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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12z GFS has it in Alabama for several days..IF this verifies huh..
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Quoting 430. Tropicsweatherpr:


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


last year the Euro did a pretty fair job. This year it sucks
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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.
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Quoting 409. CybrTeddy:


Didn't Megi have higher?
Here's Megi's file. The raw T-number never exceeded T7.5, but it did at one point have the final and adjusted values in unison, unlike Utor, most likely due to the fact that it didn't have a constraint limit. For example:

2010OCT17 171500 7.5 907.3/ 0.0 /155.0 7.5 7.5 7.5 NO LIMIT OFF OFF 16.68 -79.12 EYE 22 IR 88.9 17.68 -124.20 COMBO
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Here is a link to a UNITAR webpage that has a PDF showing a population density map of Luzon. This was prepared in 2007, post-Typhoon Mitag (Mina). The map shows the track of Mina as it went over the island, and of course Utor (Lubayo) has a different track, but the map is still relevant, as it shows low population density near landfall in Aurora, but a much higher population density inland in the vicinity of Santiago.

Link
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


It didn't pick up Andrea and Utor didn't see it as a Typhoon.


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.
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Quoting 427. CybrTeddy:


It didn't a few days ago, it probably does now. I don't know, I don't have access to the ECMWF forecasts in the pacific.


I will take GFS over Euro for this season as the best.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14894
folks around the northern gulf coast,if this verifies..
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Quoting 402. sar2401:

The local mets were talking about this last night in spotter chat. They think (surprise, surprise) that the GFS has overdone this trough for the Southeast. It looks like it might be a fairly amplified trough to the west, and that portion might make it into the Gulf off far west Texas, but they don't think it's going to hold together here in AL. Our best day appears to be next Sunday, with a predicted high of 88. Just like the GFS when it comes to tropical storms, seven days out is rarely right on land either. I'll be quite happy to see a high of 88 if it happens, since it's 97 now with a heat index of 111. We just get tantalized with these fronts in summer and they always turn out to be nothing. The last time I had a high of less than 90 here was July 2, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Up here is southeast Michigan you would love it. For the last several days it has been cool for August (highs in the upper 70s to low 80s...lows in the 50s to 60s). This is only my 2nd summer up here...last summer here in Michigan seemed like it was hotter than normal...then this summer seems like it is cooler than normal. I remember one day last month I was driving to work in the morning with the HEATER on!
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Quoting 422. Tropicsweatherpr:


It didn't pick up Andrea and Utor didn't see it as a Typhoon.


It didn't a few days ago, it probably does now. I don't know, I don't have access to the ECMWF forecasts in the Pacific so please don't take my word for it.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Didn't Megi have higher?


Yes.

Megi was so strong that they actually sent a recon mission into it.



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Quoting 419. Envoirment:
Navy weakened Utor to 120kts in their 18:00 update.

11W UTOR 130811 1800 16.0N 122.2E WPAC 120 933

That's some good news at least, that he weakened a bit before landfall. But still packing 140mph winds with even larger gusts is no good news at all. Not to mention all the intense rain. I hope he won't do much damage or take many lives!

Good luck with 140 mph...this max at 90 - 100 mph right now!!
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424. IKE
12Z ECMWF at 96 hours does show a low along the northern GOM....




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Quoting 409. CybrTeddy:


Didn't Megi have higher?



Thought Monica was 8.0
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Quoting 414. Stormchaser2007:


The ECMWF is by far the most complex global model that is publicly available.

Just because it didn't pick up on the pathetic storms like Chantal and Dorian doesn't mean it's useless.

I'd take the ECMWF and its ensembles over any other combination of NWP's...


It didn't pick up Andrea and Utor didn't see it as a Typhoon.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14894
Quoting 410. Tropicsweatherpr:


Nope,Euro failed misably to have Utor as a Tyhoon,only went down to 1002 mbs,go figure. That is why it needs an upgrade.
And it also shows very high pressures over the atlantic?
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GFS has something in the gulf..next Saturday.........
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Navy weakened Utor to 120kts in their 18:00 update.

11W UTOR 130811 1800 16.0N 122.2E WPAC 120 933

That's some good news at least, that he weakened a bit before landfall. But still packing 140mph winds with even larger gusts is no good news at all. Not to mention all the intense rain. I hope he won't do much damage or take many lives!
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Quoting 370. TylerStanfield:

Did I tell you, or did I tell you?
You must certainly did, thank you for both your insight into the human psyche as well as your meteorological expertise.
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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...

