Two Pacific-sized disasters: the Samoan tsunami and Typhoon Ketsana

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:29 PM GMT on September 30, 2009

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The Pacific spawned another huge natural disaster yesterday, when a magnitude 8.0 - 8.3 earthquake near Samoa generated a tsunami that devastated portions of American Samoa and neighboring islands. While the ocean surface was only displaced about three inches by the force of the earthquake near its epicenter, the rupture occurred near the 10,000 meter-deep Tonga-Kermadec Trench, along a swath 200 - 300 km long. A column of water miles deep and 200 - 300 km long accelerated downward by the force of gravity (or lifted upward by crustal motion) by three inches represents an massive amount of energy released into the ocean. The quake was able to generate a 1.5-foot tsunami on the Hawaiian island of Oahu 2,700 miles away, and a 0.6-foot tsunami on the Oregon coast, over 5,000 miles away.

Portlight.org is considering adopting an American Samoa family to help out in the wake of this huge disaster. They would like some feedback from their contributors on whether to go ahead with this idea, so stop by the Portlight.org blog to join the discussion.

Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana has finally dissipated, but not before bringing record flooding to Vietnam, two days after creating recording flooding and chaos in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Ketsana made landfall Tuesday morning in Vietnam between Hue and Da Nang as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds. The storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain on Vietnam, according to satellite estimates. Some rivers in central Vietnam rose above the record flood heights recorded in an epic 1964 flood. In all, Ketsana has been responsible for 41 deaths in Vietnam and 11 in neighboring Cambodia, with many more missing. At least 350,000 people are homeless in Vietnam, joining the 380,000 left homeless in the Philippines from the storm.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Ketsana approaching Vietnam on Tuesday, September 28, 2009. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

The death toll in the Philippines from Ketsana has stabilized at 246, with another 38 missing. Residents of the islands need to keep a wary eye on Typhoon Parma, which is expected to intensify into a major typhoon and brush the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Saturday and Sunday.

Quietest September in the Atlantic since 1997
Well, it's the end of September, and what is traditionally the busiest month in the Atlantic was unusually quiet. We had only two named storms this September, the first time since 1997 we've had less than three September named storms. There were only 6.75 days in September with a named storm, which ranks as the 4th fewest September named storm days since 1950 (only 1962, 1970, and 1994 had fewer). The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for September ranked as the 6th lowest since 1950. The quiet period is likely to continue for at least another week, as there are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation over the next seven days. I'll post my first-half-of-October outlook for the Atlantic tomorrow.

Jeff Masters

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Thanks For The Update Dr. Masters. Im interested about the 2 areas of convection in the Eastern Atlantic. We May Have Some Action in 7-10 days.
- Bryant
TarHeelWeather.com
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please take a moment to check out the Portlight featured Wunderblog...and join in the discussion as we noodle some things out...Thanks!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Quoting tornadodude:
Another earthquake?!?!?



yup
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Quoting hurricane23:
Extremely powerful cyclone dont see those tiny pin-hole eyes to often. NRL has intensity at 160kts in a few days. That may be generous.

160 kts? I've failed to see that forecast...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
647. JRRP
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Always dramatic...that's not til 2012.

well well... it is the beginning
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5482
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Props to you! I know the economy is bad and a lot of us are going through bad times. Just $5 or $10 would help out a lot.


that is true, I will see what I can do
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Props to you! I know the economy is bad and a lot of us are going through bad times. Just $5 or $10 would help out a lot.
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Another earthquake?!?!?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Extremely powerful cyclone dont see those tiny pin-hole eyes to often. NRL has intensity at 160kts in a few days. That may be generous.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Actually Matt...nothing to joke about. A lot of people have died and are suffering.


definitely, my prayers have gone out to them, also I am currently trying to think of ways to raise money for Portlight at Purdue
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Actually Matt...nothing to joke about. A lot of people have died and are suffering.
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Wind Shear for Western Pacific

