Typhoon Roke batters Japan; Ophelia forms in the Central Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:28 PM GMT on September 21, 2011

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Typhoon Roke hit Japan near Hamamatsu at 14:00 JST Wednesday as a Category 1 typhoon with 80 mph winds. Roke brought sustained winds of 62 mph, gusting to 83 mph to the Tokyo airport at 5:25 pm local time, and a wind gust of 89 mph was reported at Shizuhama Airbase. Roke has dumped heavy rains of 155 mm (6.20") at Hamamatsu and 125 mm (4.86") at Tokyo. Damage due to flooding from Roke's heavy rains will likely be the main problem from Roke, as the soils over much of Japan are saturated from the passage of Tropical Storm Talas during the first week of September. Talas was a very slow moving storm, and brought extreme rainfall amounts of over six feet to some portions of Japan. Roke brought winds less than 25 mph to the damaged Fukishima-Dai-Iche nuclear plant northeast of Tokyo, and heavy rains of 189 mm (7.50") to Hirono, located 8 miles south of the plant.


Figure 1. Radar image of Typhoon Roke as it made landfall at 14:00 JST on September 21, 2011. The typhoon brought a large area of rainfall of 50 mm/hr (2"/hr) to Japan. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.


Figure 2. MODIS image of Typhoon Roke taken at 3:55 UTC on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. At the time, Roke was a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical Storm Ophelia forms in the Atlantic
Tropical Storm Ophelia formed last night in the Central Atlantic from the tropical wave (Invest 98L) we've been tracking this week. Satellite imagery shows that Ophelia is suffering the classic symptoms of high wind shear, with the low level center of circulation exposed to view, and the storm's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the northeast side of the center of circulation. An analysis of wind shear from the University of Wisconsin CIMMS group shows a high 20 - 30 knots of wind shear due to strong upper level west-southwesterly winds affecting Ophelia. We don't have any ship, buoy, or hurricane hunter observations of Ophelia's winds, but an ASCAT pass from 7:27 pm EDT last night found top winds of 45 mph in the northeast quadrant of the storm. Ophelia will be passing south of buoy 41041 late tonight. Water vapor satellite images show dry air to the the west of Ophelia, and the strong upper level west-southwesterly winds bringing high wind shear to the storm are also injecting dry air into the storm's core, interfering with development.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Ophelia showing the low-level center exposed to view, with all the storm's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the northeast side.

Forecast for Ophelia
The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that Ophelia will experience moderate to high wind shear of 10 - 25 knots over the next five days, and will move into a region with drier air. The combination of shear and dry air should keep Ophelia from strengthening, and could dissipate the storm, as predicted by the ECMWF and HWRF models. The Northern Lesser Antilles could see some wind gusts of 30 - 40 mph and heavy rain squalls from Ophelia on Saturday and Sunday, but right now it looks unlikely that the islands would see sustained tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph, since they are likely to be on Ophelia's weaker (dry) side. At longer ranges, Bermuda will have to keep an eye on Ophelia, since a large cut-off low pressure system over the Eastern U.S. should turn Ophelia to the northwest and then north early next week. Ophelia may eventually be a threat to Canada, but it is too early to assess the odds of this happening.

Ophelia is the 15th named storm this year, putting 2011 in 10th place for the most number of named storms in a year. Ophelia's formation date of September 21 puts 2011 in 4th place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 15th storm. Only 2005, 1936, and 1933 had an earlier 15th storm. With only three of this year's fifteen storms reaching hurricane strength, though, this year has been near average for destructive potential. Atlantic hurricane records go back to 1851.

Jeff Masters

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796. CaribBoy
3:40 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
I CAN'T BELIEVE THERE IS DUST IN ME AREA OF THE ANTILLES!!!!!!!!!!! OF COURSE THERE IS NO INTERESTING WEATHER.... BUT INSTEAD ALL INGREDIENTS TO KEEP IT DEAD BORING!!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6229
795. Neapolitan
1:49 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
NEW BLOG ENTRY
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13554
794. whepton3
1:27 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:


Ya she is in about 25kts of Shear now. Don't believe that will change too much and actually she might get a little less shear the further West she moves. Does not seem much in any kind of Atlantic Born systems will impact the ConUs much longer.

