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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1136. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1131. GeoffreyWPB:


How hot is actual "rocket fuel"?
90 degrees or warmer that can produce good strong storm 98 degrees could support a pre historic super storm 300 mph winds but I likely not care to see that
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
Depth 26.C Isotherm


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Quoting 1131. GeoffreyWPB:


How hot is actual "rocket fuel"?

That depends, pre-ignition or post ignition.It's REal cold or REAL hot! lol
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1133. sar2401
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


lets not forget the 40 days and nights of unrelenting rains that flooded the state years ago

not a matter of if but when

Yes, I spent a six days in a wet suit and one of our inflatable rescue boats, plucking people out of trees and off roof tops in February, 1986. We had rains of over 45 inches in five days, a Pacific low pressure system with a reading of 960 mb, and winds well over 100 mph up and down the coast. The temperature never rose above 50, and I seriously thought I was going to die of hypothermia few times, not to mention drowning. We went though three boats. The first one sank when we collided with a 150 foot Redwood tree rocketing down the river. The second time was when we were assisting the Coast Guard abandoning their sinking IRB when both our boats were hit by a 1000 gallon floating propane tank as we were fighting the current in a river flowing at 46,000 cubic feet per second. We managed to keep our third (and last) boat afloat for another four days, when we finally got relief from other agencies. The resale value of the boat was nil. :-)

Other than a few incidents like that, the weather was always nice in California.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 12872
Quoting 1118. JLPR2:
Here is a picture for those who think SAL cant be in the CATL at the same time as tropical cyclones.



Danielle, Earl and future Fiona in the CATL, August 26, 2010.


Good post, JLPR. Thanks.
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Quoting 1127. slavicthunder:
The Gulf of Mexico is looking like a hottub right now with those SSTs. What you folks call "rocket fuel".


How hot is actual "rocket fuel"?
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do you see the good spin on here!
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Quoting 1124. AussieStorm:


The FIM Model is only experimental. Should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Ok I wasn't sure I was thinking it was the 1st year I've seen it. Thanks
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Quoting 1118. JLPR2:
Here is a picture for those who think SAL cant be in the CATL at the same time as tropical cyclones.



Danielle, Earl and future Fiona in the CATL, August 26, 2010.


the dry air is behind the storm, that would explain that.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
The Gulf of Mexico is looking like a hottub right now with those SSTs. What you folks call "rocket fuel".
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1126. sar2401
Quoting mitchelace5:


So you're telling me that shear won't let up at all in the Caribbean this season? And shear isn't always constant.

No, and I didn't write any such thing. Shear is always constant, the only question how much shear is in the atmosphere, since the wind shear speeds vary. Shear will not "let up" in the Caribbean, or anywhere else. It may lessen or may increase. I have no idea what the wind shear in the Caribbean will be a week from now, and neither does anyone else. The only thing we know is if wind shear is, in general, decreasing or increasing. Wind shear is one of the most unpredictable things in the atmosphere.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 12872
1125. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1113. sar2401:

You live in Florida, right? Ever lived in northern California? No, I didn't think so. I did, for almost 30 years. Here's a few stories about some of the historic windstorms in northern California, Oregon, and Washington. There were many others, including storms that toppled hundred of high voltage towers and left much of northern California in darkness for weeks. Google "ARkStorm" for more information. Sometimes getting a tad bit of information about what you're posting about helps.


lets not forget the 40 days and nights of unrelenting rains that flooded the state years ago

not a matter of if but when
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
Quoting fredric1979:


What is the FIM model? Is it the first year, or is it being used as a trusted model or strictly as " eye candy"? That landfall of the low (what ever it is supposed to be is WAY to close to home.


The FIM Model is only experimental. Should be taken with a huge grain of salt.
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1123. SLU
Quoting 1118. JLPR2:
Here is a picture for those who think SAL cant be in the CATL at the same time as tropical cyclones.



Danielle, Earl and future Fiona in the CATL, August 26, 2010.


OF NOTE:

Even though Earl had already developed, he didn't get his act together until he cleared the SAL.
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Quoting hydrus:
Enormous rainfall rates from Utor. Assie posted this earlier..
Quirino, Maddela Institute Of Technology : 176.53 mm/hour


And it's still falling heavily.

