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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If this wave does form into a tropical system, are there conditions that would keep it away from the Al/Ms area?

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Quoting 1211. Grothar:
The wave over central Africa growing by the day. Reminds me of Mary Alice.



Hi Gro. This one will be a big player down the road.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14055
Quoting 1228. hurricanes2018:
WOW!! LOOK AT THE BIG HIGH ON THE EAST COAST


Where?
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<
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Quoting 1226. SuperStorm093:
HAHA, that is the funniest thing I have heard in a while.


No...that is one of Gro's usual henways.
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1231. ncstorm
Who riding out the 00z run..Im going to try and stay up..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14592
Question about Larry Cosgrove's predictions in 1187:

Is there any merit to the kind of specific predictions he's making this far out?

Based on what I thought I knew, I would have thought not.

In fact, I wouldn't have thought any responsible meteorologist would have named cities for landfall for storms that haven't even formed yet. Yet I have seen his name brought up and his predictions quoted any number of times. I sure don't remember anything like this, though.


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Quoting 1217. Grothar:


I guess in the Southern Hemisphere.


When our betters discuss CV 'pouches', I visualize marsupial or diplomatic renderings.

What does everybody else visualize?
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WOW!! LOOK AT THE BIG HIGH ON THE EAST COAST
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1227. Grothar
Quoting 1214. moonlightcowboy:
P16L, a Camille setup, track ? ? ?




Maybe not the strength, but it is beginning to look that way on the course
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
Quoting 1223. Grothar:


Yeah, A girl I went to high school with. Gained 50 lbs in our junior year.


HAHA, that is the funniest thing I have heard in a while.
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Quoting 1219. KoritheMan:


Yeah... That honestly doesn't even sound all that terrible to me, at least in the way he described it.

That's a run of the mill hurricane for the Gulf Coast. Trees and power lines snapping don't really radiate as paragons of destruction to me, although that doesn't mitigate their impact.


Oh trees are destructive. Just stay away from both. :P
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Link

Another Philipines weather report
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1223. Grothar
Quoting 1218. moonlightcowboy:


Mary Alice?


Yeah, A girl I went to high school with. Gained 50 lbs in our junior year.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
Quoting 1205. MississippiWx:


You know you're my fav. ;-) But shhhh. Don't tell Cody.

.
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Quoting 1178. Astrometeor:


That comment would so get you a ban. Especially if that disturbance for the BOC decides to show up.



Awww comment 297 on my blog has been up more than a month. It's not that bad ;)
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Quoting 1206. Astrometeor:
Good night everyone. For those of you that read my blog, I commented an update in: Comments #13 and #19, you can read the rest of the discussion if ya want.

Otherwise, nothing much in terms of severe weather in U.S.




Astro, thanks for posting these. Have a good sleep.
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Quoting 1215. wunderkidcayman:

I've been through worst


Yeah... That honestly doesn't even sound all that terrible to me, at least in the way he described it.

That's a run of the mill hurricane for the Gulf Coast. Trees and power lines snapping don't really radiate as paragons of destruction to me, although that doesn't mitigate their impact.
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Quoting 1211. Grothar:
The wave over central Africa growing by the day. Reminds me of Mary Alice.



Mary Alice?
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1217. Grothar
Quoting 1212. Astrometeor:


This.^




Does this process work vice versa?


I guess in the Southern Hemisphere.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
1216. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #12
TYPHOON LABUYO
11:00 AM PhST August 12 2013
================================================= ==

Typhoon "LABUYO" has weakened while crossing northern Luzon and will exit Philippine landmass early this afternoon

At 10:00 AM PhST, Typhoon Labuyo [UTOR] (967 hPa) located at 16.7N 120.6E or in the vicinity of Baguio City has 10 minute sustained winds of 75 knots gusting up to 90 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 10 knots.

