Typhoon Ketsana hits Vietnam; death toll in Philippines swells to 246

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:37 PM GMT on September 29, 2009

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Typhoon Ketsana slammed into Vietnam this morning as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds. Ketsana brought sustained winds of 55 mph, gusting to 71 mph to Da Nang Vietnam. Heavy rainfall amounts of 7.2" and 9.1" were observed at Da Nang, and Hue, respectively, over the past two days. Floods and landslides in Vietnam from Ketsana's heavy rains have already claimed at least 22 lives.


Figure 1. Cars being swept away by Ketsana's flood waters in Manila's Park 9 Alley, where the Barangay Hall of Loyola Heights is located. Image credit: Manuel Quezon III.

The death toll in the Philippines from Ketsana continues to rise, with 284 dead or missing. The storm flooded the homes of 1.9 million people, leaving 350,000 people homeless. Ketsana brought 16.7 inches of rain in a twelve-hour period to Manila on Saturday, which was the heaviest 1-day rainfall ever recorded in the city. Ketsana is the third deadliest deadliest tropical cyclone to affect the globe so far this year. The deadliest was Typhoon Morakot, which left 654 people dead or missing on Taiwan, when it hit the island as a Category 2 typhoon on August 7. The second deadliest was Cyclone Aila, which made landfall near the India/Bangladesh border on May 25 as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds. Aila killed at least 339 people, 149 in India and 190 in Bangladesh.

The Philippines have three more tropical cyclones to their east to keep an eye on. So far, none of these storms appear to pose a major threat. Tropical Storm Parma is expected to curve to the northwest and miss the islands, Tropical Depression 18 is expected to dissipate, and newly-formed Tropical Depression 20 will probably pass to the north of the islands.


Figure 2. Rainfall from Tropical Storm Ketsana as estimated by NASA's TRMM satellite. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

How to help Ketsana victims
Help the UN World Food Programme by making a donation. This program identifies families in specific need of aid. Just $18 provides a family with rice for two weeks. This is the most critical and immediate way you can make an impact.

Donate to the International Red Cross and help them continue to put relief workers on the ground in the Philippines.

Donate via Catholic Relief Services online of the Philippines or call 1-877-HELP-CRS.

Quiet in the Atlantic
None of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the Atlantic over the next seven days. Wind shear is predicted to be high in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean this week, limiting the potential for anything to affect land.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting hydrus:
What is primary school?
Elementary, my dear Watson... LOL

Grades 1 - 6.
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Quoting Weather456:


i think thats the remnants of Fred

It's the remnants of Pab-Low - 23rd time around
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523. JRRP

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Quoting timtrice:


I'm going to continue this "debate" (right?) because I think you're not seeing what I'm seeing.

This is the textual data for the hour-period just before the highest recorded ob:

09/29/2009 07:36:00 SST 1.01 1.26 0.25 4 093 13 1013.8 78.6 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 07:42:00 SST 0.96 -99.99 -99.99 10 083 14 1013.8 78.8 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 07:48:00 SST 0.91 5.83 4.92 9 069 15 1013.9 78.1 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 07:54:00 SST 0.86 -1.07 -1.93 9 074 18 1014.0 78.8 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 08:00:00 SST 0.81 0.61 -0.20 10 083 14 1014.0 79.2 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 08:06:00 SST 0.77 4.40 3.63 9 075 16 1014.0 79.2 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 08:12:00 SST 0.72 -99.99 -99.99 10 080 19 1014.1 79.5 88.0 -999.9
09/29/2009 08:18:00 SST 0.68 2.14 1.46 11 081 16 1014.1 79.5 -99.9 -999.9
09/29/2009 08:24:00 SST 0.64 0.01 -0.63 10 083 16 1014.2 79.5 88.2 -999.9
09/29/2009 08:30:00 SST 0.60 1.23 0.63 14 075 18 1014.2 79.3 88.2 -999.9


You're saying that during a 24-minute period it started at 2 feet, rose to 6 feet on the next 6-minute ob, and then close to 6 feet on the third 6-minute ob. But, this just isn't true.

