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 KEEPEROFTHEGATE:




Another GFS hurricane headed right for my house. Between the GFS and CMC, I should have nothing left standing. :-) This was the model discussed with the local mets last night. They have near zero belief this is going to happen, because it's dependent on this incredibly strong cold front getting into the Gulf by Thursday, spinning up a low, and have it head back into Alabama by Saturday. First, the timing is way off, since the front, even if it makes it, wouldn't be in the Gulf before Friday. If it was actually capable of being a focus for a tropical low, there's no way for it to form and move back north before Sunday. Lastly, this front would have to be about a zillion standard deviations from normal to have this kind of energy in August. I don't think it's going to happen at all but, if it does, it would be a Monday through Wednesday time frame. If the front come through here and the temperature drops to about 60 Friday night, I'll start getting out the plywood. Otherwise, I just hope we at least get a decent rain from this front.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17469
Quoting 529. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z FIM-9 156 hrs.

yep same spot as the 12z GFs
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Quoting 523. PalmBeachWeather:
Hardly a drop of rain anywhere......in Florida...
Sounds like strong HP.
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Quoting 523. PalmBeachWeather:
Hardly a drop of rain anywhere......in Florida...
yeah a couple of days for drying out..my local met has 60% chances next weekend though..
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Quoting 514. SuperStorm093:
Those winds wouldnt make it to the surface though am I right?
correct they are above the surface
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
12z FIM-9 156 hrs.

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looks like the final advisory on Henriette is going to be written at 5:00
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Quoting 513. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I'm not ready. :(
don't feel too bad many others around the gulf aren't either..they wait til the night before,then we read about them a week later in the newspapers...right about now a hurricane survival kits should have been made already and a stay or go plan should be ready also..what will you do IF...that's the one im not ready for..a wait and see how strong it is etc...but as far as the house is concerned..im ready..plywood all cut, provisions bought already etc
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Quoting 520. Socalmargie:
what or who is sal??
Sal has a pretty good pizza here in south Florida...Also it's "Dust In The Wind"
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A bit more afternoon showers today...not much in eastern Jamaica though.
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Hardly a drop of rain anywhere......in Florida...
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Quoting 390. Stormchaser2007:
12z ECMWF has absolutely nothing for 10 days.

Until it starts showing something, don't expect anything big to happen.

TCHP is insane though...



The Caribbean has enough TCHP to easily support a sub 900 mb hurricane. The gulf does as well, it just doesn't appear that way on that image since the gulf is already shallow water.
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Bye, bye Henriette.

EP, 08, 2013081118, , BEST, 0, 135N, 1575W, 30, 1010, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 50, 35, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, HENRIETTE, S,
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Quoting 517. weatherlover94:


Yep


Still some high shear across the Caribbean though
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 510. Patrap:
UTOR

Perfect and symmetrical at 11:32 UTC.
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Quoting 511. mitchelace5:
SAL seems to be slowly dissipating.


Yep
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The Philippine's armed forces may not be US-grade so far as size and modernity, but it's not exactly McHale's Navy crossed with 'F' Troop, either. It consists of nearly 400,000 trained active and reserve troops spread among many dozens of bases, with a floating navy consisting of more than 100 vessels and a flying force comprised of nearly 200 airplanes and helicopters. And, as stated this morning, the island nation is one of the most typhoon-prone in the world, seeing between six and nine landfalling storms each year. Add those to the fact that Utor made landfall in the least densely-populated part of the nation's entire coast, and you can see that the storm isn't likely to be the massive tragedy some are envisioning. Yes, there will be damage, and there will almost certainly be preventable deaths. But this isn't the Philippine's version of Katrina...
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Quoting 512. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
850 mb layer wind field
Those winds wouldnt make it to the surface though am I right?
Member Since: July 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
Quoting 503. LargoFl:
IF the 12z GFS verifies..next weekend might get interesting..still a week away and things change overnight with model runs..by Friday if it verifies..well..your early preps should have been done already..it IS hurricane season afterall,,im about as ready as I can be..day before the rush to complete begins huh..
I'm not ready. :(
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Quoting 505. Socalmargie:
May i ask what is that?
850 mb layer wind field
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SAL seems to be slowly dissipating.
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
UTOR

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508. beell
Quoting 476. sar2401:

Is this from Miami, or where? I've never seen any GFS model, or heard any discussion from our local mets, about anything spinning up in the eastern Gulf and heading for Mobile. I'd like to know where they came up with this.


Geez, sar. Where ya been?

:)
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Mostly Cloudy

94F

34C

Humidity 59%
Wind Speed S 6 mph
Barometer 30.11 in (1019.9 mb)
Dewpoint 77F (25C)
Visibility 10.00 mi
Heat Index 109F (43C)

Last Update on 11 Aug 2:58 pm EDT

Current conditions at

Macdill Air Force Base, Fl. (KMCF)

Lat: 27.86 Lon: -82.52 Elev: 13ft.

