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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2154. Relix
Man.... I am now worried about future Bill. When all these models are in agreement of strength and track... there's something bound to happen. Going to watch out more for this than Ana here in Puerto Rico. Ana seems pretty much out of the woods to the Antilles... but possible Bill is seriously scaring me.
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GFDL does quite a bit with the 53W wave...that's the first surf-bearing sea-god to watch...and only 4 and 1/3 days away...


http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/gfdltc2.cgi?time=2009081118-two02l&field=Sea+Level+Pressure&hour=Ani mation
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2150. Patrap
Quoting StormSurgeon:
Lets all take a step back for a moment and analyze what is happening right now and stop projecting an impact of a storm that doesn't exist. Obviously, a potential storm will be in the East Atlantic in 48 hours. Lets watch and see. Am I out of line?


Sounds like fine sanity to me.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting Weather456:
18Z GFS 168 hrs, high res



Now that... I don't like. At. All.
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Quoting Weather456:
18Z GFS 168 hrs, high res



12z
162 hours:
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2147. Patrap
TD 2 AL022009 - Tropical Depression 02

Time of Latest Image: 200908112315

2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Lets all take a step back for a moment and analyze what is happening right now and stop projecting an impact of a storm that doesn't exist. Obviously, a potential storm will be in the East Atlantic in 48 hours. Lets watch and see. Am I out of line?
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aa
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thanks weathersp. i wonder why i've never noticed that before.

hello alaina. i'm good. my children are on my nerves, however. 45 minutes until bedtime/ peace and quiet! how are you?
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The 00z GFS should give us a good idea on the development time frame for the African low.
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18Z GFS 168 hrs, high res

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Easy rule for converting kts to mph..

Take the kts...and times by 1.15.

So [mph= 1.15(kts)]

Or the NWS office in Sterling (My WFO) has a great calculator page..

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/calculator.shtml
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/calculator.shtml
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Quoting Acemmett90:

the scary part is the gfs may have gotten somthing right
Quoting Acemmett90:

the scary part is the gfs may have gotten somthing right

Even a stopped clock has the right time, twice a day.
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The NOGAPS is the only model that doesn't have anything out of that wave I think.
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2138. aquak9
srada, you're right, sir. Or ma'am.
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Ana seems likely at 11pm.

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Quoting Weather456:
2081, as dr lyons point out, this wave is much further south and likely will take a much further south track and could potentially pose more of a problem than TD 2.

2083, good evening stormwatch, no it hasnt fully emerge as yet. doing it as we speak or maybe a good 12 hrs more.
Thanks for answering. I didn't think it had but wasn't quite sure and value your input.
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2134. srada
Quoting reedzone:
I believe all the local METS from Texas coasts to NYC are mentioning this wave.


ok, well that makes better sense. So anywhere from Texas to NYC is a target.

Whew. Feel oh-so-much better now.


Well, its at least two weeks away and I rather know the possiblility now than for someone to not mention it at all and then get caught at the last minute clueless
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Quoting reedzone:


I was gonna say that, right off the coast between the waning convection and deep convection in Africa.. I see a spin there, a very good spin.


Thats exactly where the low is.
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Quoting IKE:
I see a spin in those clouds emerging from Africa.


Its good to know that I'm not the only one.
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What's up all? I'm gonna go ahead and update my site with my forecasted track and models..and etc..bb in a bit.
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oh. thank you stormchaser.
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2128. aquak9
Quoting IKE:
I see a spin in those clouds emerging from Africa.


are you joking? C'mon Ike, I've woke up to the past two days of every major city being annihilated with those stinking maps.

Already???
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Quoting reedzone:


OMG we should have a party for it becoming to first named storm of the season!!!! :P


Aint that the truth! LOL. We should all have a drink!
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2126. Patrap
AL022009 - Tropical Depression 02


Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting truecajun:
why do the satellite images seem "spliced" for lack of a better word?


Ahh very good question...

The region in the cape Verde's is on the edge of two satellite systems, one is the EUMESAT which sits over Africa to cover Europe and the other is NOAA's GOES satellites which cover the eastern Atlantic to Hawaii.
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Good evening everyone i see our TD2 is very close to TS status has some good numbers associated with it
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Quoting truecajun:
why do the satellite images seem "spliced" for lack of a better word?


Hey girl, how are you tonight?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
2081, as dr lyons point out, this wave is much further south and likely will take a much further south track and could potentially pose more of a problem than TD 2.

2083, good evening stormwatch, no it hasnt fully emerge as yet. doing it as we speak or maybe a good 12 hrs more.
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Quoting IKE:
I see a spin in those clouds emerging from Africa.


I was gonna say that, right off the coast between the waning convection and deep convection in Africa.. I see a spin there, a very good spin.
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2119. aquak9
Quoting reedzone:
I believe all the local METS from Texas coasts to NYC are mentioning this wave.


ok, well that makes better sense. So anywhere from Texas to NYC is a target.

Whew. Feel oh-so-much better now.
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Quoting weathersp:


Ohhhh, Riiiighhhtttt....

*ahem* missed that one


Haha, its ok.
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The 18z GFS of 24 hours ago showed Mobile. take from it what you will but I wouldnt call one run of one model a target on my back here.
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Quoting truecajun:
why do the satellite images seem "spliced" for lack of a better word?


The 30W line updates less frequently than where its at now.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


If the ECMWF is showing a 1000mb low then its likely a hurricane.
Exactly.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


It should be classified by 11pm.


OMG we should have a party for it becoming to first named storm of the season!!!! :P
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2113. IKE
I see a spin in those clouds emerging from Africa.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2112. Patrap
Another must have Page,NOAA RAMMB imagery
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why do the satellite images seem "spliced" for lack of a better word?
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Quoting aquak9:


Reedzone, just been lurking a while, but seems like everyone's saying the same thing "local mets are saying watch the next wave just now emerging"

certainly we all don't live in the same area...are ALL the local mets across the southeast saying this? That sounds,(pulls out thesaurus) err..precipitously ominous... (puts away thesaurus)


The fact that most of the major models are jumping onto this wave (the first wave they have all jumped on at once this season), gives any met pause. Personally, I don't think the wave looks all that hot (actually, it looks like a disorganized mess), but it just pulled off the coast, so I'm going to give it 2 days to show its true colors.
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Quoting serialteg:


:/

Also, 1000mb - 45kt is TS strength right?


If the ECMWF is showing a 1000mb low then its likely a hurricane.
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I believe all the local METS from Texas coasts to NYC are mentioning this wave.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:

LOL

It came out a half hour ago.


Ohhhh, Riiiighhhtttt....

*ahem* missed that one
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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.