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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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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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 323. 62901IL:

I concur. If someone does not have a profile picture, that doesn't mean they're a troll.


Is Grothar a troll?? No, I think he is an expert!
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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 are on one of the wrong places in the world, is just like Japan with the earthquakes..The important thing is get prepared always, if you see the 2011 9.0 earthquake in Japan the majority of the deaths were because the Tsunami not because the earthquake alone, so the important thing is the education and the preparation, this is going to happen always until the end of the earth, if you don't wants this go to the moon or mars...lol
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44.35 million (2007)
Luzon, Population

Luzon /luzon/ (Tagalog: "Luson") is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name of one of the three primary island groups in the country (the other two being the Visayas and Mindanao). Luzon as an island group includes Luzon proper, the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro.[3] Luzon is the economic and political center of the Philippines, being home to the country's capital city, Manila. It is one of most populated islands in the world, only behind Java, Honshu, and Great Britain. It has a similar population size to Sumatra but much smaller area.
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Quoting 373. Grothar:


Hi, it!
Arbeiten see noch immer Fuer NHC?
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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.

Thankfully, the eastern coast of Luzon where Utor is making landfall is scarcely populated. It's very mountainous and rural. The fact that Utor is also a small tropical cyclone may help to minimize impacts to the heavily populated cities farther south. Cannot say the same for its second landfall in a few days, but thankfully (again), the typhoon should be nowhere near as intense.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting 372. hurricane23:


actual landfall has occured in sparsely coastal luzon. undergoing ERC right before landfall and was weakening at good clip right before impacting land. There will substantial damage no doupt but could have been worse in my view. mainland china next week moderate cane
That EWRC was a absolute blessing in my eyes. It is a fast mover, also a good thing..Howdy Adrian.
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TPPN12 PGTW 111815

A. SUPER TYPHOON 11W (UTOR)

B. 11/1732Z

C. 16.1N

D. 122.2E

E. FIVE/MTSAT

F. T6.0/7.0/D1.0/24HRS STT: S0.0/03HRS

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS: 46A/PBO EMBD CNTR/ANMTN. CENTER EMBEDDED IN WHITE
(67NM) YIELDS A DT OF 5.0. MET AGREES; PT WAS 5.5. DBO
CONSTRAINTS (HOLD CI FOR 12HRS ON INITIAL WEAKENING)

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS:
11/1238Z 15.4N 123.3E MMHS
11/1324Z 15.8N 123.2E MMHS


LONG
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55970
11 W INTENSE CYCLONE UTOR
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55970
Tropical waves over Africa may look impressive,but that matters lil when they have to adjust from Baroclinic support,to Baro-tropic ones offshore in the Atlantic,that usually is the measure of a waves potential.

Not how they appear over the Continent.

How they make the adjustment and where..is crucial for a CV spinner.
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Quoting 372. hurricane23:


actual landfall has occured in sparsely coastal luzon. undergoing ERC right before landfall and was weakening at good clip right before impacting land. There will substantial damage no doupt but could have been worse in my view. mainland china next week moderate cane

Hong Kong will get a cat 4 hurricane!!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1523
Quoting 369. sar2401:

I was kind of surprised with the mention of a front pushing into the Gulf with enough energy left to be the focus for a tropical storm. It looks like the front for Thursday and Friday will be out typical "Not as Hot Front" and will either stall or washout right at the coast. I have been saying for quite a while that we will get our first hurricane in the Western Gulf, but it's hard to see how cyclogenesis won't be some kind of wave from the Eastern Caribbean. August fronts in the Southeast just have enough energy to typically make it somewhere around the central part of the Gulf Coast states before they start to lose their identity altogether.

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....
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Quoting 368. belizeit:
Hi Grothar


Hi, it!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Patrap:
The Worst Place for a Powerful Typhoon to Hit, a populated low lying Country.


UTOR,



actual landfall has occured in sparsely coastal luzon. undergoing ERC right before landfall and was weakening at good clip right before impacting land. There will substantial damage no doupt but could have been worse in my view. mainland china next week moderate cane
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GFS and NAM both showing the Low moving up from the southern Caribbean in 4-5 days.

GFS at 84 hours


NAM at 84 hours
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Quoting 343. weatherlover94:


let me explain something to you something mister......I do not want to see death and destruction. I make valid points to what the forecasts and steering patterns are. Never one time have I said I want to see a major Hurricane or hurricane hit the US. I said it would be nice for a WEAK yes WEAK system to come into Texas and bring some much needed rain. Let me explain my displeasure of you. It's people like you who like to come on here and cause trouble running your big mouth before you know the facts...thats my displeasure of you....good day.

Did I tell you, or did I tell you?
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Quoting 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.

I was kind of surprised with the mention of a front pushing into the Gulf with enough energy left to be the focus for a tropical storm. It looks like the front for Thursday and Friday will be our typical "Not as Hot Front" and will either stall or washout right at the coast. I have been saying for quite a while that we will get our first hurricane in the Western Gulf, but it's hard to see how cyclogenesis won't be some kind of wave from the Eastern Caribbean. August fronts in the Southeast just have enough energy to typically make it somewhere around the central part of the Gulf Coast states before they start to lose their identity altogether.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17311
Quoting 361. Grothar:
Not impressed.

Hi Grothar
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367. auburn (Mod)
Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering.
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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.

I agree. It is terrible and it shouldn't happen again, but it is Mother Nature's decision as to what happens with weather.
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Quoting 361. Grothar:
Not impressed.



The only thing impressive here is that big blob behind all that
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Quoting 361. Grothar:
Not impressed.