Discount the invalid wave ob at 7:42.

At 7:36 the water heights were only 1 1/2 feet above MLLW. Somewhere over the next 12 minutes the water level rose nearly 6 feet. On the next 6-minute ob the water level dropped to -1 foot. This was followed by another ob just under 1 foot above MLLW and then the next ob was 4 1/2 feet above MLLW.

This does not go with your argument that the water level remained near 6-feet for a 24-minute period.

My original comment was to show the previous commenter that you could see there was definately wave action out of the ordinary in that area where the observation was taken. Those observations were mentioned by the Pacific Tsunami center as, in part, a basis for their tsunami warning. This wasn't a hurricane-like storm surge that passed through this area. This was a minor tsunami that was probably only 20 feet at best that, as we know now, has since dissipated.

Now, I'll conclude that with this statement: I'm not an eartquake expert. I found the topic interesting and enjoyed following the comments and reading the links. Perhaps I'll develop that further.

But, you can't argue with what the observations were coming from that region.


Well, the text data is far more useful, thanks for posting it (I should have dug a little deeper on the site, myself).

The intermittent missing data flag gives pause...but, I have to agree. I see in the data that the water level drops 2 feet during one 6 minute time period, then over the next 6 minutes rises up to 3.5 feet. It does appear cyclical.
And I wonder what elevation was at the first missing data flag time. Who knows, could have been 8 feet? And I have to wonder about this sensor. Must be power loss at 13:30; all of the records went to missing data flags.

Still it would not at all resemble what most of us know as a wave, either in deep water or at the coast. (which is what started all of this).

As to what this data means, I am not sure. I cannot find much about the observation site. But if it really is near Pago Pago it is most likely in the bay and I have to say it is not really relevant to the deep ocean wave discussion. So, what can I say about these obs? Well, whatever wave action measured in a bay that has a tsunami in source is likely the result of wave refraction and reflection from the shores of the bay.

maps here: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=pago+pago&sll=30.480695,-90.110106&sspn =0.135215,0.220757&ie=UTF8&ll=-14.275363,-170.70694&spn=0.152054,0.220757&z=12
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Looks like Saipan could be in for a direct hit.
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This is an intensifying signature - reminds me of pre-Rita


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Does not look good for Guam

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Something Brewing Chief?




i think thats the remnants of Fred
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


positive NAO forecasted this winter


Darn!
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LOL there are three posts which talks about Parma forming an eye. xD
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Quoting hydrus:
What is primary school?


Primary school is elementary school. Secondary is high school.
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Quoting hydrus:
What is primary school?


primary school is the Caribbean/British equivalent of school for children typically between ages 5-12.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Skyepony:
Parma wave forecast.

This isn't good for Taiwan after what happened in August when Typhoon Morakot hit.
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Also 18W is getting squeezed out lol


Poor 18W, it developed 1st out of the 3 but is being squeezed by what was 19W and 20W (both named now)

Kinda like the oldest kid who is shorter than his 2 younger siblings lol
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I was about to say that between about 1700 and 1920 things seemed a bit more active earthquake-wise in our area. I remember reading about the Port Royal earthquake in primary school. But I also seem to recall most of the earthquake effects being relatively local....
What is primary school?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
Quoting StormW:


Something Brewing Chief?


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This looks bad for the far east
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506. Skyepony (Mod)
Parma wave forecast.
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Quoting BenBIogger:
I'm rooting for a +PDO/-NAO winter!


positive NAO forecasted this winter
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I'm rooting for a +PDO/-NAO winter!
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thanks, vortmax
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Good evening!

Parma appears to be forming an eye.
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Quoting mikatnight:
Hey Folks,
Anybody see PcolaDan or hear anything about his neighbor's kin in Vietnam?