More Local Wx | 3 Day History | Mobile Weather




Its a wee bit steamy here in Central Florida
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Quoting 501. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



ah you found it also keeper
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Quoting 485. RTSplayer:
Does anyone here know about tree diseases?

IN the past two years we've had five sycamore trees die: two of them two years ago and three last year.

Now we have one in the back yard with about 1/3rd of it's leaves turning brown, and the one in the front yard has about a couple percent of it's leaves turning brown, even though we are watering them to make sure they have plenty water.

On our other property, a few miles away, we had sycamore trees for years and never once had one of them die.

I don't see any evidence of pest insects or funguses, so it seems like something viral or bacterial might be involved.

All of the non-sycamore trees in the yard are doing fine, not a brown leaf on any of them.


I'd just google it. I did ('sycamore brown leaves') and got several legitimate sites (universities w/ agriculture & forestry extensions). They're likely to have contact info as well. Or, you could contact a similar extension service in your state.
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IF the 12z GFS verifies..next weekend might get interesting..still a week away and things change overnight with model runs..by Friday if it verifies..well..your early preps should have been done already..it IS hurricane season afterall,,im about as ready as I can be..day before the rush to complete begins huh..
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Quoting 479. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I knew we forgot one. Isn't there 5 Reliable Global Models? The ECMWF, GFS, GEM, NAVGEM, and UKMET?

12z UKMET:



They're the main ones, maybe not all of them the most reliable.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580



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Quoting 496. SuperStorm093:
the satellite on the GFS looks nothing like a TS

The system will form and quit downcoasting!!
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12z NAM wind gusts:

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I recall it being posted right after Dorian keeled over that the GFDL had done the best with that particular system, again not sure. Lost all my links when my computer got fried.

It was, but only for the track until it keeled over. None of the models picked up on the fact that Dorian was ot going to intensify, and we don't know how any of the models would have done because it did keel over before it could make landfall. As usual, the models haven't been bad with track for as long as the track lasted, but they should be picking up on the idea the storm isn't going to last. A model with a track to the Bahamas was not successful just because it headed in that direction but died long before it got there.
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the satellite on the GFS looks nothing like a TS
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The SST's in the Caribbean are still on the rise...just in time for the peak of the season.
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493. JRRP
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
12z GFS ensembles.


wow looks the CATL
interesting!!!
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492. beell
Quoting 329. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I choose C, none of the above.

GFS 700mb heights
CMC 700mb heights

Continues to look like the [insert "tropical" here?] wave in the eastern Caribbean.


Certainly have to give credence (read as "change my tune") to this for a "seed" since the central Atlantic wave is ill-timed to match the 12Z runs.

At the very least, it allows the monsoon trough and moisture to lift north in the absence of lower tropospheric ridging over the northern gulf coast and provides broad cyclonic spin over the western Caribbean. If this does not get it done we always have the t-wave right behind it.

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT SUN AUG 11 2013

THE MIDDLE TO UPPER LEVEL DYNAMICS BECOME STRONGER E OF 65W...PARTICULARLY A 700 MB TROUGH AXIS EXTENDING FROM 19N63W TO 13N67W...


08/11 12Z GFS 700 mb heights, rh-valid @ 6 hrs
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Quoting 469. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Which NWS?
southeast..long term.............................LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...
AS OF 200 PM SUNDAY...

THE LONG TERM FORECAST IS STILL ON TRACK FOR A VERY WET PERIOD FROM
TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY WITH A FRONTAL ZONE STALLING OUT OVER THE
AREA AS MULTIPLE SHORTWAVES PROGRESS ALONG IT. 6Z GEFS ANOMALIES
SHOW PRECIPITABLE WATER VALUES 2-3 STANDARD DEVIATIONS ABOVE NORMAL
IN THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE AREA WITH RAW VALUES OF 2-2.5 INCHES
THROUGH MUCH OF THE LONG TERM. COMPETING FOR NOTORIETY WILL BE HIGH
TEMPERATURES...THURSDAY IN PARTICULAR...WHEN HIGHS IN THE TRIAD
COULD BE ONLY IN THE LOW TO MID 70S. BOTH THE ECMWF AND GFS ARE
SHOWING THICKNESS VALUES IN THE HIGH 1360S WHICH CORRESPONDS TO
NORMAL VALUES FOR EARLY MAY...NOT EARLY AUGUST. THE LARGEST SEVERE
THREAT DURING THIS PERIOD WILL BE FLOODING AS WPC IS STILL SHOWING 7
DAY TOTALS 2.5-3 INCHES IN THE TRIAD...3-4 INCHES IN THE
TRIANGLE...AND 5 PLUS ON THE COAST.

