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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Quoting ssmate:


I'm a guy also, so I know exactly what your going through.


ROFLMHO!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

I'll stop him at the border!

I remember when he was in Lafayette for Lily
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
HI STORMW!!! Things are gonna keep ya busy now eh storm? LOL
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Both of the other yellow areas the NHC mention in my opinion have a decent shot at developing. Wind shear is low and they look to be getting their acts together. Shoot, the farthest west area already has a low level circulation.
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Quoting GetReal:
IMO the TW near, or along 53W is slowly becoming better organized... There is a defined cyclonic turning at the surface, which should make for a very interesting DMAX overnight.


Should be a very interesting morning tomorrow.

IMO - TS ANA (TD2), 90L (Wave @ 53W)& 91L tomorrow afternoon (African Wave).
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1101. Patrap
WARNING


My ZoneAlarm Security on the Toughbook here just alerted to the following.


The firewall has blocked internet access to your computer(Telnet)from98.176.3.141(TCPport1201)
(TCP Flags: S)
Time: 8/11/2009 13:24:44


I highly advise logging off at this Time.


Note to wu-tech

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting StormW:


You betcha!

Just keep Cantore outta here.

I'll stop him at the border!
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
1099. ssmate
Quoting CaneWarning:


Uh, I'm a guy.


I'm a guy also, so I know exactly what your going through.
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Looks to me like TD2 is moving either due west or just a little south of due west, I don't see recurvature for this one.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

Hey Joanie - I hear ya. Gustav was NASTY, as was Ike.


Hello Hurricanehanna..:) Yeah, we are praying that it misses the gulf all together, but as they say, you can't really tell well any of them is going....all you can do is PRAY!
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Quoting weathersp:


The ADT is at 2.2... Whats going on?


Clearly a difference between the objective and subjective numbers. I'm gonna wait and see what the TAFB sends out in a few minutes.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow storm... have you had your coffee yet today?
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LOL
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Uh, I'm a guy.


LMAO
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Quoting extreme236:
Or not...didn't expect this:

11/1745 UTC 14.4N 30.1W T1.5/2.0 02L -- Atlantic


The ADT is at 2.2... Whats going on?
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Uh, I'm a guy.


LOL
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Quoting StormW:


Ya...I know...I clicked on quote to hurricanehanna, and it kicked me to your post instead. That wasn't intentional.


Too funny.
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1084. WxLogic
Quoting CaneWarning:


Uh, I'm a guy.


lmao!!!
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Quoting StormW:


Hey lady!

So is the cot and the extra coffee pot out yet? lol
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
Quoting CaneWarning:


Uh, I'm a guy.


LMAO.

Ok im out for a while have fun.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
Hey Benblogger,

Do you think that the other Atlantic systems will support Tropical Cyclone formation? the Eastern one certainly won't in my opinion, the west one nah and we are probably looking at TD Ana in the next few hours.

Its funny that we are suddenly seeing 3 discussions in the Atlantic, this is an El Nino event, doesn't it disrupt wind flow orsomething like that in the Atlantic? This is probably why we have already seen a Tropical Cyclone Category 4.

Any of you want to comment in this?

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1079. GetReal
IMO the TW near, or along 53W is slowly becoming better organized... There is a defined cyclonic turning at the surface, which should make for a very interesting DMAX overnight.
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Happy Birthday WS. I think Mother Nature conjured up some waves for you to track for your birthday!
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
1077. flsky
oh no, do not worry about it, open it up, its perfectly safe; besides stormw would never ever be capable of such a technologically criminal thing such as that. do not hesitate open i up.


I'm certainly not inferring that he would - others might insert it somehow - like what happened recently.
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Quoting StormW:


Hey girl!


Uh, I'm a guy.
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Quoting flsky:
StormW, can you copy your analysis onto this blog. I'm nervous about hitting ANY links now. Thanks!


Its safe, I clicked it.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
Quoting Joanie38:
Hello everyone from SWLA..:) FINALLY something to track...been lurkin awhile...SWLA sure in the heck doesn't need anymore storms this year..had 2 affect us last year... like Gustav and IKE...UGH......

Hey Joanie - I hear ya. Gustav was NASTY, as was Ike.
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
Quoting WeatherStudent:
guys plz, in all seriousness, try to take it easy with me at least for today, since it's my b-day in all, OK? spare me your unwanted insults for tomorrow, because i'm in an extremely good mood today, and no one will ruin it. anyways, when will the updated track forecast come out for td2? :)


Good Afternoon Everyone and...

Happy Birthday WeatherStudent!
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
uh whats going on? i didnt create this link..

Link
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1068. IKE
Quoting TexasHurricane:
Can anyone give me the link to view the Carribean? Want to take a look at the latest on the possible area of concern.


Link
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Quoting Drakoen:
The NHC should go with the TVCN


Seems likely.

The 12Z ECMWF will be interesting in terms of track and strength.
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Quoting 19N81W:
Kman what is your best guess as per time frame of that area of concern?...assuming it develops...


It is a slow mover, 10 knots.

See this from the TWD

"Tropical wave is along 62w S of 18n moving W near 10 kt. The
axis of the wave is oriented within a moisture maximum observed
in total precipitable water imagery. A low level circulation is
along the wave near 13n. Scattered showers/isolated
thunderstorms are from 12n-15n between 60w-64w including the
Windward Islands."
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15882
Quoting WeatherStudent:
thank you very much, presslord, i really appreciate that.


Happy Birthday WS...all the best to you..:)
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Quoting StormW:



Well aren't you just a ray of sunshine! LOL Heya Storm!
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
Quoting extreme236:
Or not...didn't expect this:

11/1745 UTC 14.4N 30.1W T1.5/2.0 02L -- Atlantic


What is going on? Very strange.
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Or not...didn't expect this:

11/1745 UTC 14.4N 30.1W T1.5/2.0 02L -- Atlantic
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1060. flsky
StormW, can you copy your analysis onto this blog. I'm nervous about hitting ANY links now. Thanks!
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1059. Drakoen
The NHC should go with the TVCN
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


That does seem pretty high.

I could see how the NHC could go with a TS at 5pm.


They might. Especially if the TAFB and SAB numbers jump too.
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Hello everyone from SWLA..:) FINALLY something to track...been lurkin awhile...SWLA sure in the heck doesn't need anymore storms this year..had 2 affect us last year... like Gustav and IKE...UGH......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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