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/westpac/winds/wgmsshr.GIF
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I'll give you a 5 on that Matt :)


haha thanks (:

(do I get a cookie?)
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638. xcool
buzzz
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I'll give you a 5 on that Matt :)
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Quoting JRRP:

the end of the world
:p


Always dramatic...that's not til 2012.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I hope you mean the Rapture....reading some of these posts have already made me rupture a few things :)


it was a pun, with all the earthquakes, wouldnt it be The Rupture? ;)
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting winter123:


Actually, each one is probably sucking up the outflow of the other. or something. this is why im not in meteorology.. you think?

I can see where your theory is coming from, but that wouldn't be possible because each Typhoon has an upper level anticyclone, which fans each individual tropical cyclone.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Quoting tornadodude:


maybe The Rupture :O


I hope you mean the Rapture....reading some of these posts have already made me rupture a few things :)
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QuikSCAT on Parma

http://manati.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/storm_wp_image21/qscat09100101_19ds.png
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Quoting JRRP:

the end of the world
:p


maybe The Rupture :O
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
WDPN33 PGTW 301500
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TYPHOON 19W WARNING NR 12//
RMKS/
1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.
2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
A. TYPHOON (TY) 19W (PARMA) LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 200 NM NORTH-
NORTHWEST OF PALAU, HAS TRACKED NORTHWESTWARD AT 11 KNOTS OVER THE
PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS DEEP CON-
VECTIVE BANDS WRAPPING INTO A WELL DEFINED EYEWALL. A 300848Z SSMIS
PASS SHOWS A DEEP CONVECTIVE RING IS LOCATED AROUND A SMALL EYE, WITH
ADDITIONAL BANDS OF DEEP CONVECTION WRAPPING INTO THE SOUTHERN POR-
TION OF TY 19W FROM THE WEST. PARMA IS LOCATED IN THE SOUTHWESTERN
QUADRANT OF AN UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONE, WHICH IS PROVIDING AMPLE
DIFFLUENCE ALOFT TO AMPLIFY THE CURRENT INTENSITY INCREASES SEEN OVER
THE PAST 12 HOURS. THE SYSTEM CONTINUES TO STEER ALONG THE SOUTH-
WESTERN PERIPHERY OF THE LOW- TO MID-LEVEL SUBTROPICAL RIDGE (STR)
CENTERED TO THE NORTHEAST. TRACK SPEED HAS REMAINED FAIRLY CONSISTENT
OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS. THE REMNANTS OF TD 18W CONTINUE TO TRACK
TOWARDS THE NORTHERN PORTION OF PARMA AND IS CLOSING THE DISTANCE
BETWEEN THE TWO.
3. FORECAST REASONING
A. THE FORECAST REASONING HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE PREVIOUS
PROGNOSTIC REASONING BULLETIN.
B. MODEL GUIDANCE HAS REMAINED CONSISTENT OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS
WITH A SINGLE TRACK SOLUTION THROUGH TAU 72. TY 19W WILL TRACK NORTH-
WESTWARD AROUND THE WESTERN PERIPHERY OF THE STR AND CONTINUE TO
INTENSIFY AS POLEWARD OUTFLOW INCREASES AS A SMALL UPPER LEVEL TROUGH
APPROACHES FROM THE NORTH. THE REMNANTS OF TD 18W WILL CONTINUE TO
TRACK TOWARDS TY 19W AND BE ABSORBED BY TAU 48, BUT WILL NOT HAVE A
SIGNIFICANT IMPACT TO THE INTENSITY OR TRACK FOR TY 19W. FAVORABLE
UPPER LEVEL OUTFLOW AND LOW LEVEL ORGANIZATION WILL ALLOW FOR TY 19W
TO INTENSIFY THROUGH TAU 72.
C. MODEL GUIDANCE BECOMES SPREAD IN THE EXTENDED TAUS, WITH AVNI
AND GFNI SHOWING A TRACK AGROSS NORTHERN LUZON. NGPI AND EGR2 SHOW A
MORE NORTHWARD TRACK. IN THE EXTENDED TAUS ECMWF SHOWS TY 19W
TRACKING TOWARDS TAIWAN. THE CURRENT FORECAST FAVORS A CLOSER
APPROACH TO LUZON WITH THE SYSTEM SLOWING AS IT MOVES INTO THE LUZON
STRAIT AND STARTS TO BECOME QUASI-STATIONARY. THE MID-LATITUDE FLOW
IS EXPECTED TO BECOME MORE ZONAL AFTER TAU 72, AND THE STR IS
EXPECTED TO BUILD A WESTWARD EXTENSION OVER EASTERN CHINA AND TAIWAN.
TY 19W WILL SLOW AROUND TAU 72 AS IT DRIVES INTO THE EXTENSION OF THE
RIDGE.//
NNNN


