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 769. MississippiWx:


93 is not a troll, IMO. Just someone misguided by current happenings. I'm not going to stop responding to them just because they have a different opinion. Sorry, PR.
He wants facts on why this season will be active... I belive that's trolling.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1741
Slu here is some information of the outbreak we are having.LinkLink
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Thanks Mississippi, btw atleast you know we have a right for our opinion and just cause it is different doesnt mean we should be ignored. Amazing what this world has come to, I guess Alex jones is right, world is in a bad time right now.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 777. MississippiWx:


All of the reasons why it should be an active season are in every hurricane season forecast made by NOAA, CSU, FSU, and TSR. All you have to do is look at those. We share their opinions, for the most part.

I don't look at them I look at current conditions and what happen!! I see epac is having much more storms and more storms coming soon there and also look how much dry air in atlantic right now!
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If one wanted to point to an average or below average Atlantic season they could refer to:


Nominal Sea Surface Temperatures




Below normal Instability




Many models now have more conservative predictions of hurricane activity.
Under Changes from the pre-season outlook issued May 23rd:
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11156
779. Skyepony (Mod)
3hr rainfall WPAC
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Quoting LargoFl:
wow goes straight northward..tennesse etc........

Well, no, actually. The 162 shows it right over my house in SE AL. The 192 shows it way over in eastern TN and KY, so it somehow takes a right and moves NE. It also needs to be moving about 17 mph to make it that far in 30 hours.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15067
Quoting 768. SuperStorm093:
All the people calling me a troll without facts. Show me facts on why this will be an active season by far.


All of the reasons why it should be an active season are in every hurricane season forecast made by NOAA, CSU, FSU, and TSR. All you have to do is look at those. We share their opinions, for the most part.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10244
Having 4 storms by August definitely means the season's a bust. I mean, it's not like we've not seen years go without one named storm by this point and still end up active...right?

/end sarcasm




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I have made a blog apologizing to anyone I may have offended that is from the state of Florida and for causing disruptions on the blog yesterday
Link
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Quoting 759. sar2401:

Yeah, best day is supposed to be Tuesday but anytime from now to Friday could be the best day (night). It was nice and clear last night and saw a couple of good one that went almost to the horizon. I'm hoping that the debris clouds from some widely scattered thunderstorms we've been having continue to clear by midnight. We're supposed to get a honking big cold front sometime between Thursday and Sunday, depending on what model you believe, so I'm hoping it will be more toward the end of the week. Boy, I'll bet getting in the mountains above Catacamas would be a great place to watch.
Yes sadly I can`t go to Catacamas right now,My mom is working and she wouldn`t let me travel alone.How is the weather right now in St Lucia?
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Watching this area!
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771. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 763. whitewabit:


Skye do you know what amounts of rainfall they are receiving with Utor ??

I got distracted.. Henriette percip trmm finished write up is out...
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Quoting 761. Tropicsweatherpr:
Please don't quote SuperStorm093,Camille33, as they are troublemakers that don't have facts to back anything.I have them on ignore.

Mods,is there something that can be done to not see those that are ignored as people quote them?


93 is not a troll, IMO. Just someone misguided by current happenings. I'm not going to stop responding to them just because they have a different opinion. Sorry, PR.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10244
All the people calling me a troll without facts. Show me facts on why this will be an active season by far.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 761. Tropicsweatherpr:
Please don't quote SuperStorm093,Camille33, as they are troublemakers that don't have facts to back anything.I have them on ignore.

Mods,is there something that can be done to not see those that are ignored as people quote them?

Epac is hyperactive atlantic is always below avg!! I know this happen a lot.
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Quoting 763. whitewabit:


Skye do you know what amounts of rainfall they are receiving with Utor ??


I have a friend from Hong Kong. I hope he gets through Utor ok
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Quoting 736. sar2401:

Afternoon, Allan. Was reading about the dengue fever outbreak in Honduras. I hope you, your family, and friends are doing OK. Nasty disease. Anyway, how's your weather? Still hot and humid here.
Yes we are habing an outbreak right now,one of my friends have it right now actually,but nothing serious right now for him as its his first time with dengue,Dengue fever only kills you when it develops into Hemorrhagic dengue which only happens when you get dengue a second or third time.I believe there have only been 18 deaths right now,but nothing compare to 2010 and 2003 when they were 81 or 82.Even though we have more deaths and double infected people than last year.
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Quoting 756. CybrTeddy:
We can handle it when people post "against the flow" when they give evidence. After all, criticism is how we learn from our mistakes and we really begin to understand what conditions are really in place. Rarely, if ever, are the conditions in the Atlantic in place enough to cause what people on here seem to be desperate for a season to be perceived as "active."

