Typhoon Utor Pounds Phiippines, Heads for China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT on August 12, 2013

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Typhoon Utor powered ashore on the northern Philippine Island of Luzon on Monday near 3 am local time (3 pm EDT Sunday) as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. Damage was heavy in Casiguran (population 24,000) near where the typhoon made landfall, with 80% of the infrastructure of the town reportedly destroyed, and all roads into the city blocked. Utor is being blamed for two deaths so far, and 44 fishermen are reported as missing.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Utor taken at approximately 02:30 UTC on Monday, August 12. At the time, Utor was a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Passage over Luzon disrupted the inner core of Utor, reducing the storm to Category 2 strength with winds of 100 mph. Satellite imagery shows that the typhoon is re-organizing, and a new eyewall is forming. 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. These favorable conditions for intensification will last until the typhoon gets midway between the Philippines and China, where wind shear will rise to the moderate range and ocean waters will cool to 29°C with a much lower heat content. I expect Utor will intensify into a Category 3 storm today, and make landfall in China as a Category 2 or 3 storm about 200 hundred miles southwest of Hong Kong about 06 UTC on Wednesday. Utor is a very wet storm, and will likely bring a large swath of 8+ inches of rain across Southeast China on Wednesday. These rains will cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides.

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. Utor reached super typhoon status with 150 mph winds on Sunday, making 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.


Video 1. News video of the damage from Typhoon Utor in Casiguran in the Philippines. Utor is being called Typhoon Labuyo locally in the Philippines. Thanks to wunderground member AussieStorm for posting this in my blog comments.

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)

Activity possible late this week in the Gulf of Mexico
A tropical wave in the Central to Eastern Caribbean is kicking up disorganized heavy thunderstorms as it heads westwards. Wind shear is a very high 40 knots over the region, and the wave is not a threat to develop for the next two days. However, once the wave reaches the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, some of the models are suggesting that the wave will find a region with lower wind shear, and a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical storm could form near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or farther north in the Gulf of Mexico. If it penetrates far enough into the northern Gulf of Mexico, the tropical wave could interact with a stalled cold front expected to push off the Southeast U.S. coast late this week. This interaction could produce a hybrid low pressure system that might be partially tropical, and capable of bringing heavy rains to the Southeast U.S. on Saturday and Sunday. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the system a 20% of developing by Saturday, and a 0% chance of developing by Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 1588. Astrometeor:


One was out indefinitely, the other just went out today, no idea why. I don't think they know, either.


Thanks. Night, Astro
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Quoting 1584. LAbonbon:


hey I was checking on the rain in your neck of the woods earlier (I have a sister over the state line in AL). Said there were multiple NOAA weather radio transmitters off the air 'due to technical problems'. Any idea as to why?


One was out indefinitely, the other just went out today, no idea why. I don't think they know, either.
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Does the oval shape indicate this thing may "lay an egg?"
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Quoting 1579. sar2401:

As long as you can be there when the number of cruise ships is low, it has nice snorkeling and diving. If you're out there on a day when there are 12 cruise ships in Cancun, it's like the freeway at rush hour. Unfortunately, I have a medical condition which no longer allows me to drink alcohol, but the margaritas must be at least strong, if not good, since my fiance was pretty looped from one of those goldfish bowls. :-)
I love the ships but getting off the ship with mobs is no fun. It's like Key West with a ship in town ICK. Well gotta get up sometime tomorrow. Bye
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Good night blog and bloggers:

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Quoting 1580. Astrometeor:


5.53 inches here Sar since Aug. 1st. Shall add at least another inch when I check my gauge tomorrow morning.


hey I was checking on the rain in your neck of the woods earlier (I have a sister over the state line in AL). Said there were multiple NOAA weather radio transmitters off the air 'due to technical problems'. Any idea as to why?
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Incoming!!

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8435
Quoting 1336. Grothar:


It has to go north. The ECMWF will change. It has not taken the circulation in the Southeast into enough consideration. This system has the possibility of become a little stronger than the models have.


Ohhhhhhhhhh Masterrrrrrrrr
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CMC (GEM) is also into the Panhandle.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8435
Quoting 1577. sar2401:

Yeah, we've had a lousy .23" since August 1, so things are really starting to dry out. I'm rooting for a nice hybrid low that goes ashore in Texas and brings rain about as far east as Alabama without adding too much to the hefty totals in some parts of Florida.


5.53 inches here Sar since Aug. 1st. Shall add at least another inch when I check my gauge tomorrow morning.
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1579. sar2401
Quoting StAugSurf:
Ok for snorkeling and margaritas.