Completely agree. Not very enthusiastic about the GOM development. We'll definitely see an increase in moisture across the area, but I'm extremely skeptical as to whether anything will develop.

Looks like I may have to push forward my forecast for development from August 15th to at least August 20th.
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UTOR Rainbow Top

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img src=""> !!
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Quoting RGVtropicalWx13:
The euro has been off all year long and still is. Don't go off saying nothing's happening based on the euro. Did ya check the other models? They all disagree with the euro!!!


The ECMWF is by far the most complex global model that is publicly available.

Just because it didn't pick up on the pathetic storms like Chantal and Dorian doesn't mean it's useless.

I'd take the ECMWF and its ensembles over any other combination of NWP's...
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Quoting 404. MiamiHurricanes09:
Something very powerful to note.

At 0900UTC the Raw-T number from ADT was at T7.7, which is 161kts, or 185mph. By far one of the highest T-numbers I've ever witnessed. Interestingly enough, that T-number date stamp happened to coincide directly with the final visible satellite image of the day. Absolutely stunning.

2013AUG11 093000 6.1 942.1 117.4 6.1 6.3 7.7 1.7T/6hr OFF OFF 6.37 -84.19 EYE 14 IR 54.3 15.40 -123.83 COMBO MTSAT2 30.3




My goodness that is one stunning visible satellite image of Utor!
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Someone would quit posting if others ignored their posts.

Some rain on the radar south of me that appears to be heading north.
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Quoting 403. CybrTeddy:


Not a category 4.

Yes it is the model has this storm 990 mb now go to 970 mb!! My estimate it is cat 2 now!!
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Quoting 401. Gearsts:
EURO doesn't show Utor?!


Nope,Euro failed miserably to have Utor as a Tyhoon,only went down to 1002 mbs,go figure. That is why it needs an upgrade.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14894
Quoting 404. MiamiHurricanes09:
Something very powerful to note.

At 0900UTC the Raw-T number from ADT was at T7.7, which is 161kts, or 185mph. By far one of the highest T-numbers I've ever witnessed. Interestingly enough, that T-number date stamp happened to coincide directly with the final visible satellite image of the day. Absolutely stunning.

2013AUG11 093000 6.1 942.1 117.4 6.1 6.3 7.7 1.7T/6hr OFF OFF 6.37 -84.19 EYE 14 IR 54.3 15.40 -123.83 COMBO MTSAT2 30.3





Didn't Megi have higher?
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Quoting 398. Grothar:


Nein, es ist schon seit 5 Jahren, dass ich dort gearbeitet habe.

Ich seche das hat dir fiehl veisheit gegeben ueber die stuerme auf dem Meer
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Quoting 370. TylerStanfield:

Did I tell you, or did I tell you?
true? true!
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Quoting 395. Tropicsweatherpr:


Euro needs an upgrade as it has failed developing like it didn't with Andrea etc. Didn't saw Utor as a Typhoon.


They've missed a few lately.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 394. Patrap:
Maybe take a gander at the CIMSS ADT page on UTOR.

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.5 / 929.6mb/127.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.5 5.6 4.9



It is near 80 kt raw t is the best estimate!!
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Something very powerful to note.

At 0900UTC the Raw-T number from ADT was at T7.7, which is 161kts, or 185mph. By far one of the highest T-numbers I've ever witnessed. Interestingly enough, that T-number date stamp happened to coincide directly with the final visible satellite image of the day. Absolutely stunning.

2013AUG11 093000 6.1 942.1 117.4 6.1 6.3 7.7 1.7T/6hr OFF OFF 6.37 -84.19 EYE 14 IR 54.3 15.40 -123.83 COMBO MTSAT2 30.3



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Quoting 391. Camille33:

!!


Not a category 4.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Looking at the upper-level solutions in model runs...we could have an anomalously-amplified upper trough over the eastern US that lasts for a few days leading up to this event....so the cold front Dr. M mentioned might be anomalously strong for August.

But I am in the camp for a tropical wave mainly causing this event....personally I still am picking the c-atl t-wave until TAFB adds one in the e carib on their maps....

