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 fmbill:


Bill are you talking about Fuijiwara effect?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


The local television weathermen start the panic as early as possible. The waves were front page on local papers websites in my area. haha

Lol. Imagine if if it comes no where near there.
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Quoting IKE:


Oh they will now with the season heating up.

If WS makes it through the week unbanned, a drink is on me.

I'm taking you up on that one. ;)
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Quoting leftovers:
macintosh computers are da bomb liking my wifes notebk more every click

I don't know why I waited so long. Worth every penny and no virus worries at all!
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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which includes Weather456, daily update.


TD2

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting caneluver:
Looks like the East Coast is going to take the brunt of the hurricane season this year. Long overdue if you ask me. Gulf needs a break...


That's a moronic comment.
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
I've had no problems but I have a Mac and will never go back to Microsoft Windows ;)


I have a Mac too I still ran Avast! though to check for viruses even if the threat is low better to be prepared just in case.
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Quoting fmbill:
Question: I noticed some of the models take TD #2 WSW. Is this strictly steering currents, or are the models picking up on future-Bill to strenghten and cause this southerly movement?

(I can't remember what it's called when two storms are close to each other and pivot around a common center)

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Quoting IKE:


Oh they will now with the season heating up.

If WS makes it through the week unbanned, a drink is on me.


LOL.
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Quoting P451:
MODIS caught the "Bill" Wave off the coast of Africa.

1145Z



P451, please send me a link to that satellite imagery
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Its going to be interesting to see if it can overcome the dry air.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
TD2 is the top story on just about every local news website in Tampa. People are paying attention.
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Quoting P451:
MODIS caught the "Bill" Wave off the coast of Africa.

1145Z



Wow, that is one huge mama wave.
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Drakoen, sometimes a malware takes a while to start executing in your systems. Maybe you cliked a link a while before you started noticing the malfunction. I've been removing viruses for people for a while now.
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90. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:
I hope the person who posted the virus is banned for life. I think admin needs to police the blog a little better. Some of the kids (and adults) have gotten out of control lately.


Oh they will now with the season heating up.

If WS makes it through the week unbanned, a drink is on me.
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Here's a link so you can see what I'm talking about. Link

Watch as you put itt in motionn how the two seem to affect each other.
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Quoting StormW:
Drak,
Glad to see you're back up and running.


Hey Storm! Any luck with WTSP they you could use your expertise.
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I had a load of spy ware on my computer last night and some infected link warnings.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting jeffs713:
Both my work computer and my laptop at home are fine. (of course, I have scripts disabled here at work, and have NoScript on firefox at home)

In regards to the tropics... how long until someone panics in South Florida about what may become Ana?


The local television weathermen start the panic as early as possible. The waves were front page on local papers websites in my area. haha
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I hope the person who posted the virus is banned for life. I think admin needs to police the blog a little better. Some of the kids (and adults) have gotten out of control lately.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
82. IKE
Quoting jeffs713:
Both my work computer and my laptop at home are fine. (of course, I have scripts disabled here at work, and have NoScript on firefox at home)

In regards to the tropics... how long until someone panics in South Florida about what may become Ana?


As soon as WS gets on here.
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Quoting StormW:
Drak,
Glad to see you're back up and running.


On my laptop not on my main computer
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30825
Looks like the NHC will have to shift south.

Im following the TVCN for now.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
The virus hit my pc too,whoever did this i hope u never use a computer again.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Very strange. I've never heard of something like that happening without physically clicking a bad link.


I've had that happen to me, though it was on another blog and not here, so it is possible.. Either way, knowing my computer, I probably shouldn't be taking too many chances, might head off for a while from lurking myself.
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Quoting jscs:


For example... DON'T click this stuff.

No, please do click it. It's not like I'm a newbie here, and if you right click the link to check the properties first, you'll see it directs to the Wunderblogs.
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That scenario is exactlty what happened to me. I clicked back two pages and it froze everthing.
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73. IKE
Quoting TampaSpin:


LOL..i don't think so....Dr. M. is just covering his you know what.....which is what he should do.


