Category 4 Typhoon Vicente hits China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:40 PM GMT on July 24, 2012

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Typhoon Vicente powered ashore about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Macao, China Monday at 19:30 UTC as a dangerous Category 4 typhoon with 135 mph winds. The typhoon brought sustained winds of 58 mph with a peak wind gust of 83 mph to Hong Kong, and sustained winds of 55 mph with a peak wind gust of 76 mph to Macao. No deaths are being blamed on the typhoon, but 118 were injured, and the storm is dumping very heavy rains over Southeast China that will cause serious flooding.


Figure 1. Radar image of Vicente at landfall 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Hong Kong, China. Image credit: Hong Kong Observatory.


Figure 2. Firemen investigate the collapsed scaffolding caused by typhoon Vicente at a residential building in Hong Kong Tuesday, July 24, 2012. The strongest typhoon to hit Hong Kong in 13 years swirled into southern China as a tropical storm Tuesday, still potent enough for mainland authorities to order the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and warn residents of possible flooding. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

A hurricane forecasters' nightmare
Vicente was an example of a hurricane forecaster's nightmare. In six hours, Vicente strengthened from a Category 1 typhoon with 80 mph winds to a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds. Even twelve hours before this remarkable burst of intensification, there was little indication that Vicente would undergo rapid intensification. It is very fortunate the the typhoon missed a direct hit on the heavily populated areas of Hong Kong and Macao, because there was no time to evacuate all the people who would have needed to leave for the impact of a Category 4 storm--particularly since the storm hit at night. If a similar type of storm were to affect a vulnerable area of the U.S. coast such as the Florida Keys, New Orleans, Houston/Galveston, or Tampa Bay, the death toll could easily be in the thousands. I have great hopes that the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP), currently in year three of a ten-year effort aimed at improving hurricane intensity forecasts by 50%, will be able to give us tools to be able to predict rapid intensification events like Vicente's several days in advance. However, we are still many years from being able to predict such events, and the hurricane forecasters' nightmare storm is still a very real possibility.

Atlantic to get more active?
NHC is giving a disturbance along a frontal boundary 600 miles east-northeast of Bermuda a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression, but this system is not a threat to any land areas. Recent runs of both the GFS and NOGAPS models have predicted that tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa late this week and early next week could show some development. These predictions have not been consistent, but we are getting towards the time of year when we need to start watching the tropical waves coming off of Africa.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Beryl formed from a cold front, not a tropical wave.
Isn't Beryl the one that sucked up the tropical moisture from the WCar before it headed for FL?
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Will one of you please stop posting the images? We don't need double of each one.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31466
102 HR:
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
By the way the last weak El Nino was 2006. The so called year of the SAL. Link


Link

Like it has been posted here... this year's Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) values are very similar to 2006

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96 HR: Something in Africa...

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96 hrs: not much out there, yet...
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting AussieStorm:

maybe in the broader spectrum they did re-curve. They both originated from a tropical wave that came off Africa. followed generally the same path until they hit an area that allowed them to develop.
Just about everything that comes over from Africa or out of the Caribbean recurves. It's the nature of the synoptic pattern. The question is, WHERE?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
The big storm of '06 was Helene. The only other one I remember was Ernesto, and that's because either the GFS or the GFDL was so far off the track, but everybody thought it was right... lol.. that and the fact it was supposed to be a "big deal hurricane" and instead wimped out before it even got past Cuba.

I would watch out for this year's Helene, seems like she means business and wants to get her name retired. also in 1988 i believe Helene was also a monster but recurved out to sea.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Correct, the only thing to determine is what percentage is our fault, and in what possible way would we determine that?


We could make a decent guess based on elimination. Take all the known physical factors which might cause the Earth to warm and see what they are doing/have done over the last 100 years.

Sun has decreased slightly in output.

We were in a cooling phase in terms of Earth orbit. On our way to a future ice age hundreds of thousands of years ago.

No significant number of volcanic eruptions.

No meteor strikes (which would most likely be a cooling event).

No new mountain ranges or changes in continental positions which would change air/ocean circulation patterns.

