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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Utor
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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.
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Quoting 475. Tropicsweatherpr:
12z GFS ensembles.

All eyes on the Gulf this week I guess.
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483. JRRP
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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.
.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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Quoting 478. ncstorm:


ALL the models have done horribly this season in my opinion..I just hope they get it together for any major landfalling system..
they will once there is an actual system to latch on too
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Quoting 449. Patrap:
One word we never hear from the er, "modeler's" here,is
"consensus".

Maybe look into it.

Greetings Pat..Model concensus is very important indeed, but so is this....And ICE cold brew...yes, yes,.

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I knew we forgot one. Isn't there 5 Reliable Global Models? The ECMWF, GFS, GEM, NAVGEM, and UKMET?

12z UKMET:

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Quoting 465. sporteguy03:

Yeah but from what I recall and saw it was an open wave.Putting aside what public eye's can't see of course. It also did not pick up Chantal well. It did better with Andrea and so did the GFS. CMC did really good with Andrea. The NHC has done once again a pretty good job I felt with their tracks and intensity for the most part. Will be interesting to watch as we head to heart of hurricane season.


ALL the models have done horribly this season in my opinion..I just hope they get it together for any major landfalling system..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13415
Quoting weatherlover94:
In 2005 didn't we have storms all the way up until Feb 2006 ?

Almost. Last one was in January, 2006.
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Quoting LargoFl:
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.

(clipped this from a nws long term forecast)

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.
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12z GFS ensembles.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13250
Beautiful day here on the east coast of Florida and we like to keep it that way.
Cane, Cane, stay away. Come back another year.

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In 2005 didn't we have storms all the way up until Feb 2006 ?
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471. JRRP
Quoting ncstorm:
Hey, have a question in regards to the Euro map..is that a big broad area of low pressure in the eastern atlantic? its showing in the last two frames of the Euro..


the euro has several runs showing that
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
You know, just for once, I'd love to see all of the global models miss the development of a major hurricane.

LOL. You might get your wish this year, Teddy, given the model performance so far.
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Quoting 464. LargoFl:
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.

(clipped this from a nws long term forecast)
Which NWS?
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Quoting 466. nigel20:
Good afternoon fellow bloggers!

Latest Southern Oscillation Index values

SOI values for 11 Aug 2013

Average for last 30 days 6.4
Average for last 90 days 9.0
Daily contribution to SOI calculation 17.2

Good afternoon nigel!
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Quoting 455. CybrTeddy:
You know, just for once, I'd love to see all of the global models miss the development of a major hurricane.

And I would not want to see another sandy.
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Good afternoon fellow bloggers!

Latest Southern Oscillation Index values

SOI values for 11 Aug 2013

Average for last 30 days 6.4
Average for last 90 days 9.0
Daily contribution to SOI calculation 17.2
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Quoting 453. ncstorm:


the Euro was best in track on Dorian..

Yeah but from what I recall and saw it was an open wave.Putting aside what public eye's can't see of course. It also did not pick up Chantal well. It did better with Andrea and so did the GFS. CMC did really good with Andrea. The NHC has done once again a pretty good job I felt with their tracks and intensity for the most part. Will be interesting to watch as we head to heart of hurricane season.
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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.

(clipped this from a nws long term forecast)
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My model says don't expect development in the Atlantic for the next 24 hrs. I call it the RCM or RapidCaleb Model. :P
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Aren't the Philippines the "Florida" of the western Pacific typhoon season? I also sometimes wonder if areas that get struck a lot by tropical cyclones are more adept to dealing with them then areas that are not...

The Philippines get hit by typhoons a lot. Unfortunately, the government is both corrupt and poor. Their search and rescue resources are minimal,with a total of about 45 helicopters for the whole country and only 3 C-130 transports in the entire fleet. When the US still had bases at Clark and Subic Bay, we were able to provide a lot of resources to the Philippine government. Now that we're gone, the government has been trying to add to their air and naval forces without much success, and almost everything they have was given to them as a gift by the US, Japan, or Australia. The largest ship in their fleet, a 50 year old ex- US Coast cutter, was just turned over to them in December, 2011, and a second cutter was formally handed over on August 6 but is not in commission or operational. The cutter and two relatively modern logistics vessels are the only air capable vessels, but the Navy only has 3 helicopters, and only a few trained aircrew that can operate from shipboard. The US Seventh Fleet already has a carrier group in the area and, along with units from Japan, Australia, and South Korea, will be on hand to offer aid. Still, any typhoon hitting the Philippines is a disaster. At least this one is hitting Luzon, where most of the country's limited rescue and recovery resources are based.
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Quoting 434. GeorgiaStormz:
Just NO






And thanks to Brad Panovich for pointing this out...

Still early but the GFS hints at temperatures 20°-22° below average by next weekend. This is an epic summer cold air damming event.








