Category 4 Super Typhoon Utor Bearing Down on the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:52 AM GMT on August 11, 2013

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Earth's strongest and most dangerous tropical cyclone so far in 2013 is Category 4 Super Typhoon Utor, which is closing in on the northern Philippine Island of Luzon with 150 mph sustained winds. Landfall is expected at approximately 20 UTC (4 pm EDT) Sunday near Casigran. Satellite imagery shows a formidable storm with well-organized spiral bands, a prominent 15-mile diameter eye, and good (but not excellent) upper-level outflow. Ocean temperatures are very warm, about 30°C (86°F), which is approximately 0.5 - 1.0°C above average. These warm waters extend to tremendous depth, giving Utor a huge source of energy to tap into. Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots. Theoretically, the Maximum Potential Intensity (MPI) that Utor can achieve under these conditions is sustained winds of 185 mph. However, Utor will not have time to reach that strength before encountering Luzon. Utor is a very wet storm, and will likely bring a large swath of 8+ inches of rain across Luzon. These rains will cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. Utor will likely weaken to a Category 1 storm as it passes over Luzon, but is expected to re-intensify to a Category 2 storm before hitting China a few hundred miles south of Hong Kong about 20 UTC on Tuesday.

Utor is a Marshallese word for squall line, and has been used for three tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific--in 2001, 2006, and 2013. Typhoon Utor is called Typhoon Labuyo in the Philippines. Utor's 150 mph winds make it the strongest tropical cyclone globally so far in 2013. Earth's previous most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 was Typhoon Soulik, which reached Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds on July 10. Soulik weakened to a Category 2 storm before hitting Taiwan on July 12.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Utor taken at 04:30 UTC on Sunday, August 11. Image credit: NASA.

The Philippines no stranger to powerful typhoons
The Philippines lie in the most tropical cyclone-prone waters on Earth, and rarely escape a year without experiencing a devastating typhoon. Usually, these storms impact the northern Philippine island of Luzon, but last year, Earth's deadliest weather disaster of 2012 occurred on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, where Super Typhoon Bopha struck as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h), on December 3. Bopha made two additional landfalls in the Philippines, on central Visayas and on Palawan, on December 4. The typhoon left 1901 people dead, mostly on the island of Mindanao, making Bopha the 2nd deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. Bopha affected over 5.4 million people and left over 700,000 people homeless. With damages estimated at $1.7 billion, Bopha was the costliest natural disaster in Philippines history.


Figure 2. December 7, 2012: rescuers and residents look for missing victims amongst toppled tree trunks and coconut shells after flash floods caused by Super Typhoon Bopha hit Compostela Valley on Mindanao Island in the Philippines on December 3 - 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jay Morales, Malacanang Photo Bureau, HO)

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no tropical cyclone threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today. Some of the models are suggesting a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical storm could form by Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, in association with a stalled cold front expected to push off the Southeast U.S. coast late this week.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 1613. Grothar:
Activity beginning in the Caribbean.



You think South Florida might have some big issues this season...It's been a long time since Wilma...seems like the last ten years has been comprised of near misses and fish storms except for Sandy and Irene...just a quick question....thanks...
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This is gonna be a nightmare scenario for the deep south with the ground so saturated this year. Flooding and some high winds from this system are a recipe for power outages from trees easily toppling from the ground being so saturated and water rises in lakes, rivers and streams already above normal levels.
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1634. whitewabit (Mod)
new blog everyone !!
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The fuel for this disturbance is plentiful across the western Caribbean and GOM with those high water temps and low wind shear expected. This system has a chance to becoming a strong trop. storm or hurricane before landfall expected on northern gulf coast. The area under threat from the steering currents that are setting up is going to extend from Louisiana to the west coast of Florida. Am leaning more to a FLA panhandle landfall and even west coast of FLA including Tampa.
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Good day to everyone, the SW Caribbean becoming active now that some upward motion is returning to that region pull the SA monsoon trough north. Once the wave south of Hispaniola mix up with that moisture there is always a threat for TC genesis.



Plenty of vorticity in that area so a weak low could form later this evening or tomorrow.



A yellow circle could be coming later today.

Plenty of untapped TCHPs in the NW Caribbean as well as high sst Gulf.



This can provide a lot of heat that may fuel any potential upper air anticyclone along the ULL to its east may spark some intensification if it develops.



