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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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37042
Quoting 650. GTstormChaserCaleb:
8 out of the 20 ensemble members show a storm in the GOM. So it is no guarantee yet.


Most of em say MX in those ensembles.
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Quoting 680. mitchelace5:


Nor did Chantal. Chantal died in the Caribbean
I guess the Lesser Antilles is not considered land then, just a deserted sandbar. Let me call SLU and see what he has to say.
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Quoting 676. Hurricanes101:



define inactive, also what evidence do you have to support this?


Hurricanes101

Do you think we'll have a lot of fish storms this season?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 674. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Andrea, Barry, and Chantal hit land. Dorian didn't hit land.


Nor did Chantal. Chantal died in the Caribbean
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 677. marcuskyle:
those werent storms though just some rain
exactly they were BRARELY TS strength.
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Quoting 668. marcuskyle:
i meant since then
Oh ok gotcha.
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Quoting 672. weatherlover94:


It will be a fairly inactive season...however some storms will be fish storms and some storms won't



define inactive, also what evidence do you have to support this?
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Quoting 667. SuperStorm093:
3 hit land? 2 did, dorian didnt hit land as a storm itself.
Andrea, Barry, and Chantal hit land. Dorian didn't hit land.
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Quoting 669. mitchelace5:


What do you mean?


It will be a fairly inactive season...however some storms will be fish storms and some storms won't
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Quoting 624. PalmBeachWeather:
You must be too young to remember the"unknown comic" on the "GONG SHOW"...That is my references....LOL
I don*t wear a bag but I was a dirt bag.
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I'd put the odds of us getting a tropical cyclone in the Gulf at 60-70%. Conditions appear favorable, like the GFS, CMC, and NAVGEM are indicating. Still not a guarantee.
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Quoting 666. weatherlover94:


somewhere in the middle.


What do you mean?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 664. GTstormChaserCaleb:
We have already had 4 storms, 3 of which hit land.
3 hit land? 2 did, dorian didnt hit land as a storm itself.
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Quoting 660. marcuskyle:
will this be the year of no storms or a fish storms?


somewhere in the middle.
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That's true quite unusual for this time of year. This pattern of a front making it all the way down to the GOM happens in late October and pulls any systems forming in the western caribbean north and then north east between the ridge in the atlantic.For example Hurricane Wilma of 2005. Wilma formed in the western caribbean and instead of continuing west a cold front pulled it north and then pushed it northeast between the Bermuda high and the front. A highway right over Florida for systems forming in the western Caribbean.
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Quoting 660. marcuskyle:
will this be the year of no storms or a fish storms?
We have already had 4 storms, 3 of which hit land.
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WTPA43 PHFO 112044
TCDCP3

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HENRIETTE DISCUSSION NUMBER 34
NWS CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER HONOLULU HI EP082013
1100 AM HST SUN AUG 11 2013

WHILE PULSES OF DEEP CONVECTION HAVE OCCURRED SEVERAL TIMES...
ORGANIZED AND PERSISTENT DEEP CONVECTION NEAR THE CENTER OF
HENRIETTE HAS BEEN LACKING FOR NEARLY 24 HOURS...AND VISIBLE
SATELLITE IMAGERY CLEARLY SHOWS A LOW CLOUD SWIRL DISPLACED FAR
FROM LINGERING HIGH LEVEL CLOUDS FROM EARLIER CONVECTION. CURRENT
INTENSITY VALUES FROM FIX AGENCIES ARE DOWN TO 1.0 AND 1.5...WITH
ONE AGENCY DEEMING THE SYSTEM UNCLASSIFIABLE...AND RECENT CIMSS
AMSU INTENSITY OUTPUT YIELDED A 25 KT MAXIMUM WIND ESTIMATE.
HENRIETTE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VERY SMALL SYSTEM...AND WITH THESE DATA
SOURCES STRONGLY SUGGESTING THAT THE WARM CORE HAS BEEN SEVERELY
DISRUPTED OR DESTROYED...HENRIETTE IS NOW DEEMED TO BE A
POST-TROPICAL LOW.

THIS WILL BE THE LAST ADVISORY FOR HENRIETTE ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL
PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER. THE REMNANT WILL CONTINUE ON A WESTERLY
TACK TO THE SOUTH OF DEEP LAYERED RIDGING FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS UNTIL DISSIPATION OCCURS. SINCE IT IS A VERY SMALL SYSTEM...IT
WILL BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT FOR A WARM CORE TO REDEVELOP...EVEN
THOUGH SST VALUES WILL BE INCREASING AND VERTICAL WIND SHEAR WILL BE
WEAK. IF REDEVELOPMENT OCCURS...CPHC WILL RESUME THE ISSUANCE OF
ADVISORIES USING THE SAME TROPICAL CYCLONE NAME.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 11/2100Z 13.5N 158.5W 30 KT 35 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
12H 12/0600Z 13.3N 161.4W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
24H 12/1800Z 13.2N 165.3W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 13/0600Z 13.1N 169.1W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
48H 13/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER WROE
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
WTPA33 PHFO 112043
TCPCP3

BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HENRIETTE ADVISORY NUMBER 34
NWS CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER HONOLULU HI EP082013
1100 AM HST SUN AUG 11 2013

...HENRIETTE WEAKENS TO A POST-TROPICAL/REMNANT LOW PASSING SEVERAL
HUNDRED MILES SOUTH OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS...
...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM HST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...13.5N 158.5W
ABOUT 485 MI...780 KM SSW OF HILO HAWAII
ABOUT 540 MI...870 KM S OF HONOLULU HAWAII
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1010 MB...29.83 INCHES
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting 609. Sfloridacat5:
What storm was it last year that the GFS said Florida, but the ECMWF said Texas?

