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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Quoting robie1conobie:
funny....! I dont see anymore 0,0,0 comments all of the sudden. They should have to eat some dirty a@$ pidgeon or sea gull.


That was never a realistic prediction. I rolled my eyes and laughed every time someone said it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey, Bastardi says it will be like 54, 60, 76 and 85, but doesn't he say that every year? (All were years that a 'cane hit the northeast u.s.)
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Quoting Acemmett90:

navy needs to find a bomb or somthing that kills hurricanes


Maybe they should drop Bill Gates into one
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting popartpete:
Adopt my attitude, "who cares". I am a person in my own right, with reason and opinion, and I would not care if I was in a room with one hundred people and 99 had a different opinion than me. Maybe I'm right, and maybe I'm wrong. I wouldn't even know who the "in" people are around here, even though I've read this blog for years, and it wouldn't matter if I did. I just read, digesting the various opinions, laughing at the ridiculous, not taking anything too seriously, and enjoying the wonder of weather. By the way, I wishcast everything to be a fish storm that will somehow merge with the remnants of Karen, or I predict it will be a cat 5 hitting florida! So don't worry. I like everybody, so you've got at least one friend. Greetings from the Jersey Shore, the most hurricane-free East Coast state, at least by my calculations, which could be wrong!


Hello Jersey from Mobile. Keep on blogging, because you have the right mindset!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I try and not lend any credence to forecasts beyond five days, so while there may be troughs moving across the Atlantic, it is impossible to tell which, if any, of these troughs will dictate the steering flow of the Bill wave, or even TD2, beyond say, five days out.

If you recall with Ivan, the track was consistently aimed at the western Florida peninsula, but gradually bent back to the west.

I am right there with you on this. My point was that all it takes is one degree shift in the forecast or a couple mb change in pressure and the whole track changes.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
lof of dry air around TD2...makes me wonder if that is going to hurt it a bit today. I still see a high shot for TS out of it at some point but not sure it will happen tonight or into tomorrow.


The dry air is quite abundant, and will likely inhibit significant intensification in the short-term. It would probably be better though, were TD2 to mitigate the dry air and rapidly develop, because then it would be more likely to make a poleward turn.
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Seems that TD2 will continue a westward track for a long time until it can intensify.
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Guys, is this link useful? (no malware, just link to Fox ECMWF animated model site)

Link

I dont think I see the current depression even shown in the 'cast!
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funny....! I dont see anymore 0,0,0 comments all of the sudden. They should have to eat some dirty a@$ pidgeon or sea gull.
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1945. IKE
Quoting btwntx08:

panhandle which thats were ike is


Yes it is. That should effectively destroy my dock.....and do more damage to my house...

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Quoting Acemmett90:

navy needs to find a bomb or somthing that kills hurricanes


>_>

Hurricanes are a vital part of nature. They are responsible for some of the annual rainfall in the southeastern United States during the summer months. Most importantly, they transport heat from the tropics to the poles.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

navy needs to find a bomb or somthing that kills hurricanes


A...bomb???
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
lof of dry air around TD2...makes me wonder if that is going to hurt it a bit today. I still see a high shot for TS out of it at some point but not sure it will happen tonight or into tomorrow.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
here is a model for ya

coaps fsu edu site

Link


Yep, they're really getting gung ho about it. I'm curious what tomorrow will hold.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
here is a model for ya

coaps fsu edu site

Link

Thanks KOTG, but my computer refused to open the link , I know its probably safe but I've tightened up the security on my PC since yesterday due to the virus problems experienced by some including myself.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Yea I agree...people are forgetting there are major trofs forecasted to move across the US which will affect the steering flow and also shear levels. If a trof is sitting over the Gulf States, any storm will weaken before landfall. That is bad news though for the panhandle as a trof would protect LA and MS.


I try and not lend any credence to forecasts beyond five days, so while there may be troughs moving across the Atlantic, it is impossible to tell which, if any, of these troughs will dictate the steering flow of the Bill wave, or even TD2, beyond say, five days out.

If you recall with Ivan, the track was consistently aimed at the western Florida peninsula, but gradually bent back to the west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Acemmett90:

navy needs to find a bomb or somthing that kills hurricanes


If a bomb or something could "kill" a hurricane, I am pretty sure it will kill a heck of a lot more than just the hurricane. The energy involved in a hurricane is immense.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5875
Quoting caneluver:
I have been saying this would happen for a week now and seems everyone thhought I was crazy! Seems to me if your not in the "in crowd" on this blog then your opinion doesn't mean squat... Truth of the matter is, is that the east coast is highly in the path of not just one storm this year, but multiple storms. Look at the way things are set up, the position of the bermuda high and the steering winds aloft.
Adopt my attitude, "who cares". I am a person in my own right, with reason and opinion, and I would not care if I was in a room with one hundred people and 99 had a different opinion than me. Maybe I'm right, and maybe I'm wrong. I wouldn't even know who the "in" people are around here, even though I've read this blog for years, and it wouldn't matter if I did. I just read, digesting the various opinions, laughing at the ridiculous, not taking anything too seriously, and enjoying the wonder of weather. By the way, I wishcast everything to be a fish storm that will somehow merge with the remnants of Karen, or I predict it will be a cat 5 hitting florida! So don't worry. I like everybody, so you've got at least one friend. Greetings from the Jersey Shore, the most hurricane-free East Coast state, at least by my calculations, which could be wrong!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The season probably average this year. But with the atl. Bermuda high in place so strong, most of the cv system will affect northen Islands and conus.
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Quoting Weather456:


I'm not sure, maybe Ike. But I've seen examples with Frances though, that did not verified but Frances did enough a major would do.