Why? Those two waves look impressive to me.
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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.
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UTOR

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Not impressed.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 355. hydrus:
Good afternoon 94...You just made that persons day by responding to his post..


good afternoon Hydrus. I'm sure I did but at least he knows what I think about him making rude comments about me. I don't take kindly to that. I won't reply to him any more. I ignored him
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Must be the Perseid's....
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Quoting 131. CaribBoy:


When is your wettest time of year?


Never. Our wettest time of year is "never" ;)
(speaking from San Diego county)
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The GOMEX storm seems very logical now!!
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Quoting 302. hydrus:


I hope this doesn't go beyond the dream stage, this kind of rain in north Georgia would cause major flooding. It's only August and we're within 8" of our annual rainfall, the sponge is full and just about anything that falls is runoff.
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Quoting 343. weatherlover94:


let me explain something to you something mister......I do not want to see death and destruction. I make valid points to what the forecasts and steering patterns are. Never one time have I said I want to see a major Hurricane or hurricane hit the US. I said it would be nice for a WEAK yes WEAK system to come into Texas and bring some much needed rain. Let me explain my displeasure of you. It's people like you who like to come on here and cause trouble running your big mouth before you know the facts...thats my displeasure of you....good day.
Good afternoon 94...You just made that persons day by responding to his post..
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Quoting 346. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I'm not sure how you get that he wants hurricanes to the hit the USA out of "the gulf is VERY favorable"? Come on, there's no need to be so sensitive.



Thank you. It was a true statement.
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Short Term Forecast

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
124 PM CDT SUN AUG 11 2013

TXZ209-221>225-112000-
FAYETTE-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LA GRANGE...FLORESVILLE...KARNES CITY...
GONZALES...CUERO...HALLETTSVILLE
124 PM CDT SUN AUG 11 2013

.NOW...
THROUGH 3 PM...ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL OCCUR SOUTH
OF A LINE FROM LA GRANGE TO GONZALES TO PLEASANTON. MOVEMENT IS WEST
AT 10 TO 15 MPH. RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL RANGE FROM A TRACE TO A TENTH
OF AN INCH.

$$
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Ryan Maue ‏@RyanMaue 5m

Super Typhoon Utor made landfall in sparsely populated coastal Luzon
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Ignore the new model cmc this is going ne to florida!!
Member Since: July 2, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1523
Utor making landfall.

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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.


LOL...I totally love how the GFS and CMC have switched places on storm track between 06Z and 12Z. My blog post was based on 06Z runs which showed GFS having a WNW track toward Mexico/Texas and CMC showing something toward the north-central Gulf. Now the 12Z cycle CMC shows Mexico/Texas and GFS shows north-central Gulf.

You could be right about their being an eastern Caribbean tropical wave. But I haven't been able to ID one with enough confidence so I am still going with mid-ocean t-wave theory until NHC TAFB adds it on their maps. I'll WU-mail you an image of a cookie if you turn out to be right...promise....
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Quoting 344. 62901IL:

Ignore Bama684. I did.


Thanks, I will, but not before he sees what I wrote to him.
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Typhoon UTOR Floater page

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Quoting 338. Bama684:
I don't see why it is a problem for me to voice my displeasure of weatherlover94, when I feel that he celebrates the possible landfall of hurricanes on the United States that can result in the deaths of many people. Just my opinion!

I'm not sure how you get that he wants hurricanes to the hit the USA out of "the gulf is VERY favorable"? Come on, there's no need to be so sensitive.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Good Morning Class
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Quoting 343. weatherlover94:


let me explain something to you something mister......I do not want to see death and destruction. I make valid points to what the forecasts and steering patterns are. Never one time have I said I want to see a major Hurricane or hurricane hit the US. I said it would be nice for a WEAK yes WEAK system to come into Texas and bring some much needed rain. Let me explain my displeasure of you. It's people like you who like to come on here and cause trouble running your big mouth before you know the facts...thats my displeasure of you....good day.

Ignore Bama684. I did.
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Quoting 338. Bama684:
I don't see why it is a problem for me to voice my displeasure of weatherlover94, when I feel that he celebrates the possible landfall of hurricanes on the United States that can result in the deaths of many people. Just my opinion!


let me explain something to you something mister......I do not want to see death and destruction. I make valid points to what the forecasts and steering patterns are. Never one time have I said I want to see a major Hurricane or hurricane hit the US. I said it would be nice for a WEAK yes WEAK system to come into Texas and bring some much needed rain. Let me explain my displeasure of you. It's people like you who like to come on here and cause trouble running your big mouth before you know the facts...thats my displeasure of you....good day.
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Quoting 339. IKE:
1m
See the GFS is starting to show the tropics coming to life. Until ECMWF concurs, call me skeptical


This is the same model that's missed every tropical cyclone this year in the Atlantic and said that Utor would be a 1002mb tropical cyclone at peak a few days ago.
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Quoting 339. IKE:
1m
See the GFS is starting to show the tropics coming to life. Until ECMWF concurs, call me skeptical


Lol. Good luck with that, Joe. The European is O-fer this year on predicting development of tropical cyclones.
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339. IKE
1m
See the GFS is starting to show the tropics coming to life. Until ECMWF concurs, call me skeptical
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I don't see why it is a problem for me to voice my displeasure of weatherlover94, when I feel that he celebrates the possible landfall of hurricanes on the United States that can result in the deaths of many people. Just my opinion!
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nothing going into the gulf with that HIGH sitting there..
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We are starting to see some "consensus" downstream so best to check in every 12 here.

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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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