Most the meteorologist (including TWC) predicted a Texas landfall in x number of days. The storm ended up going into the Florida big bend/panhandle region.



Well, consider that at this many days out, the current regions targeted may actually be the least likely to still being shown as impact points by the models when you consider the tendency of long range models tendencies compared to the higher accuracy of short term.
Additionally, the east coast trough has consistently dug deeper to the south than anticipated in terms of long term model outputs. Typically, once we get to say 3 days out, the models have gotten a better grasp on the progressive nature of east coast troughs this summer.

Now keep in mind, the east coast trough was often very persistent and stronger in the same manner last year as this year. We can observe a similar trend between tropical storm Andrea and Debby initially having a model consensus to the western gulf coast, only to be brought in reality to the opposite side of the gulf. Andrea in the long term was generally expected to make landfall between Pensacola and Louisiana, but eventually the models shifted east and stayed east.

Now I'm not going to make a poor logical conclusion and say that this situation will be the same. But given we are dealing with what appears to be another approaching east coast trough, its certainly something to consider.


Personally I'm not terribly worried about gulf development yet, long term conditions don't look terribly favorable. However water temps what they are, and the fact we are moving into mid August, that could change. If conditions do become more favorable, obviously it gets much more serious.


Also, keep in mind that deeper cyclones are going to be steered more east whereas weaker cyclones have a higher chance of missing the westerlies of the approaching trough.

If This potential gulf system becomes a well organized system, I would expect a much higher probability of an east gulf landfall. If it remains weak and disorganized, a west gulf landfall makes more sense.

To me, if one of the models is showing a strong system making landfall in the western gulf, I suspect significant error is involved as a significant approaching trough would very likely cause an easy northeast curve.

The only exception to that would be if it took a hard left turn towards extreme south Texas or Mexico early on as a weak and shallow system and then rapidly deepened shortly before landfall such that it would be far enough away from the trough's influence to be brought northeast in the first place.


In conclusion one would expect that a far western gulf landfall or eastern gulf landfall seems more sensible, with lower probabilities in between.

Of course, lets not forget this is really far out, and much is still subject to change, so my analysis could be invalid in couple more days :)
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657. VR46L
Quoting 650. GTstormChaserCaleb:
8 out of the 20 ensemble members show a storm in the GOM. So it is no guarantee yet.



Umm The Euro is just going with a trough..



and the UK 00z on the last available run upto 144hrs was showing a trough @144hrs as the last one 12z seems only available upto 72 hrs

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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
LAZ061-112115-

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
343 PM CDT SUN AUG 11 2013

...STRONG THUNDERSTORM MOVING NORTHWEST AFFECTING UPPER JEFFERSON
PARISH...

AT 340 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM NEAR KENNER MOVING NORTHWEST AT 10 MPH.

THIS STORM COULD PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF ONE TO TWO INCHES IN A
SHORT PERIOD OF TIME...RESULTING IN PONDING OF WATER AROUND LOW LYING
ROADWAYS. REMEMBER...DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO WATER COVERED
ROADWAYS. THE DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW A SAFE CROSSING.

Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37042
Quoting 628. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
where have you been mr MIA was wundering about you a few days now


He's working on his tan lines
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Quoting 652. Abacosurf:

Looks like the wave below PR is going to be part of the equation in the coming week.
Air piling in to the west carrib. front coming down.

Will be interesting to see if this begins warm core or not.


Isn't it being sheared right now?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 623. LargoFl:
unusual for a cold front to make it to the gulf in august..

That doesn't look good
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Looks like the wave below PR is going to be part of the equation in the coming week.
Air piling in to the west carrib. front coming down.

Will be interesting to see if this begins warm core or not.
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Quoting 639. LargoFl:
We should wait and see what happens ok..wait til its verified IN the gulf then we will know better..6-7 days away yet


Alright
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8 out of the 20 ensemble members show a storm in the GOM. So it is no guarantee yet.

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18z NAM at 84 hours. Very little change from the 12z.Low is forming and moving N.W.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37042
A good post hurricane dinner 1 can ChefBoyArdee Sausage Ravioli,,3-4 buttered bread 1 zero calorie vita water drink to wash it all down..........on the other hand that sounds good now as my wife is out of town til Tuesday night!
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WWUS82 KGSP 112028
SPSGSP

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
428 PM EDT SUN AUG 11 2013

NCZ036-112115-
IREDELL-
428 PM EDT SUN AUG 11 2013

...A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WILL AFFECT NORTHERN IREDELL COUNTY THROUGH
515 PM EDT...