Regardless of development this is a classic setup for plenty of tropical moisture for the Mexico/Gulf The Panhandle to Central Mexico needs to watch this.

I will put the chance of cyclogenesis at 40% for now...
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1631. hydrus
Quoting 1619. ncstorm:
HWRF 00z run--just my inexperience eye but looks to aim it at tampa





If that were to pan out,we would be looking at a serious situation. ..Made me worry just looking at it.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20489
Quoting 1628. hydrus:
Utor is restrengthening..



It really would suck to live in the Philippines. They get hit by these things as fast as they can rebuild, and they're stronger on average than Atlantic landfalls, and it's all mountains and valleys, making inland flooding so much worse. You can't really construct a much worse living scenario on the planet.
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1629. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1628. hydrus
Utor is restrengthening..

Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20489
1627. Grothar
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321


Seems like two separate areas, one for the Gulf appears to develop off the Yucatan peninsula in a few days
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Just heard from a pastor who lives in Isabella Province, P.I. that the storm passed just to the north of them and they at least were spared the worst of it.
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Found this short video from wunderground and TWC interesting.

Three Super-Earths


Even though they're in the "Habitable Zone" that doesn't mean they're habitable.

Super Earths have 2 to 3 Earth surface Gravity, and probably hundreds of times Earth atmospheric surface pressure. This would be true especially if they spent their whole lifetime in the habitable zone or the cold zone, migrating in later, where their atmosphere would not have been blown away.

Don't get too excited. A human could never live on anything above about 8 masses (two surface gravity,) due to gravity alone. A fit, 180lbs guy would weight 360lbs on such a planet. Further, the planet would need to have a relatively thin atmosphere compared to mass, or we'd be crushed to death anyway.

They are also likely covered totally in water. 8 times the mass, and assuming similar composition, but the surface area is only 4 times larger, and gravity is twice as powerful, therefore mountains and continents can only build half as high, while oceans will average being twice as deep. Therefore the average habitable zone super-Earth has no solid surface, but is totally covered in liquid water to a depth of at least 5 to 10 miles or so. Aquatic life might be able to thrive there, and maybe weird flying creatures able to abuse the ultra-dense atmosphere. No humans allowed.
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1623. Grothar
Quoting 1620. pcola57:
Utor Modis Aqua..



Still full of moisture at this time..



Still quite organized considering land fall yesterday..
My guess is EWR cycle today..



Please, no Latin.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
1622. pcola57
Quoting 1617. StormTrackerScott:


The jet stream is coming south and you guys may get an early fall treat if this Caribbean disturbance can get strong enough to pull all of this cool air across the Mid South down toward the Gulf later this weekend.


Morning Scott..
If it conmes to fruitation I will certianly take it.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
interesting next week
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1620. pcola57
Utor Modis Aqua..



Still full of moisture at this time..



Still quite organized considering land fall yesterday..
My guess is EWR cycle today..

Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
1619. ncstorm
HWRF 00z run--just my inexperience eye but looks to aim it at tampa





Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
Quoting 1616. StormTrackerScott:


Yeah 96 with a dewpoint of 77 making feel more like 108


What kills me is the stillness during the summer on dry days. Very little relief from a breeze makes it so much worse. It's the only thing I miss from growing up in South Florida, at least there was the sea breeze.
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Quoting 1612. pcola57:
Jet Stream seems a bit too South..
Sub Tropical is Very weak to non- existant..








The jet stream is coming south and you guys may get an early fall treat if this Caribbean disturbance can get strong enough to pull all of this cool air across the Mid South down toward the Gulf later this weekend.
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Quoting 1615. Naga5000:


Nice, I'll trade, we just had our highest temp of the year yesterday for Downtown Orlando, a cool 96.


Yeah 96 with a dewpoint of 77 making feel more like 108
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Quoting 1614. whitewabit:
Forecast for central Illinois this week ..

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Monday
40 % Chance of a Thunderstorms

84° F | 64° F

Tue
Partly Cloudy

79° F | 55° F

Wed
Clear

77° F | 54° F

Thurs
Partly Cloudy

75° F | 54° F

Fri
Partly Cloudy

77° F | 57° F


Nice, I'll trade, we just had our highest temp of the year yesterday for Downtown Orlando, a cool 96.
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1614. whitewabit (Mod)
Forecast for central Illinois this week ..