But, we certainly need to watch those born in the Caribbean and GOM which are not done yet. Got a fairly long road to go yet.


10 days... 10 days or thereabouts in tropical purgatory.

We're getting there... just looked at the MJO.. starting to creep around about then.

Figure by then the shear will probably loosen up and there will be some Caribbean mayhem in October.

CATL season I think is just about milked for all it's worth.

Maybe one more... could be the wave coming off Africa, but it'll either curve or get sliced up with shear.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
793. TampaSpin
1:19 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Got a bunch of Family coming down to Tampa from Indiana for the COLTS vs. BUCS game on Monday nite football on Oct. 3rd. Don't need any systems at all that week as its a complete week of GameNite then Golf and Fishing the entire week. YOu all make that good weather happen for me........LOL! Gotta run. BBL!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
792. TampaSpin
1:16 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting whepton3:


Anything trying to get going now gets beheaded.

That fate awaits Ophelia I think.


Ya she is in about 25kts of Shear now. Don't believe that will change too much and actually she might get a little less shear the further West she moves. Does not seem much in any kind of Atlantic Born systems will impact the ConUs much longer.

But, we certainly need to watch those born in the Caribbean and GOM which are not done yet. Got a fairly long road to go yet.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
791. Chicklit
1:15 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
734 AM EDT THU SEP 22 2011

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY.

.THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
A DEEP LAYER SOUTHEAST FLOW WILL PUSH SHOWERS AND STORMS TO THE WEST AND NORTHWEST TODAY AT AROUND 15 MPH. MORNING SHOWERS AND STORMS OVER THE COASTAL WATERS WILL IMPACT THE IMMEDIATE COAST DURING THE MORNING THEN DISSIPATE AS THEY MOVE INLAND. LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON SHOWERS AND STORMS OVER THE COASTAL COUNTIES WILL SPREAD WESTWARD AND IMPACT THE INTERIOR MID TO LATE AFTERNOON. THE PRIMARY WEATHER HAZARDS WILL BE OCCASIONAL GUSTS TO 35 MPH...BRIEF HEAVY RAIN AND CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES AS SHOWERS AND STORMS COME ASHORE THIS MORNING AND IN THE STRONGER STORMS OVER THE INTERIOR MID TO LATE AFTERNOON.

.MARINE THUNDERSTORM GUST IMPACT...
STORMS WILL MOVE NORTHWEST AT AROUND 15 KT OVER THE COASTAL WATERS AND QUICKLY BE ON TOP OF BOATERS. WIND GUSTS TO 30 KT...CLOUD TO WATER LIGHTNING STRIKES AND BRIEF HEAVY RAIN WILL BE THE MAIN WEATHER HAZARDS ON THE COASTAL AND INLAND WATERS. BOATERS SHOULD KEEP A LOOKOUT TO THE SOUTHEASTERN SKIES FOR APPROACHING WEATHER AND SEEK SHELTER BEFORE THE STORMS ARRIVE.

We've been getting some nice brief showers followed by sun. Little white puffy clouds, blue skies...gorgeous weather here now. Have a great day everyone.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11348
790. whepton3
1:10 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:


High Shear across most of the MDR not much can develop very well with this much Shear out there!


Anything trying to get going now gets beheaded.

That fate awaits Ophelia I think.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
789. whepton3
1:09 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:


High Shear across most of the MDR not much can develop very well with this much Shear out there!


Big time.
Shear will behead anything getting across at the moment for sure.


Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
788. whepton3
1:08 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:
The NAM is a pretty good model to show things 24-36hrs out!




Looks like the NAM elongates it to the NE and then it just goes away.

Could bring some rain to some folks that need it in S GA though...

Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
787. TampaSpin
1:07 PM GMT on September 22, 2011


High Shear across most of the MDR not much can develop very well with this much Shear out there!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
786. TampaSpin
1:03 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
The NAM is a pretty good model to show things 24-36hrs out!


Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
785. TampaSpin
1:02 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting whepton3:


Read your blog... all true.

I think the low in the NE GOM could make a run... but not sure if it's a winner.

Saw the vorticity in SE GOM... maybe that could be the beginning of something.

When the MJO comes back around... could light up in there in a week to 10 days possibly.


Shear is rather High currently and does not appear to be going away. I doubt now that much can get started.

