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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3706. gator23
Quoting mobilegirl81:
The GFS is taking a strong hurricane further east today. Any chance it would reconfigure west again?

Its possible as forecasts 7 days out are pretty low confidence.
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3705. WxLogic
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


No significant increase in time, http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/prodstat/index.html#TARGET. They will have more capacity, so that they can add more "runs", for example when the hurricane models are currently run you will get this "WRF NMM preempted by the hurricane model. No WRF NMM graphics available for this hour". In the future, they should be able to run the NMM at the same time.


Got it... thx
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:

I wouldnt completely agree, with the convection getting sheared to the west, I think they will wait until 2 or 5. We will see, tho.


If they called Barry and Nana, this deserves classification too in my book.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23923
Quoting CycloneOz:


The welcome mat may have been pulled, but someone's left all the doors wide-open!
Quoting AussieStorm:

and also left the spa running with the heater on too.


What an opportunity for any system that can make it inside.

Use any metaphor you like to describe it!

Bull in a china shop.
Kid in a candy store.
etc....
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


With the T's the way they are, the quickScat showing winds well at TS strength, they don't have much of a reason to not call it Ana.

I wouldnt completely agree, with the convection getting sheared to the west, I think they will wait until 2 or 5. We will see, tho.
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
3701. gator23
.
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3700. gator23
Quoting BayouBorn1965:


I didn't know Biloxi had a panhandle. We have a peninsula. Are you thinking of Florida's panhandle? What model are you looking at? Can you provide a link?


class='blogquote'>Quoting slavp:
Yes, You may be wrong...Matter of fact, you better be wrong!!! LOL
He was the models showed a panhandle hit, a south dade hit but he got one right. SE TX
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Quoting AussieStorm:

and also left the spa running with the heater on too.


Al Gore did it!
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
Can someone post a link to the latest CMC... someone said that it was taking something into SETX or SWLA


Link
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Quoting Vortex95:
It seems like Ana won't be called at 11


With the T's the way they are, the quickScat showing winds well at TS strength, they don't have much of a reason to not call it Ana.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23923
Quoting WxLogic:


At least I'm hoping for a quicker output... I hope we "public" can benefit out of it... I know NWS will definitely see the benefits but sure hope we see a more timely posting.


No significant increase in time, http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/prodstat/index.html#TARGET. They will have more capacity, so that they can add more "runs", for example when the hurricane models are currently run you will get this "WRF NMM preempted by the hurricane model. No WRF NMM graphics available for this hour". In the future, they should be able to run the NMM at the same time.
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3691. Will someone close that darn door. NOW!
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3693. cg2916
Quoting BiloxiIsle:
Attention: The welcome mat has been removed from the GOM. All storms must proceed to the right.

That would be Florida.
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The GFS is taking a strong hurricane further east today. Any chance it would reconfigure west again?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Slight southern movement.



I would say a solid WSW movement for well over 12 hours now. It's following the periphery...smart one this TD is!
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Quoting CycloneOz:


The welcome mat may have been pulled, but someone's left all the door wide-open!

and also left the spa running with the heater on too.
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Can someone post a link to the latest CMC... someone said that it was taking something into SETX or SWLA
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Quoting BiloxiIsle:
Attention: The welcome mat has been removed from the GOM. All storms must proceed to the right.


The welcome mat may have been pulled, but someone's left all the doors wide-open!
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My opinion om the current set of factors? I must quote the great Jeff Spicoli by saying, "I don't know!"
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my guess in ana at 5
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Quoting java162:


tropicality??????





Its technical, you prolly wouln't understand.



:)
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Slight southern movement.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15884
Guys,

The DVORAK readings just came out about 2 hours ago. The advisory came out 4 hours ago, in the verge of another update....so we'll see but most likely it will be Tropical Storm Ana!


000
WTNT42 KNHC 120835
TCDAT2
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL022009
500 AM AST WED AUG 12 2009

"SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT A PERSISTENT CLUSTER OF THUNDERSTORMS
REMAINS IN THE WESTERN SEMICIRCLE OF THE DEPRESSION...ALTHOUGH
RECENTLY THIS CLUSTER HAS TAKEN ON A SOMEWHAT ELONGATED APPEARANCE.
MICROWAVE AND SHORTWAVE INFRARED DATA SUGGEST THE CENTER REMAINS ON
THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE CONVECTION AND NOT WELL-EMBEDDED WITHIN THE
MAIN CONVECTIVE CLUSTER. DVORAK ESTIMATES SUGGEST THE MAXIMUM
WINDS ARE NEAR 30 KT...AND THE INITIAL INTENSITY WILL BE HELD AT
THAT VALUE."