Signal Warnings
================

Signal Warnings #3

Luzon Region
--------------
1. Quirino
2. Nueva Vizcaya
3. Ifugao
4. Mt. Province
5. Ilocos Sur
6. Benguet
7. La Union
8. Pangasinan

Signal Warnings #2

Luzon Region
-----------
1. Isabela
2. Aurora
3. Southern Cagayan
4. Kalinga
5. Abra
6. Southern Ilocos Norte
7. Zambales
8. Tarlac
9. Nueva Ecija

Signal Warning #1

Luzon Region
-----------
1. Rest of Cagayan
2. Apayao
3. Rest of Ilocos Norte
4. Babuyan Group
5. Calayan Group
6. Pampanga
7. Bulacan
8. Bataan
9. Rizal
10. Northern Quezon
11. Polillo Island
12. Metro Manila

Additional Information
==========================
Public Storm Warning Signals elsewhere are now lifted.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 7-15 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within the 500 km diameter of typhoon.

Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under signal #3,#2 & #1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal #3 and #2 are alerted against storm surges.

Typhoon "LABUYO" will enhance the Southwest Monsoon which will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over southern Luzon and western Visayas.

Fishermen especially those using small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of southern Luzon and western seaboard of Visayas due to big waves generated by Typhoon "LABUYO".

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 PM today.
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Quoting 1201. bassis:


Went through a Noreaster in Dover, NH with 90mph sustained for about 30 mins with trees snapping everywhere and power blowing up all over the city.

Your f'n nuts to want that come your way

I've been through worst
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P16L, a Camille setup, track ? ? ?


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I have a feeling the models will start to trend where it gets to about 1006-1009 in the Caribbean before hitting land, then heading to the BOC and into Mexico, I don't see this going into the central gulf, just my thought, could be wrong.
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Quoting 1199. ncstorm:


who is larry
cosgrove?


This.^

Edit: I saw Cody's comment.


Quoting 1200. Grothar:


Development in the Caribbean is the most logical deduction at the moment. As soon as you see the pressures rising in North America, look for a sudden drop of pressure in the Caribbean.


Does this process work vice versa?
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1211. Grothar
The wave over central Africa growing by the day. Reminds me of Mary Alice.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
Quoting 1186. KoritheMan:


If it goes into western Louisiana I won't complain; that puts me close enough to the right-front quadrant that I would still get tropical storm force winds and heavy rains.

Same for me
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Quoting 1188. GeoffreyWPB:


And what is your advice to Kori who wants a hurricane to hit his location?


umm truthfully from personal experience the wanting of storm to make landfall on you will never end till it actually happens and even then you my then feel that you want more but once you get hit and hit hard and it hits you in the heart you won't be asking for another one

there was one before the big major one to hit us here in Cayman Called Michele back it 01(I think that is how you spell the name) it nearly took my mother out to sea we had to jump into the roaring storm surge and grab her the in 04 Ivan came along... of course there was many other in between before and after these two storms but these two stick out
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1208. ncstorm
Quoting 1207. TropicalAnalystwx13:

A meteorologist who's a member of the American Meteorological Society.


thanks..he sounds on point..
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Quoting 1199. ncstorm:


who is larry cosgrove?

A meteorologist who's a member of the American Meteorological Society.
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Good night everyone. For those of you that read my blog, I commented an update in: Comments #13 and #19, you can read the rest of the discussion if ya want.

Otherwise, nothing much in terms of severe weather in U.S.

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Quoting 1202. KoritheMan:


So mean. :/


You know you're my fav. ;-) But shhhh. Don't tell Cody.
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MLC: TX, or maybe LA.

You serenade me with tropospheric melody, then tell me well maybe Louisiana is gonna get my rain.

I can't tell if you're a natural tease or downright evil.

:)
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Quoting 1201. bassis:


Went through a Noreaster in Dover, NH with 90mph sustained for about 30 mins with trees snapping everywhere and power blowing up all over the city.

Your f'n nuts to want that come your way


Consider me f'n nuts then. ;)

My personal limit would probably be an upper end Category 3.
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Quoting 1196. MississippiWx:


That's a new one for me. :-D :-D


So mean. :/
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1201. bassis
Quoting 1188. GeoffreyWPB:


And what is your advice to Kori who wants a hurricane to hit his location?