Rainfall intensity as of 08/12/13 09:35 AM

Benguet, Buguias : 43.0 mm/hour
Benguet, Dost Regional Office : 29.718 mm/hour
Benguet, Irisan : 69.088 mm/hour
Benguet, Kapangan : 25.654 mm/hour
Benguet, Mankayan : 86.0 mm/hour
Benguet, Sablan : 26.924 mm/hour
Benguet, Tuba : 76.454 mm/hour
Ifugao, Hingyon : 19.812 mm/hour
Kalinga, Lubuagan : 32.0 mm/hour
Kalinga, Tanudan : 61.0 mm/hour
Kalinga, Tinglayan : 77.0 mm/hour
La Union, Agoo : 59.0 mm/hour
Metro Manila, Dampalit Elementary School : 39.0 mm/hour
Mountain Province, Besao : 48.0 mm/hour
Mountain Province, Tadian : 29.0 mm/hour
Nueva Ecija, Guimba Town Hall : 25.0 mm/hour
Nueva Vizcaya, Kayapa Municipal Hall : 24.892 mm/hour
Pangasinan, Dipalo Bridge : 103.0 mm/hour
Pangasinan, Laoac Poblacion : 171.0 mm/hour
Pangasinan, Malanay : 47.244 mm/hour
Pangasinan, Pangasinan State University : 47.244 mm/hour
Pangasinan, Pstc Pangasinan : 25.654 mm/hour
Pangasinan, Tondaligan Park : 25.46 mm/hour
Quirino, Maddela Institute Of Technology : 80.772 mm/hour
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Quoting 1085. sar2401:
Here's a live feed from Manila:
Link

Unfortunately, it's all in Tagalog, although the news crawler is in English. Almost no discussion of the typhoon, which might be a good thing. There are several other stations at the same site, and they are all on the air, which means things can't be too awful.

Manila would be 75-100 miles south of the track, I believe?? It wouldn't have been impacted much but Isabella Provence will probably turn out to be a disaster!
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1120. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1110. hydrus:
Enormous rainfall rates from Utor. Assie posted this earlier..
Quirino, Maddela Institute Of Technology : 176.53 mm/hour
yeah they getting it bad there flash flooding rains with 100+ mph winds gonna be bad news with this one
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
Quoting 1101. AussieStorm:


FIM 8




FIM 7





What is the FIM model? Is it the first year, or is it being used as a trusted model or strictly as " eye candy"? That landfall of the low (what ever it is supposed to be is WAY to close to home.
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1118. JLPR2
Here is a picture for those who think SAL cant be in the CATL at the same time as tropical cyclones.



Danielle, Earl and future Fiona in the CATL, August 26, 2010.
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1117. SLU
Quoting 1102. JLPR2:
Hiya all! Went to see The Conjuring, not bad, not bad at all. :P

I see the Atl is just like I left it this morning, nothing amazing or really interesting at the moment. TW is still moving W/WSW to the SW of the CV islands.

I start my last college semester tomorrow, so I bet this week we'll get something interesting. The Atl is just waiting for me to start my semester so I procrastinate watching spins instead of doing my homework. :|


It's so frustrating when the tropics shifts gears as soon as school reopens. I'm glad I'm done with university as of May this year so I've got all the time in the world when things finally get going. XD

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Quoting 1111. Tropicsweatherpr:


Here it is.


yep

Quoting 1114. mitchelace5:


Does that mean that instability is increasing?

most likely
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Whatever does form in the NW Carribean , and goes into the GOM , most likely comes to Florida , because of our storm magnetism the state just draws storms , or hurricanes towards us for some unknown reason , we stick out like a sore thumb ! And this starts the onslaught , of TS's and Hurricanes !
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Quoting 1112. JLPR2:
Mid-Level humidity across the CATL is looking better.



Does that mean that instability is increasing?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
1113. sar2401
Quoting Jedkins01:


Yep, because giant landcanes regularly plague California with winds well over 100 mph...

Sounds like just a tad bit of exaggeration, shall I say?

You live in Florida, right? Ever lived in northern California? No, I didn't think so. I did, for almost 30 years. Here's a few stories about some of the historic windstorms in northern California, Oregon, and Washington. There were many others, including storms that toppled hundred of high voltage towers and left much of northern California in darkness for weeks. Google "ARkStorm" for more information. Sometimes getting a tad bit of information about what you're posting about helps.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 12872
1112. JLPR2
Mid-Level humidity across the CATL is looking better.

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Quoting 1109. wunderkidcayman:

That one in West/central Africa looks really good


Here it is.

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1110. hydrus
Enormous rainfall rates from Utor. Assie posted this earlier..
Quirino, Maddela Institute Of Technology : 176.53 mm/hour
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Quoting 1106. Tropicsweatherpr:


Lol. I think things will start to heat up in the coming days east of us. That big one in WestCentral Africa will be a sure player down the road. Good luck on the semester my friend.

That one in West/central Africa looks really good
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1108. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #27
TYPHOON UTOR (T1311)
9:00 AM JST August 12 2013
===================================

SUBJECT: Category Three Typhoon Named Cyclone Overland Luzon

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Utor (955 hPa) located at 16.5N 121.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 75 knots with gusts of 105 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 13 knots.

Storm Force Winds
===================
70 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
==================
150 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: OVERLAND

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 18.4N 115.1E - 90 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) South China Sea
48 HRS: 19.8N 112.1E - 90 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) South China Sea
72 HRS: 21.8N 110.0E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Overland southern China
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1107. JLPR2
Quoting 1105. mitchelace5:


Do you think it could become anything?


At the moment it doesn't seem to be trying anything, but I'm not discounting the possibility of it trying to pull itself together further down the road.
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Quoting 1102. JLPR2:
Hiya all! Went to see The Conjuring, not bad, not bad at all. :P

I see the Atl is just like I left it this morning, nothing amazing or really interesting at the moment. TW is still moving W/WSW to the SW of the CV islands.

