Category 4 Super Typhoon Utor Bearing Down on the Philippines

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

Share this Blog
57
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1086 - 1036

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33Blog Index

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9742
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1077. Walshy:
No storm is the same but maybe something similar? Slightly further west?



Any tropical system will likely cause flash flood emergencies in western NC with this summer being one of the wettest ever.


If it forms farther south near the Yucatan Peninsula it would have the potential to be stronger then Andrea was if conditions are right.
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1820
1082. Mikla
Quoting 1064. wunderkidcayman:

I think shear won't be as bad and I see more Carib trackers than recurves or skimmers on NE Carib

What is your analysis of the weather patterns or phenomena that makes you think storms will track that direction?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GT, 12z members were stronger and more had the system, definitely trended weaker and less members on the 18z suite.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 1073. wunderweatherman123:
condtions cant forecast where a storm goes. steering flow does. even if the caribbean is full of shear, if the ridge is strong enough a hurricane could go into the caribbean and get blown to pieces. steering is always a ?


Shear tends to gradually weaken. It doesn't stay too long.
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1077. Walshy
No storm is the same but maybe something similar? Slightly further west?



Any tropical system will likely cause flash flood emergencies in western NC with this summer being one of the wettest ever.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 690. sar2401:

Yep, Ivan was another one. Still a hurricane all the way to Montgomery, about 220 miles inland. It finally dropped to a remnant low in Virginia, with 60-90 mph winds on its entire route and I can't even begin to guess how many trees down. They found out those big billboards on the steel tubes didn't do so good either. :-) It was still producing hurricane force gusts even in Newfoundland. We used to get huge Pacific winter lows in California that produced "landcanes", with winds well over 100 mph...and that doesn't even begin talking about earthquakes, flooding, landslides, and wildfires. Unless you want to live in an abandoned missile silo in North Dakota, have everything delivered to you, and have the facilities to be completely off the grid, there's always something that get you if it's your turn to have your ticket punched.


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

Sounds like just a tad bit of exaggeration, shall I say?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1074. ncstorm:


GT those that wear glasses and blind like myself can not see these images..can you link the image to enlarge it?
Link
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 6676
1074. ncstorm
Quoting 1071. GTstormChaserCaleb:


GT those that wear glasses and blind like myself can not see these images..can you link the image to enlarge it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1063. hydrus:
Tell me why you disagree...I promise not to whine or use profanity..:)
condtions cant forecast where a storm goes. steering flow does. even if the caribbean is full of shear, if the ridge is strong enough a hurricane could go into the caribbean and get blown to pieces. steering is always a ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 6676
Quoting 1056. wunderkidcayman:


I disagree with #3
I don't think the shear will persist.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1069. sar2401
Quoting RTSplayer:
Masdar City.

Link


Too bad those no comments section for these articles.

This isn't sustainable, it's a complete joke. They're building an arcology in the middle of the desert, with no obvious source of food or clothing resources. Oh wait, I suppose those goods will be trucked in on diesels, then inefficiently offloaded onto the all-electric trolleys outside of the city, before being carried into city (state owned?) markets for distribution.

This is no more sustainable than an amusement park, worse it's in the middle of a desert. At least six flags are usually some place nice.

I think they plan on growing all the food nearby hydroponically, but in all seriousness, this is an artificial city which isn't located near normal city resources, and did not arise out of self-emergent needs the way traditional towns and cities have arisen. It's like adding a high tech node to an obsolete system, but the obsolete system already had shorter pathways. So in spite of having higher tech, it's really a vestigial structure. They'll probably end up turning it into the most expensive college campus on the planet, because it won't have much other use.


At first, I thought that was an article from "The Onion", since the ideas seemed so ridiculous. Build an entire city on a 23 foot tall "pad" to circulate "cool" air in an area with year round sandstorms...and earthquakes? The entire first paragraph is filled with really cool things that, because of cost, were canceled. No personal pods, powered by magnets, to zip you around, now you just have to wait for your pod to show up at some gigantic parking garage that's going to house vehicles for an eventual 90,000 residents. It sounds like it's going to be a long wait for a pod. Then he talks about a hydro plant for power...in the desert? I guess someone figured out that you can't have a hydro plant without water, so that got cancelled, but wind turbines were next up. Nope, scrapped also, because they were too expensive. No mention about cooling buildings except a 150 foot wind tower that brings down "cooling" breezes into the street, when it's 108. Now it looks like they will have to build a streetcar line and somehow provide it with power...all from solar panels. There must be some monster battery banks somewhere. What the city planners really want everyone to do is walk...and it will be real nice, because skinny streets (didn't need regular size streets because of the pods...whoops, no pods after all) and angled, skinny buildings to provide lots of shade. The city planners said they could make the place feel 70 degrees cooler. Let's see, 108 degrees minus 70 degrees is...holy cow!...38 degrees. Those poor folks walking around or waiting for their pod to come and take them back to the giant car park will have to wear (presumably) government issue parkas to keep from freezing their tushes off.

