Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:55 PM GMT on September 29, 2012
Typhoon Jelawat slammed into Okinawa Saturday morning as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds. The small 7-mile diameter eye tracked just west of the island from southwest to northeast, bringing the strongest winds of the right-front quadrant eyewall to much of Okinawa. Kadena Air Base recorded sustained 10-minute average winds of 85 mph at the peak of the storm, with a top wind gust of 115 mph. The Kadena Facebook page has some impressive videos and photos of the damage, which included flipped cars, downed trees, and damage to signs and buildings. Satellite loops and radar loops show that Jelawat has weakened considerably. Wind shear is up to a very high 40 knots, and the storm is over much cooler waters. Jelawat is likely to be a tropical storm at landfall Sunday on the main island of Honshu in Japan.
Figure 1. Radar image of Typhoon Jelawat over Okinawa at 12:30 am local time on September 29, 2012. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.
Video 1. Typhoon Jelawat in Okinawa as filmed by storm chaser James Reynolds.
Nadine still a hurricane
Tenacious Hurricane Nadine has entered its 17th day of life, and continues to mill about a few hundred miles southwest of the Azores Islands. Nadine is not expected to be a threat to any land areas for the next five days. The latest model runs show Nadine becoming tangled up with an upper level low pressure system on Wednesday and Thursday as the storm comes close to the Azores Islands. This should cause Nadine to become an extratropical cyclone again. Nadine is already in fourth place for longest-lived named tropical storm since 1950:
1) Ginger, 1971: 21.25 named storm days
2) Carrie, 1957: 19.5 named storm days
3) Alberto, 2000: 19.25 named storm days
4) Nadine, 2012: 17.0 named storm days
The all-time record is held by the San Ciriaco Hurricane of 1899, which had 28 named storm days.
Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Nadine taken at 9:12 am EDT Saturday, September 29, 2012. At the time, Nadine had top winds of 75 mph. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.
Tropical Depression Norman dying; heavy rains continue over Texas
Tropical Depression Norman has been moving slowly up the Gulf of California near the tip of Baja, Mexico since it formed Friday afternoon, but has been torn apart by high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots. The storm will likely be declared dead later today. Moisture from Norman fed an extratropical storm over Texas, and contributed to heavy rains in West Texas that caused flooding and water rescues on Friday. Midland-Odessa, Texas, picked up 4.66” of rain on Friday, making it the wettest September day on record and 3rd wettest day in city history (wettest day in city history: August 24th, 1934, when 5.32” fell.)
Figure 3. Tropical Storm Norman in the Gulf of California at 4:30 pm EDT Friday, September 29, 2012. At the time, Norman had top winds of 40 mph, and was spreading a large stream of moisture northeastward into Mexico and Texas. The remains of Hurricane Miriam are at the left of the image, along with a curious little vortex just north of Miriam's remains. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.
Figure 4. Radar-estimated rainfall in West Texas due to the moisture associated with Tropical Storm Norman. Heavy rains in excess of 4" fell near Midland/Odessa, Big Spring, and San Angelo.
Figure 5. Predicted rainfall totals for the 5-day period ending at 8 am EDT Thursday, October 4, 2012. Moisture from the Eastern Pacific's Tropical Storm Norman will bring heavy rains to much of the South. Image credit: NOAA/Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
I'll have a new post on Monday.
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