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
784. whepton3
12:59 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TampaSpin:


http://www.wunderground.com/blog/TampaSpin/show.h tml


Read your blog... all true.

I think the low in the NE GOM could make a run... but not sure if it's a winner.

Saw the vorticity in SE GOM... maybe that could be the beginning of something.

When the MJO comes back around... could light up in there in a week to 10 days possibly.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
783. WxLogic
12:50 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


pressures are rising, not likely


Not likely at this time for sure, but if convection persists prior to further displacement to the NNE to NE then it might have a slight chance. Of course extra tropical or sub tropical in nature.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
782. MahFL
12:47 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting WarEagle8:
Blob in GOM...there has been some rotation for a day now, so is this going to develop or not?


With 35 kts of shear I would say no.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3547
781. VAbeachhurricanes
12:45 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting WxLogic:
Updated 12Z 850VORT MAX shows a slight in crease in low level spin across the SE GOM:



Buoy 42003 is showing some increase in WND speeds (mainly due to convection in the area)



Interestingly enough WND DIR has been backing and now from the N:



Although SFC pressures are not falling yet. It would appear a weak low might be trying to get going.


pressures are rising, not likely
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6598
780. CaribBoy
12:38 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Hopeless :( now GFDL is a fish as well
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779. WxLogic
12:35 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Updated 12Z 850VORT MAX shows a slight in crease in low level spin across the SE GOM:



Buoy 42003 is showing some increase in WND speeds (mainly due to convection in the area)



Interestingly enough WND DIR has been backing and now from the N:



Although SFC pressures are not falling yet. It would appear a weak low might be trying to get going.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
778. Landfall2004
12:32 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting whepton3:


Nice low forming there... gonna bring a lot of rain to N. FL it looks like.

It's drawing moisture across S. FL for sure. We've been getting rain on and off this morning with more coming as the day wears on.


GO LOW! Fill our aquifers that flow down thru S. FL!
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 148
777. TampaSpin
12:32 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting whepton3:


This may be the beginning of the storm system that would impact the east coast that Rob over at Crown Weather discussed Monday of Tuesday.

Not sure if it has enough time to organize and spin up considering its proximity to land.

It is pulling moisture nicely across Florida though.


http://www.wunderground.com/blog/TampaSpin/show.h tml
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
776. Neapolitan
12:31 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Hilary is now a hurricane according to ATCF:

EP, 09, 2011092212, , BEST, 0, 149N, 986W, 65, 994, HU, 64, NEQ, 15, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 160, 15, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, HILARY, D
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13554
775. TropicTraveler
12:30 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Hilary's eye is partially visible this morning, but should become clear by this afternoon. It has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, with gusts up to 85 mph. At 11AM, it should be declared a hurricane, and I may be here ;)



Wouldn't want to be on a cruise ship heading into that storm. Wonder how they can avoid it, eff they are going through the Panama Canal? Healthy looking development.
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 927
774. CaribBoy
12:29 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
2011 is a BUST (except IRENE and LEE)
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6229
773. CaribBoy
12:27 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting zicoille:

ME TOO !!!! intensifying in category 5 and coming on SXM, with a 2 knots forward speed!


yeah hopefully we will get some interesting stuff in October... something like 1999 JOSE! However cat 5 no..
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6229
772. islander101010
12:15 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
hilliary could be a headliner especially if she moves to the right
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4728
771. whepton3
12:15 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting WarEagle8:
Blob in GOM...there has been some rotation for a day now, so is this going to develop or not?


This may be the beginning of the storm system that would impact the east coast that Rob over at Crown Weather discussed Monday of Tuesday.

Not sure if it has enough time to organize and spin up considering its proximity to land.

It is pulling moisture nicely across Florida though.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
769. zicoille
12:12 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting CaribBoy:
Ophelia out to sea, african wave out to sea. What a disappointment. BORING BORING BORING!! I need a storm forming at 50W 12N lol!