We consider you a troll however, if you fail to provide any ample evidence to support your claims other than highly tortured logic and an annoying aptitude to not bring facts to your argument. This works both ways for people who are for or against a storm.
Kyle im not a troll am i? ^_^ lets see if the 18z GFS makes me smile
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1721
763. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 760. Skyepony:
Utor


Skye do you know what amounts of rainfall they are receiving with Utor ??
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 362 Comments: 31372
Please don't quote SuperStorm093,Camille33, as they are troublemakers that don't have facts to back anything.I have them on ignore.

Mods,is there something that can be done to not see those that are ignored as people quote them?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14250
760. Skyepony (Mod)
Utor
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Quoting allancalderini:
I thought it was this week,will you see them Sar?because right now where I am is cloudy.

Yeah, best day is supposed to be Tuesday but anytime from now to Friday could be the best day (night). It was nice and clear last night and saw a couple of good one that went almost to the horizon. I'm hoping that the debris clouds from some widely scattered thunderstorms we've been having continue to clear by midnight. We're supposed to get a honking big cold front sometime between Thursday and Sunday, depending on what model you believe, so I'm hoping it will be more toward the end of the week. Boy, I'll bet getting in the mountains above Catacamas would be a great place to watch.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15067
Quoting 755. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ocean temperatures in the Caribbean continue to skyrocket. Now 0.56C above average.


Did something open up the Sauna !
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wow goes straight northward..tennesse etc........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
We can handle it when people post "against the flow" when they give evidence. After all, criticism is how we learn from our mistakes and we really begin to understand what conditions are really in place. Rarely, if ever, are the conditions in the Atlantic in place enough to cause what people on here seem to be desperate for a season to be perceived as "active."

We consider you a troll however, if you fail to provide any ample evidence to support your claims other than highly tortured logic and an annoying aptitude to not bring facts to your argument. This works both ways for people who are for or against a storm.
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Ocean temperatures in the Caribbean continue to skyrocket. Now 0.56C above average.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32017
Quoting 751. MississippiWx:


SAL? Nah.



Shear? Nah.




Below avg season likely!! That does not mean some storm will not hit the coast!!
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750. marcuskyle 9:36 PM GMT on August 11, 2013

Time is running out? LMAO. Its August 11th, not October 11th
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Quoting 740. MississippiWx:


I'm calling for help...





LOL..Miss..please save this for future posts..this beats Wash oscar posts..hilarious!! Im still cracking up laughing..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15285
Quoting 745. SuperStorm093:
I already explained the reason why I feel it will be below active, doesnt mean we cant get a big storm. The SAL is going to play a role in limiting any BIG storms for the time being, also the wind shear not very favorable, and the ULL seems to have had a toll so far this year.


SAL? Nah.



Shear? Nah.



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10244
Quoting 743. Hurricanes305:


Lol dont waste time talking with these trolls. Who dont even acknowledge anywhere but the US


I thought we were only talking about the US landfalls this year. Already explained myself.
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748. Skyepony (Mod)
90S
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Maybe storm going to Florida next weekend!!
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I already explained the reason why I feel it will be below active, doesnt mean we cant get a big storm. The SAL is going to play a role in limiting any BIG storms for the time being, also the wind shear not very favorable, and the ULL seems to have had a toll so far this year.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 659. Jedkins01

Thanks for your insightful explanation of storms, models and their biases in the GOM.
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Quoting 703. Hurricanes101:


I didnt realize the US was the ONLY landmass


Lol dont waste time talking with these trolls. Who dont even acknowledge anywhere but the US
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
Quoting 715. LargoFl:
whatever it becomes, its going to be a huge rain maker..

If that much rain tracks thru here,I will definitely need to invest in a canoe. We've had a pretty wet summer especially late July on.
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Quoting 731. SuperStorm093:
Which is why the world is going downhill, anyone who has a different outlook and doesn't follow the crowd just gets ignored. Everyone who calls for an above average with no backing, gets love on here, anyone who calls for below average with no backing, gets ignored and hated.


I'm calling for help...



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739. Skyepony (Mod)
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Quoting 728. marcuskyle:
people are saying next week things will get wild, and i bet if i come back next week they will be saying the folowing week things will get going,, heard that every week for months now
Now this is a real troll, im not one. Going on for months?? the season just started in the bulk like 1 week ago.
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 722. SuperStorm093:
that is what I thought we were talking about. Anyways, when the season is over, we will see who is right, but we have 11 weeks, so were going to have to start this week, having a hurricane every week or so and a major every 2-3 weeks all starting now, which is unlikely. So my numbers will most likely be more right than everyone. Have me on the ignore list all you want, you guys just cant handle someone who doesnt go with the crowd.


No, we just can't handle someone who doesn't use anything science-based to argue AGAINST the crowd. You have nothing in your favor other than "there isn't a storm right now and there hasn't been a storm in x-amount of days. Therefore, it's an inactive season." Sorry.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10244
Quoting allancalderini:
Good afternoon wunderground community.

Afternoon, Allan. Was reading about the dengue fever outbreak in Honduras. I hope you, your family, and friends are doing OK. Nasty disease. Anyway, how's your weather? Still hot and humid here.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15067

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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.