I start my last college semester tomorrow, so I bet this week we'll get something interesting. The Atlantic is just waiting for me to start my semester so I procrastinate watching spins instead of doing my homework. :|


Lol. I think things will start to heat up in the coming days east of us. That big one in WestCentral Africa will be a sure player down the road. Good luck on the semester my friend.
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Quoting 1102. JLPR2:
TW is still moving W/WSW to the SW of the CV islands. :|


Do you think it could become anything?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 1075. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Link


Earlier at work I saw FIM 8 & 9 were back on TX, but 7 was holding out for LA. F5 me?
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1103. hydrus
Quoting 1093. GeoffreyWPB:


Prepare for the brief retort...
You are a psychic..Post # 1098 proves it ..:)
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1102. JLPR2
Hiya all! Went to see The Conjuring, not bad, not bad at all. :P

I see the Atl is just like I left it this morning, nothing amazing or really interesting at the moment. TW is still moving W/WSW to the SW of the CV islands.

I start my last college semester tomorrow, so I bet this week we'll get something interesting. The Atl is just waiting for me to start my semester so I procrastinate watching spins instead of doing my homework. :|
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
18z FIM



FIM 8




FIM 7



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nice run of FIM9 15k.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 1088. sar2401:

Not true at all. Shear can be, and usually is, very persistent, especially if there's a large and persistent high pressure system in the Atlantic, like we have this year. A storm can develop even in the face of shear if other variables like SST's or vertical instability are favorable, but shear, in general, will inhibit storm formation and limit intensity.


So you're telling me that shear won't let up at all in the Caribbean this season? And shear isn't always constant.
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
you guys starting that crap again about Cayman just stop I do not say every storm is heading to Cayman and every storm after today will not hit here maybe one or two every couple of years that is just how it is
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1097. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
TPPN12 PGTW 120012

A. SUPER TYPHOON 11W (UTOR)

B. 11/2332Z

C. 16.5N

D. 120.8E

E. FIVE/MTSAT

F. N/A

G. IR/EIR/VIS/MSI

H. REMARKS: 40A/PBO SBC/ANMTN. DVORAK VALUES UNAVAILABLE DUE TO
LLCC OVER LAND.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS:
11/1814Z 16.1N 122.4E MMHS
11/1911Z 16.2N 122.0E MMHS
11/1920Z 16.2N 121.9E SSMI


LONG
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
1096. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11W MODERATE CYCLONE UTOR
WEAKENING FLAG OFF
LANDFALL EXIT ON
RI FLAG FLAG
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
1095. hydrus
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The southeast does not need any more rain, after all the flooding, so an East Gulf Cyclone would be bad news. However, Texas is in need of the rain- just as long as the rain does not come down all at once and cause flooding, and as long as whatever forms stays weak, a Fast-Moving TS into Texas might do more good than harm.
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Quoting 1089. sar2401:

That's pretty much it. He's no dope, and does some decent analysis of conditions, but has a definite bias of seeing all storms being steered in the general direction of the Caymans and western Caribbean.


Prepare for the brief retort...
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1092. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1084. unknowncomic:
moisting up out there
not long more now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
18z FIM

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Wow, just read the long term forecast for NOLA. Did not need that reminder of Hurricane Camille. I remember that night very well. 1ST time I ever saw my parents really scared. We lost power that night before the storm had hit. I remember the radio on and we all had to be together in the Living Room. (You did not evacuate then) They were saying the winds were 170 miles an hour and we don't know what to tell you to do. How lucky for us the storm turned North when it hit the Mouth of the MS River. I know that storm blew up fast in the Gulf. You just never know. With in 3 days our lives could have been changed forever. I am in NOLA taking care of my Mother who has stage 4 Cancer and going in for stomach surgery the week after next. I pray for no storms here. I do not want to be stuck in EJ Hospital during a storm. I for one am hoping for a quiet season.
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1089. sar2401
Quoting luvtogolf:


His lives in the Cayman's. Every storm is heading in his direction. That is is analysis of weather patterns.

That's pretty much it. He's no dope, and does some decent analysis of conditions, but has a definite bias of seeing all storms being steered in the general direction of the Caymans and western Caribbean.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 12872
1088. sar2401
Quoting mitchelace5:


Shear tends to gradually weaken. It doesn't stay too long.

Not true at all. Shear can be, and usually is, very persistent, especially if there's a large and persistent high pressure system in the Atlantic, like we have this year. A storm can develop even in the face of shear if other variables like SST's or vertical instability are favorable, but shear, in general, will inhibit storm formation and limit intensity.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 12872
Way off topic, but the Atlantic is quiet out there...I love the X-Men flicks...Here is the teaser from the closing credits of the current "Wolverine" movie, which ties in to next years "Days of Future Past".

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Quoting 1082. Mikla:

What is your analysis of the weather patterns or phenomena that makes you think storms will track that direction?


His lives in the Cayman's. Every storm is heading in his direction. That is is analysis of weather patterns.
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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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