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Monday
40 % Chance of a Thunderstorms

84° F | 64° F

Tue
Partly Cloudy

79° F | 55° F

Wed
Clear

77° F | 54° F

Thurs
Partly Cloudy

75° F | 54° F

Fri
Partly Cloudy

77° F | 57° F
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1613. Grothar
Activity beginning in the Caribbean.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
1612. pcola57
Jet Stream seems a bit too South..
Sub Tropical is Very weak to non- existant..






Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
1611. ncstorm
Quoting 1609. CybrTeddy:
The track the waves on the GFS is taking in the long range doesn't make any real sense. It's showing some of them emerging just south of the Azores. That just shows how unreliable things can be beyond 240 hours out.


both the GFS and Euro are showing the same thing..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
A weak circulation NW of Colombia on this pass made earlier this morning.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13998
The track the waves on the GFS is taking in the long range doesn't make any real sense. It's showing some of them emerging just south of the Azores. That just shows how unreliable things can be beyond 240 hours out.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
1608. VR46L
Quoting 1599. seer2012:


Is this going to be a storm when it hits the water?
Really showing a spin here.


I don't think the Dust will have Cleared and the Shear is to be Bad over there ...But its a beauty of a wave !
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6820
very bad!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 13302
1606. VR46L
Quoting 1582. rmbjoe1954:
i wonder if shear is an issue in GOM this weekend.


Its not too bad for Gulf FSU Link Wind shear GFS 06Z
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6820
Quoting 1582. rmbjoe1954:
i wonder if shear is an issue in GOM this weekend.


Not shear, time over water. It's only going to have two days to become anything significant.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
From the Key West NWS Disco

GUIDANCE IS BECOMING MORE EMPHATIC WITH A SURGE OF DEEP TROPICAL
MOISTURE MOVING NORTHWESTWARD INTO OUR AREA BEGINNING LATE WEDNESDAY.
THIS IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE MOVING ACROSS THE WESTERN
CARIBBEAN AT THAT TIME...WITH MOISTURE ALONG THE NORTHERN EXTENT OF
THE WAVE AXIS BEING DRAWN NORTHWARD ACROSS FLORIDA INTO A WEAKNESS
AT THE WESTERN END OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE. WOULD EXPECT RAIN
CHANCES TO BEGIN INCREASING CONSIDERABLY ACROSS OUR AREA BY LATE
WEDNESDAY.
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Quoting 1598. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Current conditions for the Caribbean. Notice heights across the central US starting to fall a sign of an approaching trough of low pressure.



The steering is zonal right now, but I suspect it will show a more southeast to northwest steering as the ridge weakens from the trough pushing against it.

Look at the arrow direction over the Western Gulf.





I'm telling you the people across the Central Gulf coast are in for a treat with highs maybe not even reaching 85 with lows around 64 or 65 from New Orleans over to Pensacola this weekend. A true taste of fall will be coming to those folks if this system developes and pushes toward the Big Bend.
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1602. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36850
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK...CORRECTED
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

CORRECTED FOR MISSING SENTENCE

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

OTHER SYSTEMS WITH FORMATION POTENTIAL BEYOND 48 HOURS...

A TROPICAL WAVE IS MOVING WESTWARD ACROSS THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA.
UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONDUCIVE
FOR THE FORMATION OF AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE NORTHWESTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA OR THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO BY MIDDLE TO LATE
WEEK. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

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1600. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36850


Is this going to be a storm when it hits the water?
Really showing a spin here.
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Current conditions for the Caribbean. Notice heights across the central US starting to fall a sign of an approaching trough of low pressure.



The steering is zonal right now, but I suspect it will show a more southeast to northwest steering as the ridge weakens from the trough pushing against it.

Look at the arrow direction over the Western Gulf.



Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7470
Good Morning!

7:07 am (11:07 GMT)

A hot, clear day ahead.


Dexter looks to the rising sun and wishes it was still Sunday. It's ok little buddy, everybody feels that way...

No rain again yesterday, or expected today. The end of the week looks wet though.



Record Report as of 5:15 AM EDT on August 11, 2013
...Record high minimum temperature set at West Palm Beach yesterday...
The low temperature at Palm Beach International Airport yesterday...August 10th...only dipped to 83 degrees fahrenheit. This breaks the old daily record for highest minimum temperature of 81 degrees...set back in 1998.

