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 Drakoen:
GFS wants to erase Florida off the Earth


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmxyj6iInMc

R.E.M. - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
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627 -

Thanks that should scare the crap out of enough peopele -
WAY to far out to be that concerned.
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Quoting alaina1085:


Shoot this aint nothing...lol.


Got that right, better do some finger extensions to build them muscles. I see a page a minute coming soon.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Yes it is, I've been busy all morning long with the fam. What's up in tbe tropics, guys? Anything new with our TD2?


Happy Birthday!!! How old are you?
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
I know its absurd to speculate 300 hours out, but a Bill hit to South Florida would be around August 24..... How lovely. Regardless, the GFS definitely believes we will see a sharp upswing in activity.


Yeah good thing it only just a model run right now and not reality.
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Quoting alaina1085:


Shoot this aint nothing...lol.

I know. I'm not sure which is worse... the blog freaking out over a thunderstorm in the Atlantic, or the blog freaking out over a naked swirl that is closer to Africa than it is to the Antilles.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5871
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Good afternoon, all!

Hey WeatherStudent, check out the GFS pictures we posted, you'll love 'em.
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In mid to late August,its not uncommon at all for a area to see 2 systems in 7 days. Just go back to 2002 and see How Isidore and Lili affected the same areas in a weeks time.

Also,.take a gander look at the GOES-12 Imagery from 1 Sept 2008 of the Atlantic Basin and one will find 5 systems and 2 affecting land.

Climatology reaches a threshold point and were seeing it before our eyes now
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To lessen the tensions surrounding hurricane season, start gathering supplies, preparing your home and planning for a possible emergency well before the season starts.

Use these guidelines to start preparations before disaster strikes.

Keep your home
and family safe by:
Posting emergency telephone numbers near telephones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
Teaching children how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
Showing each family member how and when to turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main switches.
Checking if you have adequate insurance coverage.
Getting training from the fire department for each family member on how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it's kept.
Installing smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
Taking a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
Determining the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.


Choose where family members should meet in case you are separated during a storm
Directly outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
A location away from your neighborhood (in case you can't return home). Everyone should know the address and phone number of this location.


Create a family disaster plan. Identify ahead of time where you will go if you're told to evacuate. The best choice is a friend's home outside of your area, or one well away from coastal areas. Other options include a motel or an approved hurricane shelter (remember - during an evacuation, primary and many secondary roads might be clogged with traffic, making leaving very difficult - allow ample time to get out). Have local and regional road maps available in the event you must travel unfamiliar roads and keep handy the phone numbers of the places to which you intend to evacuate.

Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number. Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to care for your pets.

Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for a disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team. Discuss the types of disasters most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.

Locate important papers and documents and have them ready to take with you should you need to evacuate, or protected in plastic storage bags if you're remaining in your home. Driver's licenses, Social Security cards, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records and photos of your home (exterior and interior) should be included.

Check your hurricane supplies from last season and replace what's needed. Here’s a checklist to help you get started.

Conduct a home hazard hunt and make your home as safe as possible. Be sure you've done all you can to protect your home from further damage that might occur as a result of wind or water intrusion.

Check for electrical hazards

Replace frayed or cracked extension and appliance cords, loose prongs and plugs.
Make sure there is only one plug per outlet. Avoid using cube taps or overloading outlets. If you must use an extension cord, use a cord rated for the electrical load and no longer than is really needed.
Remove electrical cords running under rugs or over nails, heaters, or pipes.
Cover exposed outlets and wiring.
Repair or replace appliances which overheat, short out, smoke or spark.
Check for chemical hazards

Store flammable liquids such as gasoline, acetone, benzene and lacquer thinner in approved safety cans, away from the home.
Place containers in a well-ventilated area and close the lids tightly. Secure the containers to prevent spills.
If flammable materials must be stored in the home, use a storage can with an Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) approved label. Move materials away from heat sources, open flames, gas appliances and children.
Keep combustible liquids such as paint thinner, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid and turpentine away from heat sources.
Store oily waste and polishing rags in covered metal cans.
Instruct family members not to use gasoline, benzene or other flammable fluids for starting fires or cleaning indoors.
Check for fire hazards

Clear out old rags, papers, mattresses, broken furniture and other combustible materials.
Move clothes, curtains, rags and paper goods away from electrical equipment, gas appliances or flammable materials.
Remove dried grass cuttings, tree trimmings and weeds from the property.
Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors and gas vents.
Keep heaters and candles away from curtains and furniture.
Place portable heaters on level surfaces, away from high traffic areas. Purchase portable heaters equipped with automatic shutoff switches, and avoid the use of extension cords.
Insurance Tips