I was wanting to know that, too.
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My Prediction since June 26,2009

4 Named Storms
1 Hurricane
0 Major Hurricanes

Since than we had
6 Named Storms
2 Hurricanes
2 Major Hurricanes


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496. JLPR
it sure looks like an eye in the making for me

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Quoting Weather456:


no but there have been indications that the inactive trend we have been seeing since June 1 will not break into October and November.



ok
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Quoting presslord:
mik...not yet that I've seen...been trying to reach a nun friend of mine in Saigon to no avail...


Let us know if you hear from her.

Thanks
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Quoting Tazmanian:
456 do you think hurricane season is overe


no but there have been indications that the inactive trend we have been seeing since June 1 will not break into October and November.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


lol surfing in a river, wow never came across this phenomenon. Thanks

Just wondering about if a tsunami hit a tidal bore area like Cook Inlet, Alaska or the Gulf of California, Mexico. The Lost Ship of The Mojave
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Quoting somemalayguy117:

Parma looks like a typhoon. I see a forming eye.
It does seem to have some good conformation... not too sure about the eye feature just yet, though.
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Quoting zoomiami:


boy you're just asking for it!



...just sayin'...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting JLPR:


yep the PR trench :|
from that one PR got a 7.5 earthquake in 1918 with a Tsunami with 20 feet waves

but it has been awhile since that
I was about to say that between about 1700 and 1920 things seemed a bit more active earthquake-wise in our area. I remember reading about the Port Royal earthquake in primary school. But I also seem to recall most of the earthquake effects being relatively local....
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456 do you think hurricane season is overe
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The 2004 Indonesian Earthquake and Earth's Rotation
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236

Parma looks like a typhoon. I see a forming eye.
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Quoting Patrap:


The Earthquake in 2004 Dec. was a Event..not a feature.


careful there sport...Orca will accuse you of just playing semantics....

Wait!!!!!!!!! It's science....semantics matter...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting presslord:
That's it!!!!!!!!!!

Global warming = Mother Natures' menopause...it's all just hot flashes...


boy you're just asking for it!
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481. JLPR
Quoting Weather456:


My thoughts from this morning remains unchanged

A tropical wave is approaching 40W south of 15N moving off towards west near 10-15 mph. This wave has nice inverted-V pattern seen on the first visible images of the day. Shower activity has significantly increased along this wave as it interacts with cyclonic flow between two upper ridges at 55W and 25W. Wind shear is about 10-20 knots and there is some cyclonic curvature in the lower levels. This feature was the large wave that emerged off the coast on Saturday and will be monitored for development. However, I’m not too optimistic about this one since there is a region of very high shear ahead that is forecast to remain in place for at least the next 5 days.


ah! I see wind shear remains in control :)
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Quoting Weather456:
I've read that the 2004 tsunami was so large it jolted the entire globe. This only 1 of the 3 features that are known to affect the earth's internal angular moment - the other 2 being El Nino and the MJO.


The Earthquake in 2004 Dec. was a Event..not a feature.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting JLPR:


Hey 456 any thoughts on this little wave?



wind shear is vary high no SFC low of any kind
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Quoting presslord:
That's it!!!!!!!!!!

Global warming = Mother Natures' menopause...it's all just hot flashes...


lol
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting JLPR:


Hey 456 any thoughts on this little wave?


My thoughts from this morning remains unchanged

A tropical wave is approaching 40W south of 15N moving off towards west near 10-15 mph. This wave has nice inverted-V pattern seen on the first visible images of the day. Shower activity has significantly increased along this wave as it interacts with cyclonic flow between two upper ridges at 55W and 25W. Wind shear is about 10-20 knots and there is some cyclonic curvature in the lower levels. This feature was the large wave that emerged off the coast on Saturday and will be monitored for development. However, I’m not too optimistic about this one since there is a region of very high shear ahead that is forecast to remain in place for at least the next 5 days.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
That's it!!!!!!!!!!

Global warming = Mother Natures' menopause...it's all just hot flashes...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
I've read that the 2004 tsunami was so large it jolted the entire globe and altered rotation. This is only 1 of the 3 features that are known to affect the earth's internal angular moment - the other 2 being El Nino and the MJO.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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.