I'm out of things that might warm the planet. Except for us.
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90 hrs: there is something over Africa
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
90 HR: 1011 mb storm

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Beryl formed from a cold front, not a tropical wave.

I thought it was a T-wave and a cold front combined. If not, my bad
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting BahaHurican:
The big storm of '06 was Helene. The only other one I remember was Ernesto, and that's because either the GFS or the GFDL was so far off the track, but everybody thought it was right... lol.. that and the fact it was supposed to be a "big deal hurricane" and instead wimped out before it even got past Cuba.
Yes I think Haiti took the brunt of the storm and it crossed over Cuba in a weakened state, at one time the prediction was for a Cat. 3 Hurricane just off the west coast of FL. Fay was another storm that was predicted to become a hurricane and enter the Gulf and hit Tampa Bay.
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84 HR: Nothing major

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84 hrs
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Quoting AussieStorm:

maybe in the broader spectrum they did re-curve. They both originated from a tropical wave that came off Africa. followed generally the same path until they hit an area that allowed them to develop.

Beryl formed from a cold front, not a tropical wave.
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78 HR: Still nothing

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Quoting Bluestorm5:


I'm posting it right now.


Damn, I gotta know what happens on the 10th. For me it's all about the timing, if the storm is near the bahamas and not in South Florida yet, that'd be all I care about.
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1416. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:


ahh.... you will see....They will actualize tomorow...


After seeing a storm or two in there, it is kind of depressing to see it empty again.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Yes, of course. That's why I said Beryl and Debby were irrelevant in testing the pattern. They're obviously not recurving when they're literally on your doorstep.

maybe in the broader spectrum they did re-curve. They both originated from a tropical wave that came off Africa. followed generally the same path until they hit an area that allowed them to develop.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting GTcooliebai:
By the way the last weak El Nino was 2006. The so called year of the SAL. Link
The big storm of '06 was Helene. The only other one I remember was Ernesto, and that's because either the GFS or the GFDL was so far off the track, but everybody thought it was right... lol.. that and the fact it was supposed to be a "big deal hurricane" and instead wimped out before it even got past Cuba.
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Quoting JLPR2:


And the GFS says no storm. Why am I not surprised?


ahh.... you will see....They will actualize tomorow...
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Quoting RussianWinter:
When is the next gfs?

I think I'm gonna stay up.


I'm posting it right now.
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72 HR: I can see 1010 mb storm at the VERY edge of GFS map in Africa.

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When is the next gfs?

I think I'm gonna stay up.
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The AMO index is correlated to air temperatures and rainfall over much of the Northern Hemisphere, in particular, North America and Europe such as North Eastern Brazilian and African Sahel rainfall and North American and European summer climate. It is also associated with changes in the frequency of North American droughts and is reflected in the frequency of severe Atlantic hurricanes. It alternately obscures and exaggerates the global increase in temperatures due to human-induced global warming.[6]
Recent research suggests that the AMO is related to the past occurrence of major droughts in the US Midwest and the Southwest. When the AMO is in its warm phase, these droughts tend to be more frequent or prolonged. Two of the most severe droughts of the 20th century occurred during the positive AMO between 1925 and 1965: The Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the 1950s drought. Florida and the Pacific Northwest tend to be the opposite%u2014warm AMO, more rainfall.[6]
Climate models suggest that a warm phase of the AMO strengthens the summer rainfall over India and Sahel and the North Atlantic tropical cyclone activity.[7] Paleoclimatologic studies have confirmed this pattern%u2014increased rainfall in AMO warmphase, decreased in cold phase%u2014for the Sahel over the past 3,000 years.

The AMO has a strong effect on Florida rainfall. Rainfall in central and south Florida becomes more plentiful when the Atlantic is in its warm phase and droughts and wildfires are more frequent in the cool phase. As a result of these variations, the inflow to Lake Okeechobee %u2014 the reservoir for South Florida%u2019s water supply %u2014 changes by as much as 40% between AMO extremes. In northern Florida the relationship begins to reverse %u2014 less rainfall when the Atlantic is warm. Link
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66 HR... still not too much.

