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 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?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1903. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
US NAVY FNMOC NORFOLK,VIR IMAGEST IGNORE ANY SER.WARNINGS SAFE SITE



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1902. java162
Quoting Acemmett90:

people need to learn to shut theirs mouths he is an example why


i never said i didn't want the storm.. i didn't say i wanted it either. i am on the safeside for peace sake. lol
Member Since: July 24, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 301
1901. flsky
11:15 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
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.


Take a breath....
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2111
1900. mikatnight
11:15 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting AussieStorm:
Good Morning/ Evening all.
I hope everyone is safe and there was no fighting while I was away sleeping


Hey AussieStorm -
Seems like it's been remarkably well behaved...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1899. TexasHurricane
11:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting antonio28:
Evening Folks,

The final track of the so called Bill system is highly uncertain at this point I buy the GFS and other models forescast up to five days anything beyong that is guessing. Thats is my opinion. For sure we will be discussing Bill in deph the next weekend.


so, where is it suppose to be at the 5 day mark?
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
1897. stormpetrol
11:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting Acemmett90:

great now we could have two storms comming torweds us

Ace, How are you doing? Just saying it like I see it, I could be wrong or my eyes playing tricks on me though.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
1896. Autistic2
11:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Been working all day. Just stopped in to see if we had a named storm yet.
0-0-0 still working. This is plain nuts!
I sort of expected td too make it today. I see it is making 12 foot seas. What does a cat 3-5 make?
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 480
1895. heliluv2trac
11:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
what are saying about the wave 53 is it getting better organized and what will the upper level winds be like
Member Since: June 6, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 129
1894. HaboobsRsweet
11:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
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.
Member Since: May 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1640
1893. StormSurgeon
11:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
456, what do you think about this GFS run. A little far fetched if you ask me.

GFS
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
1892. stormdude77
11:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Can anyone link me the animated loop of the GFS 18Z run?

TIA
1891. antonio28
11:14 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Evening Folks,

The final track of the so called Bill system is highly uncertain at this point I buy the GFS and other models forescast up to five days anything beyong that is guessing. Thats is my opinion. For sure we will be discussing Bill in deph the next weekend.
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 799
1888. AussieStorm
11:11 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Good Morning/ Evening all.
I hope everyone is safe and there was no fighting while I was away sleeping
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
1886. WxLogic
11:11 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
The last thing we need is that second wave to develop as much as the models predict and head into the Gulf. Let me rephrase this...I do not need that to happen in the Gulf.


Indeed... but if it does... I hope NHC and other Meteorological organizations research the heck out of this one since you don't see often such hot waters and the interaction it could have with tropical disturbances. Should help in other similar scenarios down the road.

Nature will take its course whether we like it or not... so unfortunately not much we can do.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
1885. stormdude77
11:10 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting Acemmett90:

he did this is why you don't wish thing ophon yourselfs lol


Yea...lol
1884. java162
11:10 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting Acemmett90:

he did this is why you don't wish thing ophon yourselfs lol


after all waht youall told me yesterday, i playing it on the safe side today. but excitement inside..lol
Member Since: July 24, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 301
1881. BenBIogger
11:09 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting stormpetrol:
imo TD2 is slowly drifting a little south with that westward movement.


yup
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
1880. FranAteMyRoof96
11:09 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
[slinks back into the darkness]
Member Since: July 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 198
1879. stormdude77
11:10 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting java162:


lol... i was just rying to blend in after the grilling i got yesterday..lol


LOL
1878. stormpetrol
11:08 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
imo TD2 is slowly drifting a little south with that westward movement.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
1876. StormSurgeon
11:07 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Still ain't looking that great. The models may be a little aggressive.

Link
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
1874. WxLogic
11:07 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting stormsurge39:
Thank you WXLogic!


yw
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
1871. java162
11:06 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting stormdude77:


I thought you wanted a storm?

LOL


lol... i was just rying to blend in after the grilling i got yesterday..lol
Member Since: July 24, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 301
1870. centex
11:05 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Looks like atlantic which normally follows pacific will come alive with multiple systems.

Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3293
1869. HaboobsRsweet
11:05 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
The last thing we need is that second wave to develop as much as the models predict and head into the Gulf. Let me rephrase this...I do not need that to happen in the Gulf.
Member Since: May 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1640
1868. gordydunnot
11:05 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Lastly in case there isnt enough confusion I am not so certain that there may not be a gender reassignment Bill to become Ann and vice a verse.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
1867. stormsurge39
11:05 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Lets not forget how fast Katrina blew up!
1866. rxse7en
11:04 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting SavannahStorm:


Aww, heck no. We all know that isn't possible...
Jacksonville/Savannah? Never happened. :D
Member Since: August 21, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 530
1865. nrtiwlnvragn
11:04 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting jlp09550:
Can anyone link me to the GFS "status" page that lists if the GFS is scheduled to update and what-not?


http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/prodstat/index.html#TARGET
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11343
1864. StormSurgeon
11:03 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
For those who'd like to jump up at 4:00 am and gaze at the stars. I'm surprised Jeff hasn't mentioned this. Then again, the tropics are getting a little more intersting. Hello all.

Perseid Meteor Shower
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1793
1862. mikatnight
11:03 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting stormsurge39:
Have they got a model saying where the wave coming off Africa is headed?


Try this?
http://www.wunderground.com/modelmaps/maps.asp?model=GFS&domain=TA
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1861. java162
11:03 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting stormsurge39:
Have they got a model saying where the wave coming off Africa is headed?


yep... straight into the caribbean as a monster
Member Since: July 24, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 301
1860. stormsurge39
11:02 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Thank you WXLogic!
1859. Cavin Rawlins
11:02 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1858. stormdude77
11:03 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Quoting java162:


i am starting to get scared.


I thought you wanted a storm?

LOL
1857. hurricaneguy87
11:02 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Can somebody post the 18UTC GFS animation? thanks

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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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