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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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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Quoting all4hurricanes:

some people even say that Tip had a lower dovark intensity rating so logically it would have a higher pressure.
Anyway the small eye and lob-lopsidedness tiped me off on the similarities.

However, unlike Gay, Tip's pressure measurement was direct, which will overrule any satellite estimate andy day. I have noted that there have been several tropical cyclones with higher sat estimated intensities than Tip's sat intensity, and even did a blog on the topic several years ago, but since Tip's measurement was direct, it is the one that will stand.
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the snow is beginning to fly
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

I was thinking the same thing, but I pulled Wilma for comparison instead because I though everyone would latch onto the parallel better. But yes, I do believe that 1992's version of Super Typhoon Gay is an even better parallel than even Wilma for Typhoon Parma. It is worth noting that 1992's Gay is one of the storms that gave Tip a run for his money. Intensity estimates topped out at 165 kts and 872 mbs, 2 mbs short of Tip's recorded 870 mbs.

some people even say that Tip had a lower dovark intensity rating so logically it would have a higher pressure.
Anyway the small eye and lob-lopsidedness tiped me off on the similarities.
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i wonder if Melor will be come are 3dr cat 5
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Texas could be in store for a heavy rain event this weekend. NWS has issued a special weather statement.

Widespread areas of Central/South/East Texas are expected to see 2 to 5 inches of rain with some areas getting 10 inches.
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595. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Taz yes

hurricane1900 ya it sure does
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594. JLPR
Quoting 1900hurricane:

I was thinking the same thing, but I pulled Wilma for comparison instead because I though everyone would latch onto the parallel better. But yes, I do believe that 1992's version of Super Typhoon Gay is an even better parallel than even Wilma for Typhoon Parma. It is worth noting that 1992's Gay is one of the storms that gave Tip a run for his money. Intensity estimates topped out at 165 kts and 872 mbs, 2 mbs short of Tip's recorded 870 mbs.


yep Wilma looked very similar
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #19
TYPHOON PARMA (T0917)
9:00 AM JST October 1 2009
================================

Subject: Category Five Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Parma (920 hPa) located at 11.8N 131.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 105 knots with gusts of 150 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving west-northwest at 14 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T7.0

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

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

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 14.3N 127.6E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
48 HRS: 16.7N 125.4E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
72 HRS: 18.8N 123.8E - 105 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)



so do we have are 2nd cat 5???
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #19
TYPHOON PARMA (T0917)
9:00 AM JST October 1 2009
================================

Subject: Category Five Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Parma (920 hPa) located at 11.8N 131.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 105 knots with gusts of 150 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving west-northwest at 14 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T7.0

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

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

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 14.3N 127.6E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
48 HRS: 16.7N 125.4E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
72 HRS: 18.8N 123.8E - 105 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)

Now THAT looks like a more believable intensity.
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591. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #15
TYPHOON MELOR (T0918)
0:00 AM JST October 1 2009
================================

Subject: Category Three Typhoon Near Truks(Chuuk)

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Melor (975 hPa) located at 13.6N 153.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots with gusts of 95 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving north-northwest at 6 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T4.0

Storm-Force Winds
=================
40 NM from the center

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

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 14.1N 151.0E - 75 kts (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 15.0N 148.2E - 85 kts (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 16.7N 143.3E - 85 kts (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)

--
Upgraded to "category 3: Strong Typhoon" stage
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

Super Typhoon Gay


Anyone else see the similarities?

I was thinking the same thing, but I pulled Wilma for comparison instead because I though everyone would latch onto the parallel better. But yes, I do believe that 1992's version of Super Typhoon Gay is an even better parallel than even Wilma for Typhoon Parma. It is worth noting that 1992's Gay is one of the storms that gave Tip a run for his money. Intensity estimates topped out at 165 kts and 872 mbs, 2 mbs short of Tip's recorded 870 mbs.
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They released the TCR for Ana... They say that it was a Tropical Storm before it degenerated and regenerated, days before they named it... check it out.
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Super Typhoon Gay


Anyone else see the similarities?
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Quoting stormpetrol:

yep much more concentrated, I don't trust McKeeva, never did, I heard a little about it on the rooster talk show this morning but I never listened to it, I don't trust any of them anymore quite frankly , but I always thought Mr. Tibbetts was the lesser of 2 evils, " hate to put it so frankly but thats just the way I am & the way I see it, One thing for certain our lovely Islands have literally gone to the dogs.
McKeeva has sold out Cayman. I am sure you know to who without naming names. Back to the weather, I think we might have to keep a close eye on 48W.
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586. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #19
TYPHOON PARMA (T0917)
9:00 AM JST October 1 2009
================================

Subject: Category Five Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Parma (920 hPa) located at 11.8N 131.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 105 knots with gusts of 150 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving west-northwest at 14 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T7.0

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

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

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 14.3N 127.6E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
48 HRS: 16.7N 125.4E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
72 HRS: 18.8N 123.8E - 105 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Like the India Meteorological Department the Dvorak conversion is in my blog

Thanks!
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584. JLPR
Quoting Dakster:
JLPR - Maybe at the 2am or 8am if it holds.


once it gets closer to the islands, because of proximity to land it should get a circle
unless it remains convectionless like it is right now, then it wouldn't need a circle xD
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583. jipmg
Quoting Chicklit:
lovely cool here in cent fla

no rain


I love how RANDOM cloud develope over the gulf, and move over Southern florida basically keeping us from dropping in temperature..