I don't see that happening however. It's just too crazy....a high of less than 70F in GA because of a tC pulling down air








We'll have to wait and see.


just a little while longer
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Dost_pagasa
2 minutes ago

At 3:00 am today, Typhoon Labuyo has made landfall over Casiguran, Aurora.

--------------

http://www.facebook.com/PAGASA.DOST.GOV.PH


Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
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459. JRRP
Quoting Gearsts:
hmmm

omg!!! lol
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By the way there is a GFS model that runs on the FIM website, but I am not sure if they took it down or if it is still in the works to be ran in the future? Also I heard there is going to be a new 13 km GFS in the future.

Link
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Storms but no rain..and my Direct TV is out?? WTW..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13415
Quoting 447. Stormchaser2007:


The public grids made it appear that it missed the storm, but when the environment around a tropical cyclone is 1016-1018 mbs, it's not going to show up well.

I will say that the storm-specific grids definitely had a weak system. The track for Dorian was horrible though...


I only am posting facts not arguing with you as I am not kind of person. Is a conversation in a good way about the models. You say Euro is the best but I say this year it has not been the best. Peace and love my friend.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13250
You know, just for once, I'd love to see all of the global models miss the development of a major hurricane.
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Quoting 447. Stormchaser2007:


The public grids made it appear that it missed the storm, but when the environment around a tropical cyclone is 1016-1018 mbs, it's not going to show up well.

I will say that the storm-specific grids definitely had a weak system. The track for Dorian was horrible though...
The euro miss the twin TC in the indian ocean and a cat 4 Utor.
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Quoting 439. sporteguy03:
I would love to see the model verification this year after the season. I would not hang my hat on any of the models. ECMWF missed Dorian, GFS had it plowing into Cuba.


the Euro was best in track on Dorian..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13415
The Euro shows a low in the SW Caribbean moving inland in 48 hrs. other than that nothing. Link

I'm still leaning towards development in the GOM, since the majority of the reliable global models show development including the FIM.
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Hey, have a question in regards to the Euro map..is that a big broad area of low pressure in the eastern atlantic? its showing in the last two frames of the Euro..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13415
Quoting 447. Stormchaser2007:


The public grids made it appear that it missed the storm, but when the environment around a tropical cyclone is 1016-1018 mbs, it's not going to show up well.

I will say that the storm-specific grids definitely had a weak system. The track for Dorian was horrible though...

Correct Ecmwf has been right all year long,these guys dont have no high res ecmwf model like me!!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1256
One word we never hear from the er, "modeler's" here,is
"consensus".

Maybe look into it.

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Maybe hurricane camille is coming back it form aug 14 same thing model form!!!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1256
Quoting sporteguy03:
I would love to see the model verification this year after the seasin. I would not hang my hat on any of the models. ECMWF missed Dorian, GFS had it plowing into Cuba.


The public grids made it appear that it missed the storm, but when the environment around a tropical cyclone is 1016-1018 mbs, it's not going to show up well.

I will say that the storm-specific grids definitely had a weak system. The track for Dorian was horrible though...
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we all must remember, these models and tracks change with each new model run..one run the model has a storm..in the next new run no storm..don't trust anything thing out from 2-3 days..even then be careful..1-2 days prepare huh
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Quoting 439. sporteguy03:
I would love to see the model verification this year after the seasin. I would not hang my hat on any of the models. ECMWF missed Dorian, GFS had it plowing into Cuba.


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.
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Accuweather


Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. In some years, the Philippines are struck by more than 20 tropical storms and typhoons. The term applied to various storms depends on their location. Only one hurricane force storm has ever occurred in the South Atlantic - Hurricane "Catarina" in 2004.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23672
Quoting 431. Stormchaser2007:


Andrea was another anemic and borderline tropical system.

Utor underwent explosive intensification.

I'm talking about genesis, and the ECMWF has been one of the best models for TC GEN for quite some time.

If you all want to hang your hats on the GFS and FIM, be my guest.


Eh, Andrea was rather impressive for an early-June system. It did pretty good with Beryl last year though.
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Quoting 430. Tropicsweatherpr:


I will take GFS over Euro for this season as the best.

I used to be biased to Euro...but ever since Debby (when the GFS was the first model to show it moving across Florida) I have respected the GFS more. I think the Euro also had an east bias with Isaac's US Gulf coast landfall whereas the GFS was more accurate....
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someone else do the 12z GFS run for next Saturday..around 158 hours..see if you come up with a northern gulf hit too.
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.
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I would love to see the model verification this year after the season. I would not hang my hat on any of the models. ECMWF missed Dorian, GFS had it plowing into Cuba.
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ECMWF on Utor...

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Euro has NOT been the best this season. Heck it missed that typhoon misaberly.
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12z GFS has it in Alabama for several days..IF this verifies huh..
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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.