Exactly.
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Man that is a nasty virus. It must be one of the new ones.
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Quoting Drakoen:


It did not take me to another site. I was in the blog while it happened. Let's say I clicked the link to go to page one of this blog. Then it open the page and froze the browser.


What browser do you use? I wonder if that had something to do with why some people had problems and others did not.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi, I have a question. I live in Massachusetts, and we grow up around here learning of the 1938 hurricane. In certain places in New Hampshire you can look under the new forest growth and still find entire hillsides of timber that were blown down by that storm.

Anyway, I'm not a weather expert, but I've been looking at the track for the 1938 hurricane, and it passed north of the islands, but then instead of recurving out to sea, went due north.

I'm guessing that's a rare occurrence, because nobody ever seems to worry about it, but what could make something like that happen again?

I ask because the first part of this TD2 track looks an awful lot like the 1938 hurricane.

Thanks beforehand for your answers.
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Both my work computer and my laptop at home are fine. (of course, I have scripts disabled here at work, and have NoScript on firefox at home)

In regards to the tropics... how long until someone panics in South Florida about what may become Ana?
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Thanks Dr. Masters for the update.
I was not affected when many were complaining and performed a complete scan with 0 results. I am a lurker, for the most part, so I seldom follow links. If posters place the URL it is more likely your AV programs will be likely to find and stop problems before they get to your computer.
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Quoting hahaguy:
Stormchaser2007

Nice little outlook.


Yes very nice post chaser!
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Quoting Drakoen:


It did not take me to another site. I was in the blog while it happened. Let's say I clicked the link to go to page one of this blog. Then it open the page and froze the browser.


Very strange. I've never heard of something like that happening without physically clicking a bad link.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh man...
You CANNOT get a virus from reading a blog.
You CAN get a virus from clicking on a link that you do not know where its taking you.. or what it does.. ie execute a program or DL.

Use common sense.. if its taking you offsite.. or downloading something... then don't do it.


It did not take me to another site. I was in the blog while it happened. Let's say I clicked the link to go to page one of this blog. Then it open the page and froze the browser.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30825
Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh man...
You CANNOT get a virus from reading a blog.
You CAN get a virus from clicking on a link that you do not know where its taking you.. or what it does.. ie execute a program or DL.

Use common sense.. if its taking you offsite.. or downloading something... then don't do it.


Never click a link without knowing where it's taking you. Also, look at the person who is posting it. I think most of us know who to trust and who not to trust.
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TD2

009AUG11 124500 1.5 1012.0/ +0.0 / 25.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 NO LIMIT OFF OFF 5.08 -29.85
2009AUG11 131500 1.6 1011.4/ +0.0 / 26.0 1.6 1.7 3.0 0.2T/hour OFF OFF 0.64 -28.99
2009AUG11 134500 1.6 1011.4/ +0.0 / 26.0 1.6 1.7 3.0 0.2T/hour OFF OFF -5.70 -28.23
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Nice update chaser! I agree with you on, slow development in the next 48 hours. This though is much lower south than where TD2 Emerged.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24575
Stormchaser2007

Nice little outlook.
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Dr.Masters your perspective always appreciated look forward to your next update!
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Oh man...
You CANNOT get a virus from reading a blog.
You CAN get a virus from clicking on a link that you do not know where its taking you.. or what it does.. ie execute a program or DL.

Use common sense.. if its taking you offsite.. or downloading something... then don't do it.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
I've visited the site from three different computers with different anti-virus software and haven't experienced a problem on any of them.
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Quoting ssmate:

I received the virus early last nignt and I didn't click on a link in the past 4 days. It took me most of the night to fix. I was hesitant to log on this morning but I live recklessly. I'm hoping you are right.


Exactly.. it's a very bad virus. At least you were able to fix it yourself.
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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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