I don't know who this Eric Zerkel is but I hope he has a Plan B for a career, because he sure doesn't have a future in journalism, and in investigative journalism in particular.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9742
Quoting 1052. unknowncomic:
Any word on the effects of Utor?


Wondering about that too, anyone have a feed or a news website we can follow for live updates?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1053. SuperStorm093:
This thing will not be a full on Tropical system if the GFS is right, looks like it will just be an area of pressure along a cold front.
Key words--if it is right. Serious possibility of a dangerous storm this time of the year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1063. hydrus:
Tell me why you disagree...I promise not to whine or use profanity..:)

just did
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1065. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting 1058. mitchelace5:


How come?

I think shear won't be as bad and I see more Carib trackers than recurves or skimmers on NE Carib
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1063. hydrus
Quoting 1056. wunderkidcayman:


I disagree with #3
Tell me why you disagree...I promise not to whine or use profanity..:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1062. Kyon5

Quoting 1061. stormpetrol:

Vorticity just SW of the Cape Verde islands looks interesting.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1060. hydrus
Quoting 1055. Tropicsweatherpr:


Good analysis my friend. On #3,you think there will not be Caribbean Cruisers this season.
I would not rule it out completely, but my feeling is that the wave would have to exit Africa well south of the Cape Verde Islands, remain weak until about 45 or 50 west, then strengthen. If it strengthens too early, it would likely miss the Caribbean, but my theory is that now the AEW,s will become organized before 45 degrees, therefore a cruiser is not likely.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1059. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 1054. Patrap:
Utor



looks to be moving back over water soon. .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1056. wunderkidcayman:


I disagree with #3


How come?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 1054. Patrap:
Utor

Checked all news wires nothing. Its leaving the Phillipines quickly though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1051. hydrus:
I truly believe this will be an extremely active Cape Verde season. My hunch is..
1. Waves are becoming larger and more frequent, and they were already quite frequent.

2. The Tropical Atlantic is becoming much more favorable atmospherically, and moisture is starting to displace the dry air, slowly, but surely.

3. Shear in the Caribbean has been unfavorable for the most part, but even if it persists, my guess is most of the Cape Verde storms will just skim, or track north of the Caribbean Sea.

4. MJO will be in octants 1 and 8 while hurricane season will be near or at its peak, probably increasing storm formation, and fueling storms that may move into the MJO upward pulse.


I disagree with #3
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1051. hydrus:
I truly believe this will be an extremely active Cape Verde season. My hunch is..
1. Waves are becoming larger and more frequent, and they were already quite frequent.

2. The Tropical Atlantic is becoming much more favorable atmospherically, and moisture is starting to displace the dry air, slowly, but surely.

3. Shear in the Caribbean has been unfavorable for the most part, but even if it persists, my guess is most of the Cape Verde storms will just skim, or track north of the Caribbean Sea.

4. MJO will be in octants 1 and 8 while hurricane season will be near or at its peak, probably increasing storm formation, and fueling storms that may move into the MJO upward pulse.


Good analysis my friend. On #3,you think there will not be Caribbean Cruisers this season?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1054. Patrap
Utor

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
This thing will not be a full on Tropical system if the GFS is right, looks like it will just be an area of pressure along a cold front.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Any word on the effects of Utor?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1051. hydrus
I truly believe this will be an extremely active Cape Verde season. My hunch is..
1. Waves are becoming larger and more frequent, and they were already quite frequent.

2. The Tropical Atlantic is becoming much more favorable atmospherically, and moisture is starting to displace the dry air, slowly, but surely.

3. Shear in the Caribbean has been unfavorable for the most part, but even if it persists, my guess is most of the Cape Verde storms will just skim, or track north of the Caribbean Sea.

