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


No it's not.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Debby.... Close to land?

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


If you go read the body of climate work, I don't think you'll find any peer-reviewed paper that claims anthropogenic warming is the sole climate force.

What you will find is empirical evidence of anthropogenic forces on the climate.

This results in many effects that are easy to measure and easy for a layman (like me) to understand.

If you have not read through the body of work, a good place to start is:

Check here

This site links to relevant papers, and the particular page takes each common "argument" against the theory and empirical evidence.

If you are a true skeptic, the site will put your anthropogenic impact questions to rest with a more-than-ample set of evidence.

For now, I enjoy watching for evidence of the "loaded climate dice" effect, and reading peer-reviewed literature on the topic.


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

Debby.... Close to land?

There's no room for escape for a Gulf storm. That was my point.
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00z run of GFS is starting soon...
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Quoting BahaHurican:
If some link between amplification of the jet stream and GW would be established, your hypothesis would be proven. I think it was MS-WX who was on earlier today talking about potential effects of the cold PDO phase we are in, and suggesting this constant troughing over the East Coast may be part of that signal. His comments are worth reading. I also remember when we started noticing the shift towards a cold PDO that we talked about the different possible impacts that it might have.

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.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

Shear north of the Greater Antilles will always decrease more slowly because the mid-oceanic is a semipermanent feature in that region. This is also why Hawaii generally stays free of hurricanes despite the warm waters. My best guess based on extrapolation, climatology, and model forecasts would be around August 10.
LoL... which is about when the GFS is indicating a storm, ghost or not...
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Quoting KoritheMan:

Beryl and Debby are kind of irrelevant, since they both formed close to land. To really test this pattern, we need to see if a storm originating in the Caribbean or the deep tropics makes it across.

Debby.... Close to land?

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Quoting BahaHurican:
I seriously doubt the troughing is going to "save us" in this first part of the ASO period... we may see considerably more of it in September.

That high has been pretty set since the beginning of July, and everything coming off the US coast has pretty much gone over the top. While I expect it will modulate somewhat [it always does] I don't expect it to move that much. What worries me is the persistence of that ridge into the GOM over the BAhamas and FL. That kind of setup lends itself to the hurricane from h*** for the Caribbean, Bahamas/TCI, FL, and points west in the GoM... given how much of the GOM has been covered by a bridging high at times, even MX is still in the game. A lot will depend on the specific dynamics at the time a system is moving into our area.
I agree, that high pressure is gonna forces hurricanes into US this year. Plus, we're overdue for major hurricane landfall. We haven't got a major hurricane since Wilma (although Ike came very close). Law of averages will catch up.
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Also, one thing that further supports troughing is the persistent drought over the central US.
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Well that's interesting wind shear is running low in the Caribbean and it looks like the TUTT retreated towards the Greater Antillies and north of there.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting KoritheMan:

I understand what's causing it, I'm just saying it's weird. The last exceptionally quiet period I can think of is the 1970s, where we experienced an extreme dearth of major hurricanes. Yet even then, we still churned out landfalls. The average is 4, and we've been lucky to get 2. At the very least, this will make for a very interesting posthumous dissertation once the pattern changes.

I also hypothesize that global warming might have something to do with it, but there's not enough evidence of that.
If some link between amplification of the jet stream and GW could be established, your hypothesis would be proven. I think it was MS-WX who was on earlier today talking about potential effects of the cold PDO phase we are in, and suggesting this constant troughing over the East Coast may be part of that signal. His comments are worth reading. I also remember when we started noticing the shift towards a cold PDO that we talked about the different possible impacts that it might have.

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
As it stands right now the caribbean is shut down due to the wind shear caused by the TUTT, the MDR is suffering from SAL, when do you see the wind shear relaxing and the SAL abating? I was thinking first week in Aug. at the earliest.
Shear north of the Greater Antilles will always decrease more slowly because the mid-oceanic trough is a semipermanent feature in that region. This is also why Hawaii generally stays free of hurricanes despite the warm waters. My best guess based on extrapolation, climatology, and model forecasts would be around August 10.
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When the NAO is in negative phase about (-0.5 to -1.0) is very common that the storms enter in the gulf or land in florida

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Quoting KoritheMan:

Beryl and Debby are kind of irrelevant, since they both formed close to land. To really test this pattern, we need to see if a storm originating in the Caribbean or the deep tropics makes it across.
As it stands right now the caribbean is shut down due to the wind shear caused by the TUTT, the MDR is suffering from SAL, when do you see the wind shear relaxing and the SAL abating? I was thinking first week in Aug. at the earliest.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Are you guys sure about the troughs coming down this year like last year, for some reason it seems the Bermuda High is stronger and nosing its way over towards the Bahamas and FL.? We've had east winds for awhile now and no sign of a trough lately.
I seriously doubt the troughing is going to "save us" in this first part of the ASO period... we may see considerably more of it in September.

