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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501. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
PAGASA naming list for the remaining 2009 season
===============================================

Pepeng (Current)
Quedan
Ramil
Santi
Tino
Urduja
Vinta
Wilma
Yolanda
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Parma appears to be moving south of the forecast points, more in Ketsana/Ordoy's footsteps towards the Philippines...

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11553
Quoting btwntx08:

he modified his after he saw mine lol


I actually saw it edited before your post was made.
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498. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
tornadofan you know what would be wierd

If Wilma was the next name used instead of Pepeng. (Wilma is on the cyclone list this year for PAGASA)
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Cloud tops around -100C in the central dense overcast:

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting tornadofan:


It looks like the pinhole eye is rotating inside of a developing larger eye.


Yeah, I can see that
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

The eye looks like a carbon-copy of Wilma's!


Hurricane Wilma's pinhole eye.


It looks like the pinhole eye is rotating inside of a developing larger eye.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

The eye looks like a carbon-copy of Wilma's!


Hurricane Wilma's pinhole eye.


Wow that is similar.
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The intensity guidance will surely be shifted upwards now. A Super Typhoon is likely soon.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Yet another extremely impressive cyclone.


The eye looks like a carbon-copy of Wilma's!


Hurricane Wilma's pinhole eye.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11553
Quoting Seastep:


Except, that ball of convection just fired and is very round at about 11N/48W.

The shear is not too bad where that is.

Going to check some things out.
Yes, there is a good rotation out there.
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The Ocean Heat Content is expect to increase somewhat as Parma travels to the north and west. The system has a well-defined pinhole eye.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting btwntx08:

its parma lol


why didnt you quote all of what he said? lol he said (Parma)
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Yet another extremely impressive cyclone.

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Quoting Tazmanian:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 30 SEP 2009 Time : 223000 UTC
Lat : 11:44:37 N Lon : 131:24:18 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.0 / 930.8mb/115.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.0 7.1 7.3

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : 3.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km

Center Temp : -10.7C Cloud Region Temp : -81.4C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.2T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF





ok wish one of you made this storm mad oh was it


Taz, is that Typhoon Pepinga (Parma)?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9662
Quoting Tazmanian:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 30 SEP 2009 Time : 223000 UTC
Lat : 11:44:37 N Lon : 131:24:18 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.0 / 930.8mb/115.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.0 7.1 7.3

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +3.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km

Center Temp : -10.7C Cloud Region Temp : -81.4C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.2T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF





ok wish one of you made this storm mad oh was it

Wasn't me...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11553
Quoting NRAamy:
Dak...post the photo, please!

:)


I would get banned. :(

If I post something that is not weather related, even if blog related I get a 24 hour ban. It spawned from when I posted a product that trojan makes when we were getting hit with viruses on the blog.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9662
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 30 SEP 2009 Time : 223000 UTC
Lat : 11:44:37 N Lon : 131:24:18 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.0 / 930.8mb/115.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.0 7.1 7.3

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +3.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km

Center Temp : -10.7C Cloud Region Temp : -81.4C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.2T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF





ok wish one of you made this storm mad oh was it
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Countdown to the end of Hurricane season
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Parma looks scarily similar to Hurricane Wilma...


Parma


Wilma
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11553
For the first time it appears the European Model has some feed-back issues. it's totally going against the grind for the weekend over the southeast.
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Quoting superpete:
Thanks W456.Might be in for some rain in St Kitts?


I dont know about Saint Kitts but the southern and central Antilles are in for rain. The waves are not amplifying northward this year.
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Quoting Dakster:
Floodman - I just found a picture of you on the internet. Thought I would share with the blog. This has got to be you...

Link


Nope, but close!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Nothing out there anytime soon.



Except, that ball of convection just fired and is very round at about 11N/48W.

The shear is not too bad where that is.

Going to check some things out.
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Quoting jeffs713:

But Strontium-90 will bioaccumulate in milk. It will also work its way into steel, causing radioactive steel.

And to make things fun... Strontium-90 is mostly radioactive in beta radiation, which means it will most impact cells in the immediate radius. Think about what could happen if the fallout, containing Strontium-90, gets into our milk supply...

Might be a slight "technical issue"


I know I;'m late replying to htis, had a meeting to deal with...the accumulation in milk was an issue in the 50s when air testing was still going on; the actual dust was an issue in teh southwest as late as the 80s due to dust in attics...technical problem indeed!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
thanks, it was nice to get a response, i agree, i live within 36 miles of the harris plant in nc.. its interesting, what would really happen ,if told. to evacuate? in less than an hour?
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 59
Beautiful day here in WPB/Lake Worth, Fl. Overcast, mild and a high in the low 80's. But alas, temps. on the way up for the rest of the week :(
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Quoting Drakoen:
Pinhole eye! And a very well defined one.
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Nothing out there anytime soon.

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Quoting Weather456:


give or take 3-4 more days
Thanks W456.Might be in for some rain in St Kitts?
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Quoting superpete:
Post 409- JPLR :
Looks like the shear is still affecting any development at 50W.Any idea of when the current shear is expected to drop?


give or take 3-4 more days
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463. xcool
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462. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

Typhoon "PEPENG" has gained more strength as it continues to move towards Northern Luzon.

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #3
=======================
At 5:00 a.m PhST, Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) located at 11.5ºN 132.1ºE or 650 kms east of Borongan, Eastern Samar has 10 minute sustained winds of 150 km/h (80 kts) with gusts up to 185 km/h (100 kts).

Signal Warnings
==================

Signal Warning #1 (30-60 kph winds)

Luzon Region
1.Camarines Norte
2.Camarines Sur
3.Catanduanes

Additional Information
===========================
Residents in low lying areas and near mountain slopes under signal #1 are advised to take all the necessary precautionary measures against possible flashfloods and landslides.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 A.M. today.

---
Northern Luzon pay close attention to this potentially dangerous cyclone
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Post 409- JPLR :
Looks like the shear is still affecting any development at 50W.Any idea of when the current shear is expected to drop?
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Dak...post the photo, please!

:)
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Quoting Dakster:
Floodman - I just found a picture of you on the internet. Thought I would share with the blog. This has got to be you...

Link


I just saw you comment about Ketsana from earlier this afternoon. lol lol lol
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Floodman - I just found a picture of you on the internet. Thought I would share with the blog. This has got to be you...

Link
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9662
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


See comments section for the Comedy
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
The objective Dvorak reading would make the system a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Satellite images and microwave imagery reveals that Parma has a pinhole eye with an intense area of convection surrounding the eye with the maximum brightness in the southern and eastern quadrants of the system.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
451. xcool



weather street.com

hi all.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.