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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Whats the link to the ADT estimates? Im trying to get it so I can bookmark it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Acemmett90:

alot changes in an hour with these little critters


I dont get it since the image you posted is 8:30 PM. I posted 8:00 PM
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
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Quoting Twinkster:
i would recommend everyone get off of this site. Earlier i had no threats from malwarebytes. This is the only site i have visited practically all day and i now have 8 infected files and i have a trojan


I have been on this site all day and not had one problem. Protect your PC before venturing out into the interweb
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
2350. Drakoen
The person who is posting the bad script must be able to hide the code within their post.
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Are the models too aggressive in developing the wave behind TD2?
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 559
2345. Drakoen
Quoting KYhomeboy:


Drak I believe the rest of the wave has yet to exit the coast. The large area of convection over the land is in association with the same wave.


The wave axis is off shore which matches well with the cimss 850mb vorticity maximum and the data from Atmos Albany
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i would recommend everyone get off of this site. Earlier i had no threats from malwarebytes. This is the only site i have visited practically all day and i now have 8 infected files and i have a trojan
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Anybody else think TD2 is looking more organized in the last 6 hours?
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Quoting Acemmett90:

thats an old image



8PM is just an hour ago
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Thanks to both of you! That makes sense and was what I was seeing from the graphic you posted 456...just wanted to make sure I was catchin' the correct interpretation of your post. Thanks again to both of ya'll!
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2340. Patrap
GOES WV Loop of Tropical Basin
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Quoting Stoopid1:
If those ADT numbers are right, than wow, impressive. I doubt they are, but who knows. As for you folks with virus problems, may I suggest;

Avast! Anti-virus
Avast! Virus cleaner tool
CCleaner
Defraggler
Windows Security Essentials
SUPERAntispyware




that is the best, 4-5 years without a serious infection

I have the pro to that but the home edition is just as good.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
the African wave "Bill" will NOT recurve until it passes 60W. All models featuring this wave have a full forced westward coarse, it may recurve and hit Bermuda, but east of that, most likely not. I'm working on a diagram showing 3 possibilities of what this potential storm might do.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:
Somebody keeps posting that Malware script


As an IT guy I would recommend to everyone:

1. Use Firefox with the AdBlock plus plugin... this blacklists a TON of problem sites.

2. Run a good anti-virus software. I use AVG Free edition. Scan daily, especially if you use social networking sites

3. Run a good firewall. I use zone alarm. It is a free firewall, and will lock down your pc tight. It is not as user friendly as other products so consider carefully before choosing.

4. Use a program such as Spybot S&D to immunize your PC against problem websites. This application is also a very good anti-malware scanner/remover. The Immunization function works on both IE and Firefox

5. Don't EVER click on something that pops up saying you are infected unless it is coming from your own virus software. This is a very common way of tricking people to install malware on their machine. In fact, if you see such a notice, odds are you're already infected. That's why steps 1-4 above are vitally important.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
2335. Patrap


Welcome to the LSU Earth Scan Lab.


The ESL is a satellite data receiving station and image processing facility for environmental data from six unique earth observing sensor systems. We specialize in real-time access to satellite imagery and measurements of the atmosphere, oceans and coastal areas within the Gulf of Mexico / Caribbean Sea region, data which we obtain directly from satellite transmissions to three antennas on LSU rooftops. These data have many applications for research, education, and state emergency response.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Quoting KYhomeboy:


Drak I believe the rest of the wave has yet to exit the coast. The large area of convection over the land is in association with the same wave.


correct, the wave still over land
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
If those ADT numbers are right, than wow, impressive. I doubt they are, but who knows. As for you folks with virus problems, may I suggest;

Avast! Anti-virus
Avast! Virus cleaner tool
CCleaner
Defraggler
Windows Security Essentials
SUPERAntispyware
Firefox 3.5 w/ WOT, Adblock Plus, and NoScript

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


not sure but I suspect over West Africa along 10W-15W, that's where I pick up most vort.


I still think the models are aggressive. It's peaking up time in the Atlantic Basin though.
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Quoting Drakoen:
quickscat shows no evidence of a surface circulation with the wave off the coast of Africa


Drak I believe the rest of the wave has yet to exit the coast. The large area of convection over the land is in association with the same wave.
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Can this blog get virus?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2328. Drakoen
The center of the mess off the coast of Africa, is just off the coast above 10N
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We should have Ana in short order.
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2320. KerryInNOLA 1:08 AM GMT on August 12, 2009
We feel that TD 2 will recurve out to sea and therefore not threaten the US. Our data also shows that the wave exiting Africa will also curve as it gets caught up in a trough.


who's "we" and any proof??
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2325. Patrap
Quoting sammywammybamy:



Patrap its Not to Put Personal Pictures on Here..

There are some Very Sick People on the Web..

Thats why i dont Put any Pictures of me..



No one did sportfan,.thats a Google File Image


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127549
Quoting sammywammybamy:



Patrap its Not to Put Personal Pictures on Here..

There are some Very Sick People on the Web..

Thats why i dont Put any Pictures of me..


no need for such paranoia. them knowing what you look like won't make much difference.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:
Somebody keeps posting that Malware script


Don't click an unknown link posted by an unknown blogger and you'll be ok.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


Where is the center of that mess?


not sure but I suspect over West Africa along 10W-15W, that's where I pick up most vort.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
you tell em Pat
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2318. Drakoen
quickscat shows no evidence of a surface circulation with the wave off the coast of Africa
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Quoting Weather456:
Its ok SW, I'm not a blog conquerer lol *roll eyes*



Where is the center of that mess?
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2314. Drakoen
Somebody keeps posting that Malware script
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Enough with the Tigers talk. Seriously, its not as if you're talking about the Tigers that matter (Detroit Tigers). We have active cyclones out there.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 559
2311. Greyelf
Did I click on an SEC discussion blog by accident?
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Its ok SW, I'm not a blog conquerer lol *roll eyes*

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2307. Drakoen
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Drakoen, good. I'm glad your computer is doing better :)

Any revisions to your thoughts from earlier today on TD2 or the putative 'Bill'


thoughts have not changed
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About

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