Anyhow, that system in the pacific is looking extreemly dangerous.
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582. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
JMA upgrades to Category 5 intense typhoon Parma
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Parma appears to be moving south of the forecast points, more in Ketsana/Ordoy's footsteps towards the Philippines...

Link

Oh man. I hope not, My family and friends couldn't handle another storm
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lovely cool here in cent fla

no rain
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578. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Like the India Meteorological Department the Dvorak conversion is in my blog
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Parma looks stronger than a Category 3-equivalent as it is currently is...

Pretty RGB image of Parma.

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.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
China Meteorological Administration is 2 min sustained wind average

That's unusual... how do they generally compare to 1 min sustained?
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I know...I'm just saying staus quo by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.


No problem. It doesn't affect me either way. Status quo is perfectly ok with me.

Anyways, goodnight all. See you tomorrow.
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574. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
and even that don't seem to be right..
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I know...I'm just saying staus quo by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
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571. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
China Meteorological Administration is 2 min sustained wind average
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CATLoop


ShearMap
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GWPB - Remember, yellow does mean squat. 1 - 30% chance... No harm, no foul. Even red is a little ambigous since the low end is 50%.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Yesterday the convection was all over the place but now it seems to be more concentrated. What do you think about McKeeva's budget ?

yep much more concentrated, I don't trust McKeeva, never did, I heard a little about it on the rooster talk show this morning but I never listened to it, I don't trust any of them anymore quite frankly , but I always thought Mr. Tibbetts was the lesser of 2 evils, " hate to put it so frankly but thats just the way I am & the way I see it, One thing for certain our lovely Islands have literally gone to the dogs.
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I highly doubt this will be an invest or a "yellow circle" by 8:00 a.m.

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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
** WTPQ20 BABJ 010000 ***
SUBJECTIVE FORECAST
STY PARMA 0917 (0917) INITIAL TIME 010000 UTC
00HR 11.8N 131.2E 950HPA 45M/S (95 knots)
30KTS 300KM
50KTS 120KM
P12HR WNW 20KM/H
P+24HR 14.4N 127.8E 935HPA 52M/S (105 kts)
P+48HR 16.5N 125.5E 930HPA 55M/S (110 kts)
P+72HR 18.2N 123.8E 920HPA 55M/S (110 kts)
P+96HR 19.9N 122.8E 930HPA 52M/S= (105 kts)

China Meteorological Administration


Are they in 10-minute sustained?
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564. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
** WTPQ20 BABJ 010000 ***
SUBJECTIVE FORECAST
STY PARMA 0917 (0917) INITIAL TIME 010000 UTC
00HR 11.8N 131.2E 950HPA 45M/S (95 knots)
30KTS 300KM
50KTS 120KM
P12HR WNW 20KM/H
P+24HR 14.4N 127.8E 935HPA 52M/S (105 kts)
P+48HR 16.5N 125.5E 930HPA 55M/S (110 kts)
P+72HR 18.2N 123.8E 920HPA 55M/S (110 kts)
P+96HR 19.9N 122.8E 930HPA 52M/S= (105 kts)

China Meteorological Administration

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JLPR - Maybe at the 2am or 8am if it holds.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
562. JLPR
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think the area around 13N/49W deserves a yellow circle


yep it does
it is now an elongated area of low pressure so a yellow circle is in order, plus it is closing in on the islands
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Parma is nasty and going to get worse.
Let's just hope they're evacuating and
preparations are being made for evacuees.
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560. xcool
Dakster kooling!
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559. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
hmm either Japan Meteorologist are tired or they are very busy to release the new TCNA (which tells the current location of cyclone and the Dvorak Intensity)
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558. xcool
stormpetrol i agree
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Quoting xcool:
Dakster go to http://hurricanecity.com/


Its on the web page as you posted.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think the area around 13N/49W deserves a yellow circle
Yesterday the convection was all over the place but now it seems to be more concentrated. What do you think about McKeeva's budget ?
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555. xcool
Dakster go to http://hurricanecity.com/
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I think the area around 13N/49W deserves a yellow circle
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xcool - if that is correct and right now I have no reason to doubt you, it would stand to reason that we should at least keep an eye on the tropics. Not both eyes as we had to in 2004/5, but at least a watchful one.
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552. xcool
UPDATE BY:Jim Williams... The tropics are quiet at this time but there is a wave east of the Windward Islands and one in the east Atlantic that could become an invest down the road. These will need to be watched as some models show low pressure areas making it across to the western basin by next week.
Is the season over in the Atlantic? the official end is November 30th. We are up to six named storms ,so going back to 1900 only seven hurricane seasons of six or more named storms had the last named storm form before October 1st. Anotherwords only 6.48% of all seasons did not have an October 1st or later storm,so keep your eyes open .go to http://hurricanecity.com/
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Melor needs to be watched as well. The storm has a pretty good structure and is in a similar environment as Parma.

18W, well, has been eaten by Parma...


Has Rota, Saipan, and Tinian under a Typhoon Watch and Guam under a Tropical Storm Watch.

EDIT: Hades beat me to it.
Member Since: April 3, 2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382

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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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