So it's def..being used in their discussions!

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Everybody says Ivan was a Florida storm when the eye made landfall in gulf shores, AL and mobile, AL had 100 mph sustained winds.
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Quoting CycloneOz:
So far I've seen model runs this week that takes significant TCs into the following areas:

1) WPB (S. FL)
2) SE TX / SW LA
3) Biloxi (panhandle)

Those are the three areas I selected in June to get hit with a TC this year...perhaps.

May the Models and I be wrong! :)


I didn't know Biloxi had a panhandle. We have a peninsula. Are you thinking of Florida's panhandle? What model are you looking at? Can you provide a link?
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3675. That works for me!
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3678. Drakoen
Quoting cirrocumulus:
Drak,
Did you see the spin near 42 11?



Yes but development not expected.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30312
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15884
3676. WxLogic
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


There are no model changes, they are just running on a new computer. Expect them at the same time as usual.


At least I'm hoping for a quicker output... I hope we "public" can benefit out of it... I know NWS will definitely see the benefits but sure hope we see a more timely posting.
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Quoting BiloxiIsle:
Attention: The welcome mat has been removed from the GOM. All storms must proceed to the right.

about 1000miles to the right
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Mornin' Doug. Pretty impressive line of tropicality starting to rev up, huh?



No doubt, its getting interesting!
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Quoting reedzone:
Ok, I'm still not getting the model changes, so what exactly are we going to see on them this afternoon?


There are no model changes, they are just running on a new computer. Expect them at the same time as usual.
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No Tropical Storm yet, basically because the depression is getting some easterly shear which is why the center is exposed.
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3671. cg2916
Wow... there's a new comment every 24 seconds. This blog is active.
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Drak,
Did you see the spin near 42 11?

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Attention: The welcome mat has been removed from the GOM. All storms must proceed to the right.
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Ok, I'm still not getting the model changes, so what exactly are we going to see on them this afternoon?
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3667. WxLogic
Quoting Drakoen:


"EMC HAS BEEN MONITORING THE MODEL SUITE RUNNING ON THE NEW
COMPUTER AND RESULTS HAVE SHOWN THAT THERE IS NO APPRECIABLE
DIFFERENCE IN SKILL SCORE BETWEEN THE SYSTEMS
. THIS IS TO BE
EXPECTED SINCE THE MODELING SUITE HAS NOT CHANGED."


LOL... that proves it.
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3666. Drakoen
TD2's low is nearly exposed
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30312
3665. cg2916
Quoting cchsweatherman:
Really am surprised that we still don't have Tropical Storm Ana, but can understand why considering the partially exposed circulation and low SAB and TAFB satellite estimates during the night. Could be wrong again, but given the new estimates from the SAB and TAFB at 2.5, we should have Tropical Storm Ana like a few have stated.

Well, at 5 AM, the Dvorak numbers were 2.0, so that's why we don't have Ana yet.
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Quoting A4Guy:
looks to me like the COC of TD2 is just a bit south of the latest forecast track. anyone else see taht (looking at RGB Vis loop).


I agree, but JUST south.
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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which includes Weather456, daily update.


TD2

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
3662. Drakoen
Quoting WxLogic:
It is my understanding that algorithm hasn't been changed in any form... so I won't expect accuracy will be impacted... just the digestion process of the data and output of it will be quicker. So a 12Z run will actually be very close to 12Z instead of waiting until 15Z or 16Z for models to come out...


"EMC HAS BEEN MONITORING THE MODEL SUITE RUNNING ON THE NEW
COMPUTER AND RESULTS HAVE SHOWN THAT THERE IS NO APPRECIABLE
DIFFERENCE IN SKILL SCORE BETWEEN THE SYSTEMS
. THIS IS TO BE
EXPECTED SINCE THE MODELING SUITE HAS NOT CHANGED."
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30312
Link

Looks like hi-level moisture from Maka is giving ex-Felicia a boost this morning...
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3660. A4Guy
looks to me like the COC of TD2 is just a bit south of the latest forecast track. anyone else see taht (looking at RGB Vis loop).
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I don't think circulation will remain partially exposed for long. Looking at the last couple frames of the Dvorak, it looks like it's trying damn hard to develop convection on the southern eastern sides. You can see a couple bands that are wrapping around and starting to pop. Should be interesting if it can keep it up.
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3658. WxLogic
It is my understanding that algorithm hasn't been changed in any form... so I won't expect accuracy will be impacted... just the digestion process of the data and output of it will be quicker. So a 12Z run will actually be very close to 12Z instead of waiting until 15Z or 16Z for models to come out...
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3657. Drakoen
74 pages lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30312

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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.

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