Record Report as of 8:15 AM EDT on August 12, 2013
...Record high minimum temperature tied at Miami yesterday...
The low temperature at Miami International Airport Sunday...August 11th...only dropped to 82 degrees fahrenheit. This ties the record high minimum temperature of 82 degrees...previously set in 1964.

Another busy day for me. Everyone have a great day, and...
Blog on!
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting 1588. wunderweatherman123:
i hope so, so far i dont see anything on the models thatshow lo of activity to come but conditions do favor an active season.
What do you think of the tropical storm most models are portraying in the gulf by the end of this week?
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The pouch group analizes pouch 16L in Central Caribbean.

P16L
15N, 68W
700 hPa

WARNING. Recently, the models have been suggesting that P16L would dissipate and that the south Caribbean gyre would then, subsequently, develop and track to the northwest, as a separate circulation. I have not tracked the south Caribbean gyre because (1) it has remained a separate circulation from P16L and (2) past experience has taught me that the models tend to excessively develop the south Caribbean gyre. In today's ECMWF and GFS, the story is a little different. While P16L still appears to be nothing but a weak OW max, the subsequent circulation develops a little farther north (close to P16L) and moves along with the P16L wave (not after). So, at least for today, I will track what the model provides, which is a weak OW max that merges with the south Caribbean gyre and tracks northwestward. AS ALWAYS, be aware that these model forecasts have a high likelihood of being over developed.

ECMWF: South Caribbean gyre begins moving along with P16L (or its remnants) starting at 36 hours. Before that, P16L is simply a weak OW max. Tracks over south Yucatan.

GFS: Becomes a distinct pouch with a CL-trough intersection later than in ECMWF, not until 72 hours. Then, the small pouch with elevated OW tracks more northward, brushing against Cozumel and entering the Gulf of Mexico.

Link
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Quoting 1551. IKE:
Caribbean starting to light up......


Once that colombian low and Tropical wave merge,Erin or td 5 will be around the corner.
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1592. LargoFl
Quoting 1590. Sfloridacat5:
Local meteorologist just said "Atlantic is quiet and nothing expected over the next 7 days."
He must not check the models, or he believes the disturbance in the Caribbean will not amount to anything?
he may well be waiting for something to develop, nothing has right now, Thursday is the day we all must watch.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36850
1591. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36850
Local meteorologist just said "Atlantic is quiet and nothing expected over the next 7 days."
He must not check the models, or he believes the disturbance in the Caribbean will not amount to anything?
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Quoting 1554. StormTrackerScott:
Here we go!



don't beg
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Quoting 1564. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I think a big 2nd half of the season is in store for us, especially once the EPAC quiets down and the MJO returns by the end of the month just in time for the peak it may have a tendency to stick around in the Atlantic.
i hope so, so far i dont see anything on the models thatshow lo of activity to come but conditions do favor an active season.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1289
1587. LargoFl
Tampa NWS...................THE WEAK UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH WILL HELP WEAKEN THE RIDGE OVER THE
AREA RESULTING IN LIGHT WINDS AND MORE ACTIVE SEA BREEZES. THE
IMPACT ON OUR WEATHER FROM THE TROPICAL WAVE WILL DEPEND ON HOW
ORGANIZED IT BECOMES AND WHERE IT TRACKS. THE GFS AND CANADIAN
MODELS SHOW A SOMEWHAT MORE ORGANIZED SYSTEM WHICH TURNS NORTHWARD
AFTER ENTERING THE GULF BY THURSDAY. THE ECMWF SHOWS A WEAKER
SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO MOVE WEST-NORTHWEST TOWARD MEXICO WITHOUT
DEVELOPMENT. I CHOSE TO BLEND THE GFS AND ECMWF WHICH WILL ALLOW
THE WAVE TO BRING TROPICAL MOISTURE INTO OUR REGION ON THURSDAY
AND PERSIST THROUGH AT LEAST FRIDAY. WITH THIS IN MIND...I RAISED
POPS INTO THE LIKELY CATEGORY FOR MUCH OF THE AREA THURSDAY AND
FRIDAY. THE WEEKEND FORECAST IS OF VERY LOW CONFIDENCE...BUT CHOSE
TO TREND MORE TOWARD CLIMATOLOGY WITH SCATTERED MAINLY AFTERNOON
AND EVENING STORMS BOTH DAYS.

&&
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36850
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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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