IIRC, the models did VERY well with Ike. Gustav was fairly close to on-target, too.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5875
Quoting KoritheMan:


No, not necessarily. It depends on the upper wind environment. Gustav actually weakened prior to landfall, despite passing over the Loop Current, because of southerly shear.

Moreover, even though the Bill wave is likely to develop, its ultimate track is uncertain. No way in hell this is going to recurve, though.

Yea I agree...people are forgetting there are major trofs forecasted to move across the US which will affect the steering flow and also shear levels. If a trof is sitting over the Gulf States, any storm will weaken before landfall. That is bad news though for the panhandle as a trof would protect LA and MS.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

lets pray it recurves


Impossible at this point, unfortunately. Even if a weakness were to develop in the subtropical ridge, the system would not recurve, because it would be too far south to feel said weakness.
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1930. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
hey 456 how ya doing this evening
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting centex:
Yes, and when the stupid models initialize on more southern location will shift also. Even though they project south than NW when at south location they will shift track south. They seem to always over react. Far from perfect maybe they will be able to improve them in future.

O.....k????
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Quoting TexasHurricane:
How big is the "bill" supposedly suppose to get?

Too early to tell. It needs to form first. Ike wasn't forecast to become the behemoth it did...
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5875
I ask that because I have not really heard anything out possible intensity
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1925. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting stormpetrol:

Got the right, I seen someone post a few models of the low off Africa now, looks like a potential monster in the making!
here is a model for ya

coaps fsu edu site

Link
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting Weather456:


farfetch if the ECMWF and GFDL was not showing the samething


You have a link to the ECMWF, haven't seen that one today. It is troubling the way several models are jumping on board with this.
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Quoting Acemmett90:
456 when was the last time the model were so intent of developing a major storm and haveing it hit in the lower 48


I'm not sure, maybe Ike. But I've seen examples with Frances though, that did not verified but Frances did enough a major would do.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
How big is the "bill" supposedly suppose to get?
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
well i am having a tough go at it with TD2. My gut tells me to stick with my thoughts of south FL or slip into the Gulf because I think the models are still adjusting on it. I told you all the ensembles were pointing more W than NW and the GFS was the outlier. Now the GFS shifted more south and is in better line with the Ensembles. The ensembles do show turning now so I think south or central FL is not out of the question but hard to go against the NHC.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

im good just worried about how consistant the models are with bill
and i really hope nothing gets into the gom cuz it would be a ike and katria combined with those water temps


No, not necessarily. It depends on the upper wind environment. Gustav actually weakened prior to landfall, despite passing over the Loop Current, because of southerly shear.

Moreover, even though the Bill wave is likely to develop, its ultimate track is uncertain. No way in hell this is going to recurve, though.
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Another great update StormW
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The most powerful storm that had hit Puerto Rico in our records the hurricane of San Felipe, all our hurricanes have Saint names accordingly to the Saint of the day,Link
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1914. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Acemmett90:

i agree i hope the model are wrong with this, this could be like the 1925 hurricane


models are meant for use as guidance only and do not depict final outcome in any one event things can and will change
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Come on folks. There is no "2nd storm" yet and some are talking about it hitting the East Coast. Watch and observe, time will tell.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

im good just worried about how consistant the models are with bill
and i really hope nothing gets into the gom cuz it would be a ike and katria combined with those water temps

Got the right, I seen someone post a few models of the low off Africa now, looks like a potential monster in the making!
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1911. centex
Quoting AussieStorm:
Good Morning/ Evening all.
I hope everyone is safe and there was no fighting while I was away sleeping
Yes, and when the stupid models initialize on more southern location will shift also. Even though they project south than NW when at south location they will shift track south. They seem to always over react. Far from perfect maybe they will be able to improve them in future.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3230
Quoting StormSurgeon:
456, what do you think about this GFS run. A little far fetched if you ask me.

GFS


farfetch if the ECMWF and GFDL was not showing the samething
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting heliluv2trac:
what are saying about the wave 53 is it getting better organized and what will the upper level winds be like


The upper environment could become somewhat more conducive for development of this area in the coming days.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
actually the long range forecast for the second storm has it take a sharp turn up the east coast...i dont see it hitting FL but hitting SC or NC. To be honest though I dont trust a turn like that. I think the models are expecting a trof/front to move over and turn it hard north and collect it. All it takes is that front or a high to be off by one degree and the whole path changes.


Do you still think td 2 will continue west?
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
Quoting Weather456:
I hope this isnt an example of "It only takes one" I'm baffled by the models intensity in the short term both GFS and ECMWF.


A novice here. Really?
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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.