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 atmoaggie:


Huh. Looks like a 5 foot change in water elevation...but an increase in water levels caused by a moving dome of water well offshore is not a wave one would confuse for those we usually see in deep waters. This is different. Looks like water level was substantially elevated for about 30 minutes. (again, not even close to what we usually define as ocean waves, half of those readings would be below the astronomical tide)

And with the 6-minute water level reading interval there, one could figure it may have been higher, but none of the usual wave spectra parameters would be discernible...


I disagree. I see a small point where there was an abrupt rise in water elevation followed by a period of slowly returning back to the normal ranges. It wasn't a 6-foot high elevation that lasted 30 minutes as you imply
Quoting Orcasystems:


If your in a 100 Fathoms of water you wouldn't even know it happened.


If you had Tsunami warning and were on the coast in an area with a broad coastal plain for land, but had a fast boat ready to go, I have to think you might be better off literally driving as far out to sea as you can go before it hits.

Think about some place like south Louisiana, south Florida, or some of the coral atolls and having a known Tsunami threat coming in an hour. Where do you go that maximizes survivability?
Paradoxically, the science says go out to sea.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
'Three dead' in tsunami off Samoa
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Orca! See?!?!?! We agree again...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Remember Ivan, earthquake in Cayman and the tsunami were all the same year.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
got it buddy, no problem. Needless to say I'm a buddle of confusion lately. Sorry.


No problem... Just making sure that no one else is confused and thinks it is a bad site.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting atmoaggie:

Too many rogue wave specials on Discover? That's a different animal entirely...


And very short-lived; if the many-into-one theory proves true then the rogue wave is the compilation of the energy from hundreds of smaller waves into one large one and that being the case, it would dissipate very rapidly (otherwise the oceans would be full of them)
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting atmoaggie:

Too many rogue wave specials on Discover? That's a different animal entirely...


oh lord...if ya wanna hear a buncha rogue wave nonsense, spend a little time with cruisn' sailors...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Quoting Floodman:
I'm curious as to why so many people think that a tsunami is this huge wall of water traveling across the open ocean...the science is there and hell, from a plain thinking standpoint it stands to reason that a 20' wave couldn't hold itself together across much open space


If your in a 100+ Fathoms of water you wouldn't even know it happened.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Floodman:
I'm curious as to why so many people think that a tsunami is this huge wall of water traveling across the open ocean...the science is there and hell, from a plain thinking standpoint it stands to reason that a 20' wave couldn't hold itself together across much open space

Too many rogue wave specials on Discover? That's a different animal entirely...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Good afternoon all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
StormPetrol - Read the site, it says 12-26-2005 is the First ANNIVERSARY of the 12-26-2004 Tsunami..
got it buddy, no problem. Needless to say I'm a buddle of confusion lately. Sorry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm curious as to why so many people think that a tsunami is this huge wall of water traveling across the open ocean...the science is there and hell, from a plain thinking standpoint it stands to reason that a 20' wave couldn't hold itself together across much open space
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
StormPetrol - Read the site, it says 12-26-2005 is the First ANNIVERSARY of the 12-26-2004 Tsunami..
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
my bad, didn't read properly sorry.
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Quoting Floodman:


Nicely done...I may not agree with your politics, but from a sceince standpoint, you're impeccable

Ummm, thanks. (I really do not do politics, for the most part.)

One clarification: It does go below the 0 line after the passage of the elevated water, which is understandable with the movement of the dome of water leaving a void behind itself, but not before.
(Not unlike having a low atmospheric pressure area behind a moving vehicle, for example.)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting duajones78413:
Where is the video of the Indian tsunami located?


Here are a bunch of videos, some you can see the WAVE once it comes ashore on. There is one I remember that you could barely tell a tsunami was coming ashore until the wave hit land and then the water just kept going further and further ashore.

Link
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting Floodman:


Nicely done...I may not agree with your politics, but from a sceince standpoint, you're impeccable


always has great science, and makes it easy to understand
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting atmoaggie:


Huh. Looks like a 5 foot change in water elevation...but an increase in water levels caused by a moving dome of water well offshore is not a wave one would confuse for those we usually see in deep waters. This is different. Looks like water level was substantially elevated for about 30 minutes. (again, not even close to what we usually define as ocean waves, half of those readings would be below the astronomical tide)

And with the 6-minute water level reading interval there, one could figure it may have been higher, but none of the usual wave spectra parameters would be discernible...


Nicely done...I may not agree with your politics, but from a sceince standpoint, you're impeccable
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting Dakster:
TornadoDude and Atmo : That is WHY I put the source in my blog post...