Went through a Noreaster in Dover, NH with 90mph sustained for about 30 mins with trees snapping everywhere and power blowing up all over the city.

Your f'n nuts to want that come your way
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1200. Grothar
Quoting 1179. hurricane23:
Few thoughts this evening on models developing something in the GOM and rest of the tropics..

Most of the global models and the NAM develop something in the GulfMex in the 4-8 day period. The only model that doesn't is the ECMWF and that is because it does not break down the upper-level trof/cyclonic shear axis over the srn GulfMex like the other models do. But the EC would be the outlier model right now. However, even the EC develops an upper-level anticyclone (ULAC) over the nwrn Caribbean Sea by 72-96 hours, which would favor develop of the ern Caribbean Sea TW when it moves under the ULAC. The large-scale upper-level wind environment is changing and becoming more divergent, which will also to create large-scale weak upward vertical motion and resultant moistening of the previously extremely dry MDR. You are seeing that happening right now as widespread high cloudiness and numerous showers now dot most of the Caribbean Sea, which had pretty much been cloud-/shower-free in previous weeks due to large-scale sinking motion across the region.

climo is just an average of events over some time period, and the 'climo-window' can slide forward and backward in time from some mean period. Unfortunately, hurricane season will still happen this year.


Development in the Caribbean is the most logical deduction at the moment. As soon as you see the pressures rising in North America, look for a sudden drop of pressure in the Caribbean.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
1199. ncstorm
Quoting 1187. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Post from Larry Cosgrove:

"Am update on the potential for tropical cyclone strikes between now and the end of the month....

1) I have identified perhaps two (possibly three) disturbances which could target the Gulf of Mexico coastline between now and the end of the month. A look at GOES EAST satellite imagery reveals the first "contender" over the Windward Islands. This feature should move through the Caribbean Sea, and could tap into energy and moisture now bombarding Panama, Colombia and Venezuela (you can see the rough appearance of a cyclonic "circulation" imprint on the ITCZ in that vicinity).

2) After passing through the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula around August 15, the impulse should reach a 500MB weakness squarely over the central Gulf of Mexico. That discontinuity should enable a northward turn for the system over very warm waters, facilitating intensification.

3) Following the ensemble members of all three major numerical models, I suspect this system will become a tropical storm (Erin) and reach Louisiana near Morgan City or Houma (somewhat to the left of the operational GFS series, which places the best landfall threat near Mobile AL).

4) In keeping with recent storms named Erin, I fully expect this feature to be a huge rainmaker. Note the interaction with a diffuse frontal structure over the Old South and Appalachia. Stuck between a weak Sonoran heat ridge and the stable Bermuda High (which only starts to expand westward during the 11 - 15 day period, this storm could be a prolific rain event, with as much as 10 - 15 inch precipitation amounts along and about 400 miles west of the Interstate 85 corridor. In time the torrential rain and flood risk will reach the Ohio Valley. But my earliest speculations on storm track are west of the Piedmont/Atlantic Coastal Plain scenario shown on the standard GFS runs at 12z and 18z.

5) I expect that another, probably stronger tropical wave will organize from a Cape Verde impulse, and move through the Greater Antilles. Since the Bermudan heat ridge complex will be expanding and retrogressing somewhat by that time, the new disturbance will slow somewhat and take a more westward track. The very early betting line would suggest somewhere between Brownsville TX and Matagorda TX. My suspicion is that this "second feature" will be stronger than the low implicated for the central Gulf Coast next weekend.

Sta tuned...."


who is larry cosgrove?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14592
Quoting 1193. moonlightcowboy:


Pouch 20L has plenty of moisture to work with.
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1197. MahFL
In an hour the cloud top temperatures of that low west of the Azores got quite a bit cooler.
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Quoting 1194. KoritheMan:


LOL

I've went through a few hurricanes. I'm not dumb; I would evacuate if I felt like I was in any real danger.