AT 425 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM 3 MILES NORTHEAST OF LOVE VALLEY...OR 14 MILES
SOUTH OF RONDA...MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.

PEOPLE IN NORTHERN IREDELL COUNTY...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING
LOCATION...

HARMONY...

SHOULD MONITOR THE WEATHER SITUATION CLOSELY. LISTEN FOR POSSIBLE
WARNINGS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION SHOULD SEVERE
WEATHER THREATEN.

SMALL HAIL...AND WIND GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH ARE EXPECTED WITH THIS
STORM.

THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND WET SOIL CONDITIONS WILL CAUSE
SCATTERED TREES AND POWER LINES TO FALL. SEEK SHELTER INSIDER AN
INTERIOR ROOM.

LAT...LON 3606 8094 3606 8070 3604 8069 3584 8071
3595 8101 3600 8100 3603 8102 3606 8102
3607 8098

$$

MOORE




Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37042
Hi all, I am in SW Louisiana, I hope we don't have a storm come our way....later....I am watching the updates and stuff...
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Is an uptick in action in the Atlantic still expected around Thursday or something?
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 542. RTSplayer:


I googled it earlier, right after the post, and went and looked again.

It meets the description of the "Anthracnose" fungus. Apparently it's too small to see the fungus itself, but when I look closely at the leaves, the damage starts as tiny brown dots and radiates outward. I'm assuming, after seeing the description, that the entire life cycle of the anthracnose fungus is microscopic, so not directly visible to the naked eye.

There's obviously no insects eating the leaves, I checked for that, and the other fungi don't meet the description.


That's what I came up with as well, seems like Anthracnose. "Fungicides registered for the control of sycamore anthracnose include chlorothalonil (Daconil Zn, Daconil Ultrex and Daconil Weather Stik. REI = 12 hours), thiophantemethyl (3336™ F and 3336™ WP. REI = 12 hours), and copper fungicides. Champion WP® and C-O-C-S® are copper fungicides approved for organic use. REI = restrictedentry interval. Do not enter or allow workers entry into treated areas during this period following fungicide application. The REI varies with the copper product. Refer to labels for specific information.

The recommended fungicides usually are readily available to homeowners at local nurseries and garden centers. Always read label directions. Labels may be updated yearly or more often. If the product label does not include anthracnose on ornamentals (shade trees), use an alternative product." Link

Good luck, tree fungus is bad news.
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Quoting LargoFl:
unusual for a cold front to make it to the gulf in august..

"Unusual" is putting it mildly. :-) If this thing comes true (and it won't in the time frame shown by the GFS), north Alabama could have highs in the upper 70's and lows in the mid-60's on Monday. Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to make it down to us, and certainly not out into the Gulf as shown by the GFS. I'm just hoping it doesn't turn into a complete dud for us and not give us any rain. It's actually starting to get pretty dry now. These daily highs of 96-99 are really taking their toll.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 13334
Quoting 631. sar2401:

Sounds like the fire didn't affect you, thank goodness. We've been worried about you since the news of the wildfire hit.


Those are about 30 miles East of me and the Wrightwood one is way North.
Yup those are two very scary ones. Thanks for the thought...
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Quoting 635. weatherlover94:
Do any models forecast the Gulf disturbance becoming a Hurricane ?


at most tropical storm for now nothing we await further runs 18z up next

see if the reflection stays and moves up in time
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Quoting 635. weatherlover94:
Do any models forecast the Gulf disturbance becoming a Hurricane ?
We should wait and see what happens ok..wait til its verified IN the gulf then we will know better..6-7 days away yet
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37042
Quoting 630. PalmBeachWeather:
Ped...We were worried about you... Missing in action


I had a few things that amused me more than being here. Scary as that may seem. But I am waiting trying to get those things out of the way. I am trying to fix my Bonaire water cooler (needs parts) and I am so happy for the under 90F temps the last 2+ weeks. That and I been doing a restore on a Vaio Laptop( W7)
Too much to fit into my schedule. I should have at least popped in and said I was alive....lol
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Quoting 569. weatherlover94:
In 1989 I wasn't born yet but my parents said Hurricane Hugo by time it got to where I live in WV it still had winds of 70 mph and we where on the right side and they said it flipped some of the air planes over at the Bluefield Airport. Isabel in 2003 produced some high winds here.


I can believe that. Although we live back in Florida now, we moved to Northern Kentucky in 2007 after the insurance hike in Florida. During 2008, Ike paid us a visit in Northern Kentucky with trees coming down from the winds and suffering damage from Ike's winds. The Cincinnati Airport, which is ironically in Northern Kentucky, had winds gusting in excess of a 100 miles an hour. I guess it goes to show you that you cannot run from mother nature and her destruction.
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Quoting 627. SFLWeatherman:
Hey go to this!
Link
oh man TY very much11
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37042

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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.