4. MJO will be in octants 1 and 8 while hurricane season will be near or at its peak, probably increasing storm formation, and fueling storms that may move into the MJO upward pulse.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hopefully this "Erin" system DOES go to TX i know ive been saying it alot but we do need it.
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1140
Quoting 1046. PedleyCA:
http://storm.aoml.noaa.gov/hwrfxprojects/?project Na me=BASIN

make sure there are no spaces in the URL


It's like it's trying but just can't get there...reminds me of dial-up

Sar-did you say it took a while? Everyone else who was successful-how long did it take to open?
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1306
1048. Grothar
Quoting 1046. PedleyCA:
http://storm.aoml.noaa.gov/hwrfxprojects/?project Na me=BASIN

make sure there are no spaces in the URL

Link


Pedley, you had us worried. At least check in with us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1047. ncstorm
repost

EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
1124 AM EDT SUN AUG 11 2013

VALID 12Z WED AUG 14 2013 - 12Z SUN AUG 18 2013


THE GLOBAL NUMERICAL MODELS ARE INDICATING THAT THE AMPLIFICATION
OF THE PATTERN ACROSS THE UNITED STATES WILL PEAK EARLY IN THE
MEDIUM RANGE, WITH RELATIVELY HIGH HEIGHTS REMAINING OVER THE WEST
AND LOW HEIGHTS IN THE EAST. THERE ARE SIGNS THAT A DIFFUSE,
CLOSED UPPER LOW COULD FORM IN THE EAST BY DAY 7, WHICH WOULD
INCREASE THE CHANCES OF RAINFALL SIGNIFICANTLY OVER MUCH OF THE
REGION. THE ENSEMBLE MEANS CONTINUE TO SIDESTEP "RUNAWAY"
SHORTWAVE DEVELOPMENT, WITH THE BIGGEST UNCERTAINTY HOW DEEP A
SURFACE LOW OFF THE MID ATLANTIC COAST MIGHT BE AT THE END OF THE
PERIOD. THE 00Z/11 AND 06Z/11 GFS WERE THE MOST AGGRESSIVE WITH
THAT FEATURE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
http://storm.aoml.noaa.gov/hwrfxprojects/?projectNa me=BASIN

make sure there are no spaces in the URL

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1045. Grothar
Quoting 1032. GeoffreyWPB:
Here's where we should watch...



Link


Within the week, right there in the Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1044. ncstorm
18z GFS ensembles spread is really sold on the cape verde threat..

at hour 264 and still running..

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1043. hydrus
Quoting 973. ncstorm:
I thought the HWRF was only run on invests?
I noticed that if there is an invest in the Eastern Pacific, the HWRF will have something in the Atlantic basin. Edit .Sometimes have something in the Atlantic Basin..:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Quoting 1035. whitewabit:


LOL .. I give up .. probably IE7


I got the same security certificate error issue - IE10
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1306
1041. Walshy
Thursday afternoon might be the coldest day this summer for parts of NC/VA.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1038. Tropicsweatherpr:


It opened for me and I am with IE.


It worked for me too.
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
1039. Patrap



Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
350 PM CDT sun Aug 11 2013


Short term...
rich tropical moisture activating on typical Gulf Breeze today
with steady motions to the north around 10 knots or so. Much of
this activity will be dissipating shortly after sunset.
Persistence appears in play for Monday with little change in air
mass under the influence of Bermuda ridge flow at the surface.
Temperatures will be near normal levels through Tuesday.


Long term...
weather pattern becomes quite atypical middle of the week heading
into the weekend. Trough amplification over the eastern United
States carves a weakness down the lower Mississippi Valley that
ultimately brings a surface cool front to the Gulf Coast
Wednesday. Upper ridge pattern to the west over the plains states
and Desert Southwest will establish a channel of vorticity lobes
dropping into the base of the trough during the latter half of the
week for an unsettled weather regime. This out of season pattern
will be quite conducive for efficient rains and a flood potential
with a slow moving frontal zone in the presence of tropical
moisture. The GFS is the model of choice through at least
Thursday but gets interesting for the weekend. It is the only
conventional model currently indicating a tropical cyclone
potentially developing over the Yucatan the moves into the central
Gulf states next Saturday. While not totally buying off whole-
hog...teleconnections would suggest a weakness in the flow will
create a vulnerability for the area should a surface low develop
over the central Gulf of Mexico.

The TAFB unit...who prepares the
wind grids for the outer Gulf waters...is in consensus of at least
indicating a cyclonic circulation in the wind field to skirt the
outer coastal waters next Saturday. Will indicate likewise for now
but subsequent model runs will have to be monitored closely.
Incidently...that would be the anniversary of hurricane Camille of
1969...just saying.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting 1036. nrtiwlnvragn:


Take out the %20 that gets inserted in the address bar.



It opened for me and I am with IE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1037. SRQfl
Also, a 0% circle is not 0%. They say NEAR 0% in the text.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1030. hurricane23:


won't open..


Take out the %20 that gets inserted in the address bar.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1086 - 1036

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
48 °F
Overcast