Good. (And I thought so, just making the painfully obvious point about CNN)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting timtrice:


They don't?

Link



Huh. Looks like a 5 foot change in water elevation...but an increase in water levels caused by a moving dome of water well offshore is not a wave one would confuse for those we usually see in deep waters. This is different. Looks like water level was substantially elevated for about 30 minutes. (again, not even close to what we usually define as ocean waves, half of those readings would be below the astronomical tide)

And with the 6-minute water level reading interval there, one could figure it may have been higher, but none of the usual wave spectra parameters would be discernible...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Where is the video of the Indian tsunami located?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
351. tornadodude
9:18 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Dakster:
TornandoDude and Atmo : That is WHY I put the source in my blog post...


gotcha

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
350. victoriahurricane
9:17 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
A spokesman for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii told Radio New Zealand a 3-metre tsunami was travelling across the Pacific at about 800 kilometres an hour and the entire coastline of New Zealand, 2,685 kilometres away from the quake's epicentre, was put on alert.

So, there is a wave travelling.
Member Since: October 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 544
349. tornadodude
9:16 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Like the Coast Guard exercises on Sept 11, the words in bold almost guarantee something about this post is incorrect. CNN more about sensationalism (read: ratings and ad dollars) than news....


exactly what I pointed out a minute ago ha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
348. Dakster
9:16 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
TornadoDude and Atmo : That is WHY I put the source in my blog post...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
347. atmoaggie
9:14 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Dakster:
Floodman - Correct...

-- Orcasystems - Cancel the "Lookout", it appears that the Alaskan Tsunami Warning Center has issued a statement that US West Coast, Alaska, and Canada are not at risk of a Tsunami. So you can stand down... (according to CNN...)

Also according to CNN No Damage has been reported...

Like the Coast Guard exercises on Sept 11, the words in bold almost guarantee something about this post is incorrect. CNN more about sensationalism (read: ratings and ad dollars) than news....
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
346. NRAamy
9:14 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
and i have not seen anybody since norman bates as obsessed with showers and shower curtains like he is lol.

stop it! I'm gonna bust my stitches!!!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
345. tornadodude
9:13 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Dakster:
Floodman - Correct...

-- Orcasystems - Cancel the "Lookout", it appears that the Alaskan Tsunami Warning Center has issued a statement that US West Coast, Alaska, and Canada are not at risk of a Tsunami. So you can stand down... (according to CNN...)

Also according to CNN No Damage has been reported on Samoa or American Samoa. Only that the airports are closed in anticipation of a possible Tsunami.

I imagine that it would not be very fun to be on a plane during a Tsunami.


also according to CNN- The US Coast Guard was attacking....
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
344. NRAamy
9:11 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
no vertigo, SQUAWK.....pain meds....

"Can I go round in circles...
Can I fly high like a bird up in the sky!"

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
343. Floodman
9:10 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Dakster:
Floodman - Correct...

-- Orcasystems - Cancel the "Lookout", it appears that the Alaskan Tsunami Warning Center has issued a statement that US West Coast, Alaska, and Canada are not at risk of a Tsunami. So you can stand down... (according to CNN...)

Also according to CNN No Damage has been reported on Samoa or American Samoa. Only that the airports are closed in anticipation of a possible Tsunami.

I imagine that it would not be very fun to be on a plane during a Tsunami.


Only if it were flying underwater...or if it were a very TALL tsunami...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
342. Floodman
9:09 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting SAINTHURRIFAN:
and the arizona memorial what awe aspiring experience. sqawk the only reason i asked jfvk are whatever he goes by now is because last year all he could post on here in between showers was about his pregnant fiancee. i was just curious he has not mentioned either one once this year. all of a sudden its private, and i have not seen anybody since norman bates as obsessed with showers and shower curtains like he is lol.


OMG...I don't care who you are, that's funny...LMAO

Norman Bates...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
341. Dakster
9:08 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Floodman - Correct...

-- Orcasystems - Cancel the "Lookout", it appears that the Alaskan Tsunami Warning Center has issued a statement that US West Coast, Alaska, and Canada are not at risk of a Tsunami. So you can stand down... (according to CNN...)

Also according to CNN No Damage has been reported on Samoa or American Samoa. Only that the airports are closed in anticipation of a possible Tsunami.

I imagine that it would not be very fun to be on a plane during a Tsunami.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
340. timtrice
9:08 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting presslord:


tsunami don't create offshore wave action


They don't?

