The lowest pressure I see there in that link is 1000 mb, meaning weak TS at best, so how do you know it means major hurricane?


Great question! :)

the GFS is known to show storms weaker then what it really is.. say Felix (2007), an excellent example. When Felix was a raging category 5 storm in the Carribean, the GFS had it as a weak TS.
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3020. RyanFSU
Has GFS gone back to its old bogus-cane forecasting tricks of the past decade? I am talking about the upcoming 03L or Bill non-developed wave in the 00Z forecast going to major hurricane status inside the global model in 6-7 days. While the mesoscale models are useless for genesis and most intensity forecasts just after genesis, GFS is relied upon for some notion of genesis forecasting and medium-range guidance.

This Bill 03L forecast has been very persistent over the past several cycles, which really doesn't mean that much.



GFS tropical wind animation (updates every 6-hours)
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3019. JRRP
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3018. 7544
Quoting HurricaneFCast:
Once again, the estimated center:


they may have to relocate that lol
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Ana kind of reminds me of Ingrid and Karen from '07 where they got sheared to death before they could get to the east coast. Anyone else agree?
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Quoting reedzone:
"Major Hurricane Bill" (category 3-4) enters the Carribean while "Ana" is just a remnant wave.

Link


While i'm here having insomnia and need to wake up in like 6 hours, i'll ask something i've always wondered. How can you tell intensity from those models? The lowest pressure I see there in that link is 1000 mb, meaning weak TS at best, so how do you know it means major hurricane?
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Once again, the estimated center:
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3014. centex
I've seen lots of post about virus but no details which virus and or instructions how to remove it. if not blocked. Bloggers should make more helpful post. Bloggers, who don't add value, submit data for analysis are not helpful. This is not a chat room
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and I was way off - live and learn - thanks KOTG
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yeah KOTG thats pretty close to where I was guessing.
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3009. Drakoen
GFS is conducting low level cyclogenesis off the coast off Africa south of the Cape Verde islands on Wednesday. This may be too ambitious. Satellite imagery shows mid level circulation SE of the islands off the coast of Africa.
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3008. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54449
"Major Hurricane Bill" (category 3-4) enters the Carribean while "Ana" is just a remnant wave.

Link
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3006. Drakoen
Quoting hunkerdown:
welcome, how goes the PC ?


fixed it today
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30565

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