As long as you can be there when the number of cruise ships is low, it has nice snorkeling and diving. If you're out there on a day when there are 12 cruise ships in Cancun, it's like the freeway at rush hour. Unfortunately, I have a medical condition which no longer allows me to drink alcohol, but the margaritas must be at least strong, if not good, since my fiance was pretty looped from one of those goldfish bowls. :-)
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I find this blog useful once the extraneous chatter is attenuated. I live in St Augustine and have an interest in the Keys so Tropical Cyclones are always of interest. For me the fewer the better. However is the peak of the activity only moving to the right i.e. later in the year.
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1577. sar2401
Quoting allancalderini:
Good evening to you sir.To be honest,I want rain,We get rain yesterday but today I didn`t even get an inch.

Yeah, we've had a lousy .23" since August 1, so things are really starting to dry out. I'm rooting for a nice hybrid low that goes ashore in Texas and brings rain about as far east as Alabama without adding too much to the hefty totals in some parts of Florida.
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Quoting 1574. sar2401:

ASh, Isla Mujeres, I forget about that one, and I have been there. It's kind of tourist trap for people from cruise ships, but not a bad place once they all leave. I didn't notice anything special about the women there though, darn it. :-)
Ok for snorkeling and margaritas.
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Post 1572 don't count your chickens before they hatch.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8435
1574. sar2401
Quoting StAugSurf:
It's just north of Cancun. Isla Mujeres. Not sure you'll find what you want there...but ?

ASh, Isla Mujeres, I forget about that one, and I have been there. It's kind of tourist trap for people from cruise ships, but not a bad place once they all leave. I didn't notice anything special about the women there though, darn it. :-)
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Quoting 1571. sar2401:

Good evening, Allan. The local mets are still arguing back and forth about this cold front. The dropping pressures in the Central Caribbean might allow a pretty good low to spin up, but then it has to get into the western Gulf through the western Caribbean to pick up any effects of the lower pressures from the colt front. How strong it is before it gets to the Yucatan and how strong the front that should be stalled in the Gulf is will both be major players in if this turns into anything other than just a weak hybrid low.
Good evening to you sir.To be honest,I want rain,We get rain yesterday but today I didn`t even get an inch.
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1572. TheTJE
It's almost funny to me how meteorologist and amatuers make excuses when they are wrong. Everyone was predicting this amazing above average season and it turns out to be a complete bust. It's mid August folks and you can go two weeks out and see NOTHING. It just isn't happening this year - hell it's even been a strange rainy season here in South Florida with very few epic thunderstorms but sometimes DAYS of rain. Yet now people are hooting and hollering that it's going to be a LATE season - this is only the middle they say. So when are people going to accept that the climate may be changing, but it isn't changing the way we thought it was and this isn't going to be a big season? It's going to be a season where storms are named that should only - maybe - be named in an effort to try to reach the number they put out to panic people about global warming.
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1571. sar2401
Quoting allancalderini:
Dropping in the central Caribbean increasing in the western Caribbean.

Good evening, Allan. The local mets are still arguing back and forth about this cold front. The dropping pressures in the Central Caribbean might allow a pretty good low to spin up, but then it has to get into the western Gulf through the western Caribbean to pick up any effects of the lower pressures from the colt front. How strong it is before it gets to the Yucatan and how strong the front that should be stalled in the Gulf is will both be major players in if this turns into anything other than just a weak hybrid low.
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Pulling a very nice slug of moisture from South America. DMAX is going to be very interesting. It's in its early stages of developing a LLC.

Would not be shocked at all to see 92L at some point tomorrow.

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Quoting 1564. sar2401:

The Isle of Youth sounds kind of innocent but it's kind of Cuba's Devil's Island, with six prisons. The worst one, ironically named "Presidio Modelo", or Model Prison, was one of the most brutal in Cuba, and was used as a torture chanber from the rule of Machado in the 20's until Castro, after torturing all the political prisoners he could get away with, closed it down in 1967.

Now, if you can find this Isle of Women place, let me know and we'll charter a boat. :-)
It's just north of Cancun. Isla Mujeres. Not sure you'll find what you want there...but ?
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Did the NAVGEM become the GEM model overnight, lol?

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8435
This systems best chance is for it to develop before the Yucitan channel and move more N and stay east of 85W-86W .. shear and dry air will be over the NW GOM west of 88W and in the BOC.