ME TOO !!!! intensifying in category 5 and coming on SXM, with a 2 knots forward speed!
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 131
768. CaribBoy
12:09 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Ophelia out to sea, african wave out to sea. What a disappointment. BORING BORING BORING!! I need a storm forming at 50W 12N lol!
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6229
767. WarEagle8
12:09 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Blob in GOM...there has been some rotation for a day now, so is this going to develop or not?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
766. TropicTraveler
12:09 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting sunlinepr:


Incredible visual! The power of these storms is awesome.
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 927
765. whepton3
12:07 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:

Also my comment #738, and yes. It's pouch P32L, and is developed to some degree by ECMWF, GFS, UKMET, and NOGAPS. They all move it northwesterly for now, however, so it looks like--for now--even if it does develop, it'll stay way out over the open ocean.


Seems to be a common theme this year.

Now that you mention the models, I do remember seeing it coming across and curving out on a few of the runs.

It is fairly robust stepping into the water.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
764. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:07 PM GMT on September 22, 2011
Hilary's eye is partially visible this morning, but should become clear by this afternoon. It has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, with gusts up to 85 mph. At 11AM, it should be declared a hurricane, and I may be here ;)

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32274
762. beeleeva
11:59 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
KHOU in Houston making note of thunderstorms over NE Gulf....
Member Since: July 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 85
760. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:55 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32274
759. Neapolitan
11:42 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting whepton3:
Post 745:

Nice wave coming off Africa..

Wonder if that could be a contender?

Also my comment #738, and yes. It's pouch P32L, and is developed to some degree by ECMWF, GFS, UKMET, and NOGAPS. They all move it northwesterly for now, however, so it looks like--for now--even if it does develop, it'll stay way out over the open ocean.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13554
758. stormwatcherCI
11:34 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Good morning.

Looks like her coc is slightly wsw of the heaviest ball of convection.
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757. whepton3
11:33 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Post 745:

Nice wave coming off Africa..

Wonder if that could be a contender?
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
756. Tropicsweatherpr
11:33 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting mrpuertorico:
wow the gods were angry last night in PR very loud very bright very nasty lightning


That is right. Loud thunder in San Juan with plenty of lightening. That 99L low had a punch.
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755. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:31 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Good morning.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32274
754. whepton3
11:31 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning everyone. What is that off the west coast of Florida ?


Nice low forming there... gonna bring a lot of rain to N. FL it looks like.

It's drawing moisture across S. FL for sure. We've been getting rain on and off this morning with more coming as the day wears on.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
753. whepton3
11:21 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting Lonewulf:
Sorry if this is a 'noobish' question - I'm not a meteorologist, just enjoy learning about storms - but what is the probability for another major storm developing this year? It's getting close to the time of year that the seasonal monsoons in Africa start drying up, and from what I understand those weather fronts are what moves off the coast and eventually turns into a TC. I understand that nothing is certain when it comes to weather, but from what I've read here on the WU it appears that this year's season is in a wind down mode.


Well, one aspect of it may be.

The storms that trek across the Atlantic are becoming fewer and farther between. The so called "African wave train" is slowing down.

However, this is the time of year when typically we start to see increased activity closer to home in the Caribbean.

Home brew if you will.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
752. aislinnpaps
11:20 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Everyone have a great Thursday!
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751. WxLogic
11:01 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Good Morning.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
750. islander101010
10:48 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting mrpuertorico:
wow the gods were angry last night in PR very loud very bright very nasty lightning
alot of energy associated with ex 99
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4728
749. mrpuertorico
10:42 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
wow the gods were angry last night in PR very loud very bright very nasty lightning
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 833
748. GetReal
10:36 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Well a little closer to home, an area of low pressure is forming on the old frontal boundry in the NE GOM... It is looking like a heavy rain event for northern Fl and Georgia, IMO.

Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8896
747. Lonewulf
10:33 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Sorry if this is a 'noobish' question - I'm not a meteorologist, just enjoy learning about storms - but what is the probability for another major storm developing this year? It's getting close to the time of year that the seasonal monsoons in Africa start drying up, and from what I understand those weather fronts are what moves off the coast and eventually turns into a TC. I understand that nothing is certain when it comes to weather, but from what I've read here on the WU it appears that this year's season is in a wind down mode.
Member Since: September 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
746. islander101010
10:29 AM GMT on September 22, 2011
Quoting MahFL:


She's always been out to see, FISH %^^&&*((
tough to get one all the way west this yr going to have to back door the conus the pattern seems to be set in stone.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4728

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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.