That high has been pretty set since the beginning of July, and everything coming off the US coast has pretty much gone over the top. While I expect it will modulate somewhat [it always does] I don't expect it to move that much. What worries me is the persistence of that ridge into the GOM over the BAhamas and FL. That kind of setup lends itself to the hurricane from h*** for the Caribbean, Bahamas/TCI, FL, and points west in the GoM... given how much of the GOM has been covered by a bridging high at times, even MX is still in the game. A lot will depend on the specific dynamics at the time a system is moving into our area.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I'm not buying into it, I think it's too far out and haven't seen the pattern of excessive Heat along the east coast break yet. And with landfalls from Beryl and Debby early in the season it should be a telling sign of things to come and FL. has been in a wet pattern lately usually a sign of El Nino. Wasn't the last weak El Nino in 2004?
Beryl and Debby are kind of irrelevant, since they both formed close to land. To really test this pattern, we need to see if a storm originating in the Caribbean or the deep tropics makes it across.
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I think to get a better idea of our situation you have to go back and look at the 19th century data too. Granted it's not as complete a record as what we produce now, but there's enough there to get a sense of what kinds of patterns prevailed. My impression from looking at the 1851 - 2011 record is that there were quite a few more storms recurving west of 70N, which suggests there was less troughing over the east coast or that it was weaker. However, data on FL landfalls from that period is too scarce to be able to make any reasonable inferences about FL landfalls. From GA north, there had been sufficient development at that point for most of the storms making landfall to be noted. Additionally, there was sufficient ship traffic between NE ports and Caribbean and GoM ports for storms W/ of 70W to be recorded.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

It's definitely stronger. However, most of the model runs I've seen have indicated a mean ridge over the Rockies. Naturally, a trough would be expected to manifest downstream.
I'm not buying into it, I think it's too far out and haven't seen the pattern of excessive Heat along the east coast break yet. And with landfalls from Beryl and Debby early in the season it should be a telling sign of things to come and FL. has been in a wet pattern lately usually a sign of El Nino. Wasn't the last weak El Nino in 2004?
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting jeffs713:

The wave over Mali is moving at a VERY healthy clip.


The Mali one is not what GFS had developing last night. Is the one in Chad/Sudan area that will emerge on Sunday.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Are you guys sure about the troughs coming down this year like last year, for some reason it seems the Bermuda High is stronger and nosing its way over towards the Bahamas and FL.?
It's definitely stronger. However, most of the model runs I've seen have indicated a mean ridge over the Rockies. Naturally, a trough would be expected to manifest downstream.
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Quoting jeffs713:

The wave over Mali is moving at a VERY healthy clip.


Yep.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Amplification of jet stream.
I understand what's causing it, I'm just saying it's weird. The last exceptionally quiet period I can think of is the 1970s, where we experienced an extreme dearth of major hurricanes. Yet even then, we still churned out landfalls. The average is 4, and we've been lucky to get 2. At the very least, this will make for a very interesting posthumous dissertation once the pattern changes.

I also hypothesize that global warming might have something to do with it, but there's not enough evidence of that.
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Are you guys sure about the troughs coming down this year like last year, for some reason it seems the Bermuda High is stronger and nosing its way over towards the Bahamas and FL.? We've had east winds for awhile now and no sign of a trough lately.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting Civicane49:

The wave over Mali is moving at a VERY healthy clip.
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Wondering....

Do we all turn into

TWC Pumpkins

At midnight?
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I am so bored.....
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I do have to wonder how long this can continue. This is absurd from a meteorological standpoint. And it isn't just in the Atlantic; lately the troughs have been strong enough to pull systems out of the Caribbean in August or September. I've scoured the historical database for similar periods to no avail. This is simply unprecedented.
Amplification of jet stream.
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Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
big high will block any storm to go to the north..
That's the Bermuda High and its strength is the key as to whether storms make landfall or not.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting lobdelse81:

The never-ending curse of the recurving hurricanes??? Man, I still find it hard to believe that so many storms hit the East Coast or Florida back in the 1920s-mid 1960s, with the 1940s being a horrible decade for Florida. I'd be curious to find out what the orientation of the A/B high was during that time. If we were to return to that type of pattern, we'd be in big trouble.
I think some of that data about mean SLP is available in back issues of the AMS journal. That far back, they are likely online.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Don't work to hard k-man.
You're right. Maybe this is my incentive to stop wasting time forecasting peewee systems. ;)
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98L is dead right? Oh well I was hoping for Ernesto to come out of it *sighs*
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Pretty bad we're fawning over a couple of model runs out of sheer boredom.

Wake me up when Ernesto does form.

*goes to working out*

I ain't getting all worked up over model runs. I'm waiting for something to develop. Plus I have my eye on the WPAC.
Don't work to hard k-man.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Quoting lobdelse81:

The never-ending curse of the recurving hurricanes??? Man, I still find it hard to believe that so many storms hit the East Coast or Florida back in the 1920s-mid 1960s, with the 1940s being a horrible decade for Florida. I'd be curious to find out what the orientation of the A/B high was during that time. If we were to return to that type of pattern, we'd be in big trouble.


I do have to wonder how long this can continue. This is absurd from a meteorological standpoint. And it isn't just in the Atlantic; lately the troughs have been strong enough to pull systems out of the Caribbean in August or September. I've scoured the historical database for similar periods to no avail. This is simply unprecedented.
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Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
wow!! did anyone see this yet!!

The never-ending curse of the recurving hurricanes??? Man, I still find it hard to believe that so many storms hit the East Coast or Florida back in the 1920s-mid 1960s, with the 1940s being a horrible decade for Florida. I'd be curious to find out what the orientation of the A/B high was during that time. If we were to return to that type of pattern, we'd be in big trouble.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
That is 6Z







Whoa... that is a very interesting option.

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18Z GFS
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18Z


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Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
where are the new runs!!


Knock yourself out.
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Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
where are the new runs!!
in a hour, I think
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Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
wow!! did anyone see this yet!!
That's the old run.
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Cmon guys I said I will be making the move on the 10th of August. Tell me this isn't happenin.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Keeping a close eye on this one.




Next invest for sure, It gona have a yellow circle on it soon i guess at next TWO.
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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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