FOR TUESDAY THE FRONT IS PROGGED TO SET UP OVER UPSTATE SOUTH
CAROLINA AND THE COASTAL PLAIN OF NORTH CAROLINA. FORECAST SOUNDINGS
IN BUFKIT SHOW A SETUP SIMILAR TO THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS WITH GOOD
INSTABILITY ALONG WITH MODERATE SHEAR VALUES...LEADING TO MOST
LIKELY MULTICELLULAR OR BROKEN LINE TYPE CONVECTION. BY
WEDNESDAY...WITH THE FRONTAL STILL PARKED TO THE SOUTH...THE SURFACE
HIGH BEGINS TO MOVE EASTWARD...BEGINNING TO DEVELOP THE WEDGE AS.
INSTABILITY CRASHES BUT SHEAR INCREASES TO 40-50 KNOTS. SOUNDINGS
BECOME VERY SATURATED IN THE LOW LEVELS AS WARM RAIN PROCESSES
BECOME DOMINANT. ANAFRONTAL RAIN WILL SPREAD NORTHWARD THROUGH NC
AND INTO SOUTHERN VA BY WEDNESDAY EVENING. SURFACE TEMPERATURES WILL
COOL IN RESPONSE TO CLOUD COVER AND THE NORTHEASTERLY SURFACE WINDS
BROUGHT ON BY THE FORMATION OF THE WEDGE FRONT. THIS GENERAL PATTERN
CONTINUES THROUGH THE DAY ON THURSDAY. AN ADDED PUNCH TO THE
RAINFALL TOTALS ON THURSDAY COULD BE PROVIDED BY A MESO-LOW MOVING
UP FROM GEORGIA THROUGH SOUTH CAROLINA AND INTO OUR CWA FROM THE
SOUTHWEST.

ON FRIDAY...THE SOUNDINGS DRY OUT A LITTLE BIT...AS THE MESO-LOW
EXITS TO THE NORTHEAST...TAKING A LOT OF MOISTURE WITH IT. A SMALL
SURFACE HIGH TRIES TO FORM OVER THE CAROLINAS AND MID-LEVEL DRY AIR
WILL EVENTUALLY WORK DOWN TO THE SURFACE ALTHOUGH SUFFICIENT MID AND
UPPER LEVEL SATURATION WILL KEEP IT CLOUDY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT.
PRECIPITATION CHANCES WILL BE BEST ALONG THE COAST AS AN INVERTED
TROUGH SETS UP OVER THE COAST. MUCH FURTHER SOUTH IN THE GULF OF
MEXICO...THE GFS SPINS UP A TROPICAL SYSTEM WHICH HEADS FOR MOBILE
BAY...BUT THIS FEATURE HAS NOT YET APPEARED IN THE ECMWF.

LOW LEVEL MOISTENING BEGINS AGAIN ON SUNDAY WITH THE RETURN OF
RAILROAD TRACK SOUNDINGS AND AT LEAST SOME LOW LEVEL INSTABILITY
AHEAD OF WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE A TROPICAL SYSTEM MOVING INTO
ALABAMA. REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT IS...THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM COUPLED
WITH THE HIGH OFF THE COAST WILL FUNNEL EVEN MORE MOISTURE INTO THE
CAROLINAS FOR SUNDAY AND BEYOND INTO THE WORK WEEK.

TEMPERATURES WILL SHOW A COOLING TREND EARLY IN THE LONG TERM WITH
UPPER 80S ON TUESDAY CRASHING TO THE LOW 80S BY WEDNESDAY AND DOWN
INTO THE MID TO UPPER 70S...AT LEAST IN THE NW...THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
BEFORE REBOUNDING BACK INTO THE LOW 80S IN MOST PLACES BY SUNDAY.
EXPECT LOWS IN THE UPPER 60S TO LOW 70S EARLY ON FOLLOWED BY LOW TO
MID 60S LATE IN THE PERIOD.

&&

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting 485. RTSplayer:
Does anyone here know about tree diseases?

IN the past two years we've had five sycamore trees die: two of them two years ago and three last year.

Now we have one in the back yard with about 1/3rd of it's leaves turning brown, and the one in the front yard has about a couple percent of it's leaves turning brown, even though we are watering them to make sure they have plenty water.

On our other property, a few miles away, we had sycamore trees for years and never once had one of them die.

I don't see any evidence of pest insects or funguses, so it seems like something viral or bacterial might be involved.

All of the non-sycamore trees in the yard are doing fine, not a brown leaf on any of them.
Where are you located.?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22719
Quoting 480. hydrus:
Greetings Pat..Model concensus is very important indeed, but so is this....And ICE cold brew...yes, yes,.

Yum, looks Cajun style too. :D
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Utor
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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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