But for a system like this, that's just probably going to be a tropical storm (if it forms) or a minimal hurricane... being 60 miles from the coast, I can live with that.

Trust me, I do exercise proper judgment and wisdom. :P


That's a new one for me. :-D :-D
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1195. Grothar
Quoting 1192. seer2012:


Surface map shows a 1001 mb low about to exit the coast. Any potential for this to develop right now?


Yes.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
Quoting 1188. GeoffreyWPB:


And what is your advice to Kori who wants a hurricane to hit his location?


LOL

I've went through a few hurricanes. I'm not dumb; I would evacuate if I felt like I was in any real danger.

But for a system like this, that's just probably going to be a tropical storm (if it forms) or a minimal hurricane... being 60 miles from the coast, I can live with that.

Trust me, I do exercise proper judgment and wisdom. :P
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Surface map shows a 1001 mb low about to exit the coast. Any potential for this to develop right now?
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Quoting 1183. wunderkidcayman:

I ain't westcasting
No...this you'll be east casting!~

jk kid... I enjoy your enthusiasm.

Wheres Taz.... Girlfriend??
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Quoting 1163. Orcasystems:


A blob to watch for..
Click to enlarge


Orca, I just wanted to tell you I miss your 8-panel AOI posts. Great summary when one has to wake up and get out the door to work fast, and can't dawdle around.
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1189. Grothar
Quoting 1174. watchingnva:
orca!...lol...hey there, long time no see.


He pops in every once in awhile to insult me. It makes him happy so I let him.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25395
Quoting 1185. wunderkidcayman:

And I don't want storms and I have not wanted and from very long years ago from when I first experienced really bad ones


And what is your advice to Kori who wants a hurricane to hit his location?
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Post from Larry Cosgrove:

"Am update on the potential for tropical cyclone strikes between now and the end of the month....

1) I have identified perhaps two (possibly three) disturbances which could target the Gulf of Mexico coastline between now and the end of the month. A look at GOES EAST satellite imagery reveals the first "contender" over the Windward Islands. This feature should move through the Caribbean Sea, and could tap into energy and moisture now bombarding Panama, Colombia and Venezuela (you can see the rough appearance of a cyclonic "circulation" imprint on the ITCZ in that vicinity).

2) After passing through the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula around August 15, the impulse should reach a 500MB weakness squarely over the central Gulf of Mexico. That discontinuity should enable a northward turn for the system over very warm waters, facilitating intensification.

3) Following the ensemble members of all three major numerical models, I suspect this system will become a tropical storm (Erin) and reach Louisiana near Morgan City or Houma (somewhat to the left of the operational GFS series, which places the best landfall threat near Mobile AL).

4) In keeping with recent storms named Erin, I fully expect this feature to be a huge rainmaker. Note the interaction with a diffuse frontal structure over the Old South and Appalachia. Stuck between a weak Sonoran heat ridge and the stable Bermuda High (which only starts to expand westward during the 11 - 15 day period, this storm could be a prolific rain event, with as much as 10 - 15 inch precipitation amounts along and about 400 miles west of the Interstate 85 corridor. In time the torrential rain and flood risk will reach the Ohio Valley. But my earliest speculations on storm track are west of the Piedmont/Atlantic Coastal Plain scenario shown on the standard GFS runs at 12z and 18z.

5) I expect that another, probably stronger tropical wave will organize from a Cape Verde impulse, and move through the Greater Antilles. Since the Bermudan heat ridge complex will be expanding and retrogressing somewhat by that time, the new disturbance will slow somewhat and take a more westward track. The very early betting line would suggest somewhere between Brownsville TX and Matagorda TX. My suspicion is that this "second feature" will be stronger than the low implicated for the central Gulf Coast next weekend.

Sta tuned...."
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Quoting 1184. Stormchaser121:

I really hope like hell it come to TX or western LA. We need it and I think we would both like a good chase!


If it goes into western Louisiana I won't complain; that puts me close enough to the right-front quadrant that I would still get tropical storm force winds and heavy rains.
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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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