The local mets were talking about this last night in spotter chat. They think (surprise, surprise) that the GFS has overdone this trough for the Southeast. It looks like it might be a fairly amplified trough to the west, and that portion might make it into the Gulf off far west Texas, but they don't think it's going to hold together here in AL. Our best day appears to be next Sunday, with a predicted high of 88. Just like the GFS when it comes to tropical storms, seven days out is rarely right on land either. I'll be quite happy to see a high of 88 if it happens, since it's 97 now with a heat index of 111. We just get tantalized with these fronts in summer and they always turn out to be nothing. The last time I had a high of less than 90 here was July 2, so I'm not getting my hopes up.
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Quoting 395. Tropicsweatherpr:


Euro needs an upgrade as it has failed developing like it didn't with Andrea etc. Didn't saw Utor as a Typhoon.
EURO doesn't show Utor?!
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The euro has been off all year long and still is. Don't go off saying nothing's happening based on the euro. Did ya check the other models? They all disagree with the euro!!!
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Well thankfully I don't see a lot of posts.

That's fo a obvious reason.

; )
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Quoting 381. belizeit:
Arbeiten see noch immer Fuer NHC?


Nein, es ist schon seit 5 Jahren, dass ich dort gearbeitet habe.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 394. Patrap:
Maybe take a gander at the CIMSS ADT page on UTOR

No more eye!! How this a major with no eye!!
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Isabel Provence is about 40% forested with a couple of mountain ranges. It is an highly agricultural state with some manufacturing. It is a kind of bread basket for the nation. With all the rivers there and the 12-15 inches of rain it is going to be a major disaster.
Member Since: July 30, 2012 Posts: 4 Comments: 614
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...



Euro needs an upgrade as it has failed developing like it didn't with Andrea etc. Didn't saw Utor as a Typhoon.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14894
Maybe take a gander at the CIMSS ADT page on UTOR.

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.5 / 929.6mb/127.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.5 5.6 4.9


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I beg to differ as this Typhoon is a Major in every sense.

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Quoting 363. CybrTeddy:
Gotta feel terrible for the people in the Philippines. If you were watching the regular news, you wouldn't even know that a Category 4 Typhoon was hitting them. Utor, Bopha, Nesat, Nalgae, and Megi have all struck them within the last 3 years as very powerful typhoons. That's the equal of the Gulf Coast being hit with a Category 4 or 5 hurricane once or twice a year for the last three years for them. Terrible.

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...
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Quoting 388. CybrTeddy:


Could you please post evidence to support your posts instead of making outlandish predictions?

!!
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12z ECMWF has absolutely nothing for 10 days.

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

TCHP is insane though...

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Quoting 363. CybrTeddy:
Gotta feel terrible for the people in the Philippines. If you were watching the regular news, you wouldn't even know that a Category 4 Typhoon was hitting them. Utor, Bopha, Nesat, Nalgae, and Megi have all struck them within the last 3 years as very powerful typhoons. That's the equal of the Gulf Coast being hit with a Category 4 or 5 hurricane once or twice a year for the last three years for them. Terrible.

They just got hit be a decaying cat 2 equivalent hurricane,the storm imensely weakened before landfall.
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Quoting 375. Camille33:

Hong Kong will get a cat 4 hurricane!!


Could you please post evidence to support your posts instead of making outlandish predictions?
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Utor is forecast to be a cat 2 at landfall on Wed. Thats better than a cat 4
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Special Weather Statement

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
221 PM EDT SUN AUG 11 2013

NCZ099-109-111900-
COLUMBUS-INLAND BRUNSWICK-
221 PM EDT SUN AUG 11 2013

...A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WILL MOVE ACROSS EASTERN COLUMBUS AND
NORTHERN BRUNSWICK COUNTIES THROUGH 300 PM EDT...

AT 221 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A STRONG THUNDERSTORM OVER
BOLTON...OR ABOUT 18 MILES EAST OF WHITEVILLE...MOVING EAST AT 15
MPH.

HAZARDS INCLUDE...
GUSTY WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH.
FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING.
BRIEFLY HEAVY RAINFALL.

SOME LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE BATARORA...DELCO...FREEMAN...
RIEGELWOOD...BOLTON AND SANDY CREEK.

THUNDERSTORMS CAN POSE A VARIETY OF THREATS INCLUDING GUSTY WINDS...
SMALL HAIL...CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING...AND LOCALIZED FLOODING. IT
IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU REMAIN INDOORS UNTIL THE STORMS PASS.

&&

LAT...LON 3433 7806 3411 7819 3426 7847 3435 7843
TIME...MOT...LOC 1821Z 285DEG 14KT 3427 7837

$$


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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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