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Quoting AussieStorm:

so you mean a close to home storm/system.


Yes, of course. That's why I said Beryl and Debby were irrelevant in testing the pattern. They're obviously not recurving when they're literally on your doorstep.
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1406. JLPR2
Quoting Bluestorm5:
54 Hr:


And the GFS says no storm. Why am I not surprised?
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
What about the AMO?


Looking at the last warm cycle of the AMO, which occurred in the 50s and 60s, most of the years in the sample did feature a pattern similar to the one we are experiencing now, with a stray hit or two along the east coast, with the remainder sneaking up in the Gulf where recurvature isn't an option. However, with the exception of the last few years, the current warm amplitude of the AMO did not seem to appreciably decrease the probability of US landfalls. This dichotomy really muddles any sort of consensus or evidence for the current pattern.
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60 HR:

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By the way the last weak El Nino was 2006. The so called year of the SAL. Link
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54 Hr:
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Just checking :) Lot of different models on that useful site!


It is always important to check it. :)
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36 HR:

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Quoting BahaHurican:
Isn't that a Debby from some years ago? That track looks off to me.
Quoting KoritheMan:


No it's not.
Pshaw... I had Beryl's track in my mind... Actually had to go look... lol
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The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) is a mode of variability occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean and which has its principal expression in the sea surface temperature (SST) field. While there is some support for this mode in models and in historical observations, controversy exists with regard to its amplitude, and in particular, the attribution of sea surface temperature change to natural or anthropogenic causes, especially in tropical Atlantic areas important for hurricane development.



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Quoting KoritheMan:

There's no room for escape for a Gulf storm. That was my point.

so you mean a close to home storm/system.
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Quoting Civicane49:


Yes.
Just checking :) Lot of different models on that useful site!
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1395. JLPR2
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Am I posting the correct run?


Yep.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Am I posting the correct run?


Yes.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

I read it earlier, and Drew is a smart guy. He might be correct. However, if I'm not mistaken the PDO last went negative in the 1970s, and again, we still saw landfalls. There's more to the story that we aren't getting.
Different phase of the AMO, though, IIRC.

I agree, though. We were talking about GW something last week sometime, and I was saying some of what we don't understand has to do with longer term climatological patterns that we don't fully understand. So for example the last time we had the kind of northern hemisphere heat extremes recorded that we are seeing now was between 1910 and 1940. That's 75-100 years, give or take a few.
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Am I posting the correct run?
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Saharan Air Layer (SAL) Analysis:

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Link

Photos: Dust Storm Envelops Phoenix Area

July 24, 2012 %u2013 PHOENIX %u2014 A dust storm, or haboob, enveloped the greater Phoenix area in a cloud of yellow-gray blowing dust on Saturday night. The dust storms are becoming more frequent. For the second time since Saturday, a dust storm muscled its way into the Valley, just in time for the afternoon commute. National Weather Service meteorologist Charlotte Dewey said the storm was moving northwest and was first spotted between Eloy and Tucson. The dust storm covered cities in the metropolitan Phoenix area such as Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, Apache Junction, Santan Valley, Chandler, Casa Grande and downtown Phoenix. There were no official estimates of its size, but Dewey says spotters estimated it was around 2,000 feet tall. She says there were also reports of 35 mph wind gusts in the area, and a report of a 50 mph gust at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Above are photos of the event from The Associated Press and our iWitness Weather contributors. %u2013KPHO
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1389. JLPR2
It's been awhile since I saw that much rotation on the Atl. XD

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Quoting KoritheMan:

I read it earlier, and Drew is a smart guy. He might be correct. However, if I'm not mistaken the PDO last went negative in the 1970s, and again, we still saw landfalls. There's more to the story that we aren't getting.
What about the AMO?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Isn't that a Debby from some years ago? That track looks off to me.

Nope, that's this year's.
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Hour 18:

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GFS 00z starting

This is at 6 HR

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Quoting BahaHurican:
Isn't that a Debby from some years ago? That track looks off to me.


No it's not.
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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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