A ridge axis by Thurs will be from Honduras-Caymans. with a trough from WGOM ne to the central Gulf Coast with a surface trough there across the southern Miss valley to SC. If there is a system around 25N and 85W by Thurs evening..it could get developed better Thurs night as it moves N then NE towards the panhandle area...but if it goes further west closer to 88-90W...more shear it will feel and it will be harder to develop. For now, it's a wait and see process over the next 24-48hrs
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Strengthens until landfall in the Panhandle.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8435
Well...

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1564. sar2401
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
I've been on the Isle of Youth, or was it the Isle of Women? In either case, probably should have stayed there. ;)

The Isle of Youth sounds kind of innocent but it's kind of Cuba's Devil's Island, with six prisons. The worst one, ironically named "Presidio Modelo", or Model Prison, was one of the most brutal in Cuba, and was used as a torture chanber from the rule of Machado in the 20's until Castro, after torturing all the political prisoners he could get away with, closed it down in 1967.

Now, if you can find this Isle of Women place, let me know and we'll charter a boat. :-)
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Quoting 1559. Siker:
Signal:Noise maximum seems to follow a very similar curve to that of diurnal maximum.
It's also a function of the ignore button!
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12z NAVGEM which as the now defunct NOGAPS was always known to be the more conservative model shows a 1009 mb. low pressure in 42 hrs. and strengthens it to 1006 mb. in 90 hrs.



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Why does the blog have fun when I'm not around?

:(
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Quoting 1558. allancalderini:
Dropping in the central Caribbean increasing in the western Caribbean.

It's going to drop just wait and watch
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1559. Siker
Quoting 1556. redwagon:


It would seem the signal/noise ratio has gone way up since last night, much more signal, much less noise.

Very nice.
Signal:Noise maximum seems to follow a very similar curve to that of diurnal maximum.
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Quoting 1554. tropicfreak:


Dropping as we speak.

Quoting 1554. tropicfreak:


Dropping as we speak.

Dropping in the central Caribbean increasing in the western Caribbean.
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A ridge will develop south of the caymans and near Honduras but the system when it does will be in the GOM. Also note the upper level low just east of Miami moving westward. It could help the system once that feature gets to 90W in 2-3 days if the system stays east of 86W.
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Quoting 1547. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


It would seem the signal/noise ratio has gone way up since last night, much more signal, much less noise.

Very nice.
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Quoting 1554. tropicfreak:


Dropping as we speak.


Yes it is
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Quoting 1553. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Wind Shear is still ripping across the Caribbean, will really need that to drop below the 20 knot range for any convection to sustain near a developing low level center.



Dropping as we speak.

Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Wind Shear is still ripping across the Caribbean, will really need that to drop below the 20 knot range for any convection to sustain near a developing low level center.

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1552. Siker
Meanwhile, by Africa...
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Goodnight everyone, and one last thing, if the GFS is correct and the upper level anticyclone develops over the surface low as it traverses the NW Caribbean Sea, then it's game on for rapid intensification.
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1550. Levi32
The GFS simulated IR satellite loop is useful here. You can see how it actually takes a tiny piece of the system northward into the gulf, but that "something else" continues on underneath the upper anticyclone into the Yucatan and eventually the southern gulf, with some attachment to the northeast. The GFS solution is not nearly as stable as it looks.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
Quoting 1545. TheDawnAwakening:


Yes really it can change and will likely change a few more times before it develops.

No really but yes it can change and will likely change a few more times before it develops
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Quoting 1536. MiamiHurricanes09:
If you can't see the upper-low advecting westward away from our feature then I can't help you either. :/


There will be a trough or weak upper low through the 4 day period over the western gom ne to the central gulf coast. Shear will be the main inhibiter
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1547. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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180 hours out the little low pressure system keeps tugging along towards the west. Seems to be the only tropical development in the entire run.

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Quoting 1544. wunderkidcayman:

Not really


Yes really it can change and will likely change a few more times before it develops.
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Quoting 1541. TheDawnAwakening:


Best cyclonic turning, possibly mid to low levels is 13.5n and 79.5w

Not really
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Upper shear axis is weakening and moving northward throughout the Greater Antilles.
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1542. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting 1528. wunderkidcayman:


Nah I have it near 14.0N 75.0W


Best cyclonic turning, possibly mid to low levels is 13.5n and 79.5w
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Quoting 1535. MississippiWx:


I told you happy bday towards the top of this page. :-)

I just saw it, THANKS DREW!
And for me, since I'm on 200 comments per page, it's the middle.
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1539. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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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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