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
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I'll have an update Wednesday morning.

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Quoting jeffs713:

The popcorn is being sold over here... come get it before the show starts.


My excedrin, sugar coated popcorn! LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:
GFS wants to erase Florida off the Earth


Ya from the way it looks.
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If
Quoting cg2916:
The whole GFS is out. I know that the GFS amplifies after 180, but Bill is still big. I should post it for all you Florida residents:


So, if this is the case, would it go to Florida and then to the GOM or recurve out to the Atlantic?
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Yeesh. If GFS verifies...oh nevermind. Won't.
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Quoting futuremet:




And another



Not good for that island.
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GFS wants to erase Florida off the Earth
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
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.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Sorry folks...

Last hi-res image.

remember a hurricane can strip the land of everything including all life so that nothing remains but the dirt and the water
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56089
Wouldn't it be hilarious

0, 0, 0 on Aug 31
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


Both systems into Florida.


Where have we seen that before? Oh yeah, 2004.
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640. IKE
GFS on Roids??????
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639. 7544
ding ding it did it again this is 5th time it goes to fla

Link
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Bad run for FL.
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Ive lost count...

Bill...Danny...Erika

300 hours.

Im done posting the GFS images. If youd like to view the past images I posted do it now because im removing them from my photobucket in 10.

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Quoting CaneWarning:


Where do you see it getting to Haiti?




And another

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If TD2 would go ahead and develop a little, we could count on the recurve. Stays weak...could possibly come all the way over (or at least close) towards the east coast.

Cheering for SHIPS, at least initially, so no one on land in a population center will have to worry about it.

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Quoting Vortex95:


I think I see Alpha over Egypt

lmao
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Be back in a little bit.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting cg2916:
The whole GFS is out. I know that the GFS amplifies after 180, but Bill is still big. I should post it for all you Florida residents:


Holy cow. Let this model be wrong please.
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Quoting IKE:
Jeez............terrible run.........


Both systems into Florida.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
629. IKE
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Quoting alaina1085:


WS is gonna flip when he finally logs back on! LOL!! Yall get ready.

The popcorn is being sold over here... come get it before the show starts.
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The whole GFS is out. I know that the GFS amplifies after 180, but Bill is still big. I should post it for all you Florida residents:
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Quoting IKE:


GFS trended a little further west on this run with that wave. Still shows the panhandle not getting much from it.

ECMWF shows it further west on the 0Z run.


Any wave that gets into the GOM could spell trouble with those water temps and low shear levels. This time of year is always a risk for the GOM with it's high water temps. I've learned to never let my guard down!
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Anyone have a vorticy map? Would like to see one that includes where the disturbance approaching the antilles is.
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Quoting futuremet:
Dang it! why haiti...I have people there


Where do you see it getting to Haiti?
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623. IKE
Jeez............terrible run.........
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Quoting extreme236:
Lost count. Is this Claudette? Danny? Erika? off the coast of Africa:



I know right? lol...
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 11 AUG 2009 Time : 161500 UTC
Lat : 14:37:54 N Lon : 29:49:05 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
1.9 /1009.6mb/ 29.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
1.9 2.3 3.3


TD2 develop slowly.
Member Since: July 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 552
Quoting Drakoen:
We need to be worried about both Bill and Ana. The steering is not favorable for recurvature.

Agreed! Glad you got your pc back up and running.
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The steering around "Bill" is very weak as it approaches the islands...
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
Quoting extreme236:
Lost count. Is this Claudette? Danny? Erika? off the coast of Africa:



Danny.

Im pretty sure Id question 10 storms for the season if we get 4 withing a 1 week period.
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Dang it! why haiti...I have people there
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Quoting extreme236:
Lost count. Is this Claudette? Danny? Erika? off the coast of Africa:



LOL was just thinking that, well if we get situational development from the CATL system and that wave that becomes "Bills'" dinner develops; then yea that would be Erika lol
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Quoting IKE:


I was looking at those charts....200 mb's...500 mb's...850 mb's....


Yup!
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
We need to be worried about both Bill and Ana. The steering is not favorable for recurvature.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30830
Lost count. Is this Claudette? Danny? Erika? off the coast of Africa:

Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting alaina1085:


WS is gonna flip when he finally logs back on! LOL!! Yall get ready.


Very true lol.
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Quoting 19N81W:
guys getting confused on the GFS models...is it predicting TD2 to become that monster just skirting the northern islands or the second well defined wave? Seems most of them are all recurving...to be expected I guess...


???

GFS model doesnt show that at all, it takes TD2 into the Bahamas in 7 days and has the wave coming off Africa now as the 2nd system

not sure what the recurving part of your comment is referring to.
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Better view
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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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