Link

339. SQUAWK
9:07 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Floodman:


Oddly, Samoa...shipwrecked actually


Essex?? Naw, that was 70 years later.
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
338. barbamz
9:06 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
BBC-Report Tsunami on Samoa
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 51 Comments: 5676
337. Floodman
9:05 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Dakster:
Floodman - Apparently you were very lucky back then. It could have been tragic if that trip to Spain had panned out.

Your avatar reminds me to post that the girl "Lucy and the Sky With Diamonds" was writen about, has died.


Yep, complications of Lupus if I remember correctly
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
336. Dakster
9:04 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Floodman - Apparently you were very lucky back then. It could have been tragic if that trip to Spain had panned out.

Your avatar reminds me to post that the girl "Lucy and the Sky With Diamonds" was writen about, has died.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
335. Floodman
9:03 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
everything spins for me these days...clockwise, counter-clockwise....I get it all...

;)


You must be fun on a date...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
334. Floodman
9:03 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Greyelf:
Thanks, Floodman, for the quick answer!


You're welcome...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
333. Floodman
9:01 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Dakster:
Floodman where were you during the great Tsunami of 1755?

•November 1, 1755: The Great Lisbon earthquake creates a 20-foot-high tsunami that destroys coastal Portugal, Spain and Morocco.



Oddly, Samoa...shipwrecked actually
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
332. SQUAWK
8:59 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
everything spins for me these days...clockwise, counter-clockwise....I get it all...

;)

You are not doing vertigo again, are ya????
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
331. Dakster
8:58 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Floodman where were you during the great Tsunami of 1755?

•November 1, 1755: The Great Lisbon earthquake creates a 20-foot-high tsunami that destroys coastal Portugal, Spain and Morocco.

Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
330. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:57 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Japan Meteorological Agency

Tropical Cyclone Advisory #33
==========================================

Subject: Category Two Typhoon Overland Laos

At 3:00 AM JST, Severe Tropical Storm Ketsana (990 hPa) located at 15.3N 106.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts of 70 knots. The storm is reported as moving west at 9 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: "Overland"

Gale-Force Winds
===============
400 NM from the center in southeast quadrant
300 NM from the center in northwest quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.4N 106.1E - Tropical Depression

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Tropical Cyclone Warning
=========================
Now Subjected To A Tropical Cyclone Warning (17W)

System #2
------------

Japan Meteorological Agency

Tropical Disturbance Summary (1800z 29SEPT)
==========================================

At 3:00 AM JST, Tropical Depression (1004 hPa) located at 12.0N 147.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts of 40 knots and is reported as moving west-northwest at 15 knots

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Tropical Cyclone Warning
===============================================
Now Subjected To A Tropical Cyclone Warning (18W)

System #3
-----------

Japan Meteorological Agency

Tropical Cyclone Advisory #9
==========================================

Subject: Category One Typhoon Near The Caroline Islands

At 3:00 AM JST, Tropical Storm Parma (990 hPa) located at 8.1N 137.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The storm is reported as moving west at 7 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T3.0

Gale-Force Winds
==================
80 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 11.2N 133.8E - 55 kts (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 14.2N 130.9E - 65 kts (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 17.0N 128.0E - 75 kts (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Tropical Cyclone Warning
==========================
Is Now Subjected To A Tropical Cyclone Warning (19W)

System #4
----------

Japan Meteorological Agency

Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
==========================================

Subject: Category One Typhoon Near Marshalls Island

At 3:00 AM JST, Tropical Storm Melor (998 hPa) located at 10.9N 156.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The storm is reported as moving west-northwest at 6 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 12.3N 154.8E - 45 kts (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 13.4N 153.3E - 65 kts (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 15.0N 151.0E - 70 kts (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Tropical Cyclone Warning
==========================
Is Now Subjected To A Tropical Cyclone Warning (20W)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44779
329. NRAamy
8:56 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
everything spins for me these days...clockwise, counter-clockwise....I get it all...

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
328. F5Tornado
8:56 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Greyelf:
Because of the numerous storms in the Pacific, how might the waves of a tsunami affect them?


The speed and power AND energy of the tsunami going at 300+mph
327. presslord
8:56 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh for gods sake.. semantics

A swell, in the context of an ocean, sea or lake, is a formation of long-wavelength surface waves. Swells are far more stable in their directions ..


semantics matter...prior to landfall a tsunami is a subsurface displacement of water...
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326. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:55 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Wall of text is coming, so beware
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44779
325. Floodman
8:54 PM GMT on September 29, 2009
Quoting gbTracker:
Dumb question....Which direction does a typhoon spin?


Which side of the equator?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922

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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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