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629. JRRP
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Wow...Super Typhoons, Tsunamis and Earthquakes...what the heck is going on???

the end of the world
:p
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5482
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Wow...Super Typhoons, Tsunamis and Earthquakes...what the heck is going on???

Let's just call this a bad week for the Pacific.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Wow...Super Typhoons, Tsunamis and Earthquakes...what the heck is going on???


No kidding ... They should call it Global Scouring
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
heh

Parma is ham and chicken livers with mushrooms
Melor is a jasmine flower


LOL - Parma pizza sounds good.
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I'm hoping the best for Taiwan and the Philippines. I'd be horrible if there would be anything worse then Typhoon Ketsana or Typhoon Morakot.



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All this havoc going on....and here we are on this side of the Planet almost ready to call an end to the season.
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Wow...Super Typhoons, Tsunamis and Earthquakes...what the heck is going on???
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

It definately is an interesting concept. In fact, just the concept of two strong storms in close proximity (Parma and Melor) reminded me of Super Typhoon's Ivan and Joan from the monstrous WPac year of 1997, which was driven by the 1997 El Nino. The two storms developed in close proximity to each other and both became Category 5 Super Typhoons at about the same time! In fact, JTWC placed both of their central pressure estimates at 872 mbs, tied for second most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded!



A strange parallel between Ivan and Parma is that they were both expected to curve away from the Philippines as fairly strong Typhoons, but not Super Typhoons. However, due to Ivan's proximity to Joan, the two Super Typhoons entered into the Fujiwara Effect, which drove Ivan to make landfall in north Luzon of the Philippines.

If anyone wants to check out what a Strong El Nino can really do to the WPac, I strongly encourage y'all to check out the 1997 WPac Season. With 29 named storms, 24 Typhoons, 11 Super Typhoons, and 9 Category 5 Super Typhoons, that season truly was a monster.


Actually, each one is probably sucking up the outflow of the other. or something. this is why im not in meteorology.. you think?
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Quoting somemalayguy117:
Parma looks stronger than a Category 3-equivalent as it is currently is...


I really hope it misses a landfall at the Philipines as both the JMA and JTWC are forecasting it to past very close to Luzon and they've taken a beating from Ketsana.


Not that the south of Taiwan needs a beating either after the disaster that was Morakot.
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 01 OCT 2009 Time : 010000 UTC
Lat : 12:03:04 N Lon : 130:45:01 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 920.3mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.4 6.1 6.6

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +3.7mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 7 km

Center Temp : -10.2C Cloud Region Temp : -75.6C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : WEST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.7T/12hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

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Quoting 1900hurricane:

MIT Models


Cheers.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Wow what a storm Parma is ...
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616. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Parma sounds a little gross
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615. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
heh

Parma is ham and chicken livers with mushrooms
Melor is a jasmine flower
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Melor looks like he doesn't want to be left in the dust by Parma intensity -wise...