These measures are recommended* to prepare for a
potential insurance claim:

Create an inventory of your personal belongings with videotape, photos or a written list. Store in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Consider purchasing extra coverage (known as "endorsements") for computers, jewelry, art and other expensive items.
Review your insurance coverage. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage under your homeowner's insurance policy. Re-check your insurance coverage limits annually. Make sure your coverage is adequate to repair or rebuild in the current building market.
Check your insurance policy for a windstorm or hurricane deductible. These are expressed either as a dollar amount, or as a percentage of the insured value of the home - not as a percentage of the amount of the loss. Insurers offer a range of deductibles; the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be.
Consider buying flood insurance. A separate policy available from the National Flood Insurance Program covers flooding resulting from hurricanes. Flooding, including wind-driven water and storm surge, is not covered by your homeowner's insurance policy.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
I don't see how the NHC track doesn't shift to the south and west with TD2. Recurvature is becoming less likely.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29886
694. 7544
how strong is it showing at landfall ?

. Tropix3 4:49 PM GMT on August 11, 2009
Can someone post a link that shows the GFS model taking it into FL? Thanks


Link
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6689
Quoting jeffs713:

You mean... it wasn't insane already?

I thought so. Bad enough to drive me away for multiple days at a time lately.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


What are your thoughts on the potential threat to your area?

LOL!
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5871
Pat - do you have your graphics back? How about the one you showed last week with the three storms marching across.
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Quoting jeffs713:

You mean... it wasn't insane already?


Shoot this aint nothing...lol.
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That GFS run is ugly for islands in the Carribean and then into the US.
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alaina1085:

You've got mail
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686. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:


My bad Ike , remember when I said 8 storms in Aug a few weeks back when it was real slow, sorry about that :(.


I talked about lowering mine, but kept it at 10-4-2.
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Quoting Patrap:
Yeah,..take care with Fla,..cuz in Se. La we consider it our first Barrier Island.

Everyone needs to have a Plan..from Brownsville to Maine.

Focus on the Now and prepare for the future is a GOOD rule of The Season annually.


Bad, bad!
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Quoting alaina1085:
So much for a bust this season. Its ALIVE!
Get ready for blog insanity.

You mean... it wasn't insane already?
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5871
GFS is not a big fan of Florida this week. And I would have to be going back to Miami in a week thanks to FIU resuming class. LOL. Maybe have better weather in Cayman. haha
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I know its absurd to speculate 300 hours out, but a Bill hit to South Florida would be around August 24..... How lovely. Regardless, the GFS definitely believes we will see a sharp upswing in activity.
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Quoting IKE:
GFS on Roids??????


My bad Ike , remember when I said 8 storms in Aug a few weeks back when it was real slow, sorry about that :(.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Good afternoon, all!


Hope you were serious about getting your weather kit ready...lol.

Is today your birthday? I thought I read that a few posts back.
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Quoting alaina1085:
So much for a bust this season. Its ALIVE!
Get ready for blog insanity.


Yup, it only takes one....or two
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Can someone post a link that shows the GFS model taking it into FL? Thanks!
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676. 7544
thats 3 systems in fla in 2 weeks time according to the gfs stay tuned
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6689
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Good afternoon, all!


What are your thoughts on the potential threat to your area?
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Katrina NOAA Base Index Map
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672. IKE
Quoting futuremet:
Unfortunately, the 52W wave is likely to affect Haiti too..


I'm sorry for your family members if this verifies....it's got the ECMWF in it's camp + others....

This is why a 0-0-0 season is great.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Good afternoon, all!


Quick WS cover your eyes!
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Quoting hahaguy:


Ya from the way it looks.


With no insurance money, that wouldn't be hard.
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So much for a bust this season. Its ALIVE!
Get ready for blog insanity.
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Quoting nishinigami:
Pat, could you post the link to the aerial pictures post Katrina that you posted a few days ago.

Thank you :)


Okay,wait one.
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Quoting IKE:
GFS on Roids??????

LOL.
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what is the T number for TD2
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Unfortunately, the 52W wave is likely to affect Haiti too..
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3 to 4 more storms behind legend bill.
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Quoting Drakoen:
GFS wants to erase Florida off the Earth


Cat 7 off the coast.

In all seriousness we should monitor this wave.
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Quoting Vortex95:


I think I see Alpha over Egypt


Where is it gonna hit?
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Pat, could you post the link to the aerial pictures post Katrina that you posted a few days ago.

Thank you :)
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Canewarning, how bout Wilma intensity with the 2 mile wide eye bisecting Davis island ;)

But interestingly, everyone mentions Florida and the Carolinas as a threatened place, and skips us :)


Well a much weaker storm would wipe me out.
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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.