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 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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I've had no problems but I have a Mac and will never go back to Microsoft Windows ;)
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Quoting cg2916:

I think the problem has been fixed. But if another virus pops up, then we can move there.


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


Well im not a 100% lol. But yea I live recklessly too.
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Special 14Z 'Bill' wave update.

As of now the 850mb vort max has continued to move off the coast. Surprisingly enough it has already strengthened as soon as it hit the water as seen here.
Current:


3 hours ago:


Divergence is excellent with the wave as of now and convergence is good. Wind shear is about 15 knots from the east so shear shouldnt be a problem.
Latest divergence:

Shear:

Now for the track and possible strength. This wave has great model support from all of the reliable models including the ECMWF and the GFDL. The models even went as far as showing a major hurricane hitting the Antilles last night. But for now I expect slow organization for the next 48 hours. Once it reaches the CATL it should reach TS storm strength possibly even becoming a hurricane later on. The track should generally take this on a W-WNW for the next 72 hours and eventually near the Leeward islands. We should see the NHC mention this later today and possibly designate this an invest tomorrow if it continues to organize.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
50. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


the post itself


I wasn't posting when the post was made. I came back in about an hour after that.

You may be right. Anyone know who posted the post? Apparently not...I haven't seen their name mentioned.
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Quoting alaina1085:
Yea im pretty sure it was a link. So just dont click any links. And if an ad pops up on your computer that says antivirus software you cmputer is infected with viruses click here to download this antivirus, dont download it.. thats the virus everyone was getting. Just x the add out and close wunderground out.


Yikes...I had that one a few months ago. Had to wipe out the hard drive and reinstall Windows XP.
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I know Someone that got infected from clicking a link that Acemett90 posted Saturday...

I am not saying he did it, but maybe malware encodes itself in some posts.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I don't understand how that is possible without clicking a link or something.


All I did was click a page link to go back to a previous page and that's when it happened. It had to be in the post.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
46. 7544
does that mean we should not read the blog at all or refresh

or read what the comments wrere made about the virus

im confused
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Quoting jscs:


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


But...its so cute (the dog).
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I only click links posted by very trusted members.
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Yea im pretty sure it was a link. So just dont click any links. And if an ad pops up on your computer that says antivirus software you cmputer is infected with viruses click here to download this antivirus, dont download it.. thats the virus everyone was getting. Just x the add out and close wunderground out.
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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 Drakoen:


the post itself


I don't understand how that is possible without clicking a link or something.
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Quoting alaina1085:
Thanks Dr. Masters.

I wonder now since we have a new blog if the virus is gone... if it was a link in the last blog it should be ok.

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.
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Good Update
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Quoting Vortex95:
wait did the post itself trigger an attack or was it a link?


the post itself
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
36. jscs
Quoting Greyelf:
Just a quick note to post a link to my blog to give it a looksee. I'm asking for everyone's help, please. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your time and any votes you make.

Link - Greyelf's blog


For example... DON'T click this stuff.
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35. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


I haven't either and I was around the day people had issues.


Same here.
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I'm not sure how a comment would cause you to get a virus unless you clicked on a link...I haven't had any problems so I'm assuming my firewall/virus scan caught it.
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Quoting IKE:


I think it was a link.

I've had zero computer problems.


I haven't either and I was around the day people had issues.
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http://irc.hurricanehollow.org/ You can switch to barometerbobs chat,its always good.
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----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 11 AUG 2009 Time : 131500 UTC
Lat : 14:26:56 N Lon : 29:11:35 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
1.6 /1011.4mb/ 26.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
1.6 1.7 3.0
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Just a quick note to post a link to my blog to give it a looksee. I'm asking for everyone's help, please. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your time and any votes you make.

Link - Greyelf's blog
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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. So does the GFDL and all the other models too ;)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24170
28. IKE
Quoting Vortex95:
wait did the post itself trigger an attack or was it a link?


I think it was a link.

I've had zero computer problems.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
I think we should switch to 456's blog to avoid that virus issue for the short term, anyone agree?


It could just follow though. And I wouldnt want to infect his blog.
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26. IKE
Quoting CybrTeddy:
I think we should switch to 456's blog to avoid that virus issue for the short term, anyone agree?


He said....I recommend people not read comments on any wunderground blog.
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Thanks Dr. Masters.

I wonder now since we have a new blog if the virus is gone... if it was a link in the last blog it should be ok.
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I think you should be fine reading the comments. Just don't click any pictures or links.
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Great Update, Thanks Doc
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Actually. we should go on Tropics chat lol. I'll be there if anyone wants to join.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24170
Quoting CybrTeddy:
I think we should switch to 456's blog to avoid that virus issue for the short term, anyone agree?

I think the problem has been fixed. But if another virus pops up, then we can move there.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Thanks Dr. Masters.
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I think we should switch to 456's blog to avoid that virus issue for the short term, anyone agree?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24170
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
Excellent update. Prayers to those folks in Taiwan.
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Thx Doc
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
good morn doc thanks for update better take a stretch things are about to ramp up for a bit comes in the space of 3's try and keep up

lol
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Quoting TampaTom:
Things are starting to heat up... reporters from the Tampa market are starting to call for interviews...


Wow. Talk about slow news day.
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Thanks for the update Dr. Masters.
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Thanks Dr.
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Things are starting to heat up... reporters from the Tampa market are starting to call for interviews...
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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.