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
613. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
FKPQ31 RJTD 010000
TC ADVISORY
DTG: 20091001/0000Z
TCAC: TOKYO
TC: PARMA
NR: 10
PSN: N1150 E13105
MOV: WNW 14KT
C: 920HPA
MAX WIND: 105KT
FCST PSN +6HR: 01/0600Z N1220 E13005
FCST MAX WIND +6HR: 110KT


---
next full advisory may be 110 knots (10 min avg)
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

It definately is an interesting concept. In fact, just the concept of two strong storms in close proximity (Parma and Melor) reminded me of Super Typhoon's Ivan and Joan from the monstrous WPac year of 1997, which was driven by the 1997 El Nino. The two storms developed in close proximity to each other and both became Category 5 Super Typhoons at about the same time! In fact, JTWC placed both of their central pressure estimates at 872 mbs, tied for second most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded!



A strange parallel between Ivan and Parma is that they were both expected to curve away from the Philippines as fairly strong Typhoons, but not Super Typhoons. However, due to Ivan's proximity to Joan, the two Super Typhoons entered into the Fujiwara Effect, which drove Ivan to make landfall in north Luzon of the Philippines.

If anyone wants to check out what a Strong El Nino can really do to the WPac, I strongly encourage y'all to check out the 1997 WPac Season. With 29 named storms, 24 Typhoons, 11 Super Typhoons, and 9 Category 5 Super Typhoons, that season truly was a monster.


1900, I wrote about that exact scenario not too long ago on my site. Ivan and Joan were ctually quite amazing in that both systems followed the same intensity patterns and while there was clearly evidence of the fujiwara effect, neither took control of the other. That was very rare. I'm extremely anxious to see if Melor and Parma do the same.
Quoting Seastep:
Are there any publicly available models for W Pac storms?

MIT Models
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Quoting Tazmanian:
i wonder if Melor will be come are 3dr cat 5

It definately is an interesting concept. In fact, just the concept of two strong storms in close proximity (Parma and Melor) reminded me of Super Typhoon's Ivan and Joan from the monstrous WPac year of 1997, which was driven by the 1997 El Nino. The two storms developed in close proximity to each other and both became Category 5 Super Typhoons at about the same time! In fact, JTWC placed both of their central pressure estimates at 872 mbs, tied for second most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded!



A strange parallel between Ivan and Parma is that they were both expected to curve away from the Philippines as fairly strong Typhoons, but not Super Typhoons. However, due to Ivan's proximity to Joan, the two Super Typhoons entered into the Fujiwara Effect, which drove Ivan to make landfall in north Luzon of the Philippines.

If anyone wants to check out what a Strong El Nino can really do to the WPac, I strongly encourage y'all to check out the 1997 WPac Season. With 29 named storms, 24 Typhoons, 11 Super Typhoons, and 9 Category 5 Super Typhoons, that season truly was a monster.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
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Why you may never know the truth about global warming - $50 #amazon gift card up for grabs - Personal Hurricane Center- http://bit.ly/aokhH
607. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
145 knots by Friday x.x
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Are there any publicly available models for W Pac storms?
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Super Typhoon Parma from JTWC:
WARNING POSITION:
010000Z --- NEAR 11.8N 131.1E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 290 DEGREES AT 15 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 130 KT, GUSTS 160 KT

150mph
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604. xcool
http://www.hurricanetrack.com/


Tonight at 9:00 pm ET, it's HurricaneTrack News/Talk. Tonight we talk with Dr. Jack Beven, Senior Hurricane Specialist, National Hurricane Center. The live chat box is running as well for questions and comments throughout the program.
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603. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Bobby ya I know the scales are different.. I expect it to be 140 knot from the JTWC later Thursday though.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Taz yes

hurricane1900 ya it sure does

Hi Hades.
Is the JTWC advisory for Parma issued? Because although it's "Very Intense" Typhoon Parma, it is not a Category 5 in the SSHS.
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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.