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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1539. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54805
Quoting 1536. MiamiHurricanes09:
If you can't see the upper-low advecting westward away from our feature than I can't help you.


Thank you
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Quoting 1533. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The GFS is forecasting favorable shear and even an anti-cyclone over the system through at least 66 hrs.


Yeah I don't think shear will be as much of a problem like what people think for the short term at least ( until like Sat/Sun time)
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Quoting 1532. scottsvb:


If you can't see the upper low on water vapor loop or sat images or maps then I can't help you. lol
If you can't see the upper-low advecting westward away from our feature then I can't help you either. :/
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Quoting 1534. wxchaser97:

I wish I had that cake for today!


I told you happy bday towards the top of this page. :-)
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Quoting 1530. WxGeekVA:


Can I have my cake and eat it too?

I wish I had that cake for today!
Edit: Eh well, technically my birthday is over. :(
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The GFS is forecasting favorable shear and even an anti-cyclone over the system through at least 66 hrs.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8662
Quoting 1529. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Umm the FIM has been consistent. And tell me what shear?





If you can't see the upper low on water vapor loop or sat images or maps then I can't help you. lol
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Quoting 1530. WxGeekVA:


Can I have my cake and eat it too?


<3
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Can I have my cake and eat it too?
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Quoting 1524. scottsvb:


You said that correct "You don't know what happens" that is cause there is too much shear to get anything developed. Also why I stated earlier today and always don't look past 120hrs and also we need consistant model runs. There is a chance that a system could develop but until we see it actually happen, the chance is really under 30% :(
Umm the FIM has been consistent. And tell me what shear?



Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8662
Quoting 1516. TheDawnAwakening:
I think there is a consolidating mid level low near 13.5n: 79.5w. It doesn't look to be at the surface yet.


Nah I have it near 14.0N 75.0W
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Quoting 1521. MiamiHurricanes09:
GFS showing a weak feature in the eastern Atlantic. Could be worth watching as it traverses westward.

72 hours:



123 hours:



That is Grothar's Blobzilla.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
I've been on the Isle of Youth, or was it the Isle of Women? In either case, probably should have stayed there. ;)
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1525. will40


Double Barrel
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Quoting 1517. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The GFS looks good through 48 hrs. after that I don't know what the heck happens it stretches the energy with a piece staying down in the Caribbean and inland into Central America and then the BOC and a piece going towards the northwest into the GOM and moving up towards NW FL basically becoming part of the front. But I think that is way too soon, GFS is too fast in terms of movement.


You said that correct "You don't know what happens" that is cause there is too much shear to get anything developed. Also why I stated earlier today and always don't look past 120hrs and also we need consistant model runs. There is a chance that a system could develop but until we see it actually happen, the chance is really under 30% :(
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Just send them here, every next "big" storm here has been a bust.
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Quoting 1517. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The GFS looks good through 48 hrs. after that I don't know what the heck happens it stretches the energy with a piece staying down in the Caribbean and inland into Central America and then the BOC and a piece going towards the northwest into the GOM and moving up towards NW FL basically becoming part of the front. But I think that is way too soon, GFS is too fast in terms of movement.

Agreed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS showing a weak feature in the eastern Atlantic. Could be worth watching as it traverses westward.

72 hours:



123 hours:

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Quoting 1514. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
tomorrow afternoon late tomorrow night once there is a actual area to work with we will know better



Agree.Once is invest things will be more clear.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
1519. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1505. stormchaser19:


Cam-pe-che///
sorta like capeche
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54805
Quoting 1496. AllyBama:


Chuck, I agree and think that there will be lots of trees down all along the coast and inland for several miles. I got trees all around my house..


Well ally, time will tell, but its looking lime the whole G.C.might be in a bind this year.I wish I could find the article, but there was an email that was intercepted from a high ranking FEMA official a couple of weeks ago to a company that supplies them with tents / MRE'S wanting to know how many they could provide daily at a drop of a hat in the near future.... kinda suspicious?
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Quoting 1504. EyEtoEyE:
. I hope this comes true , I am in need of something to track ! With that said Good Night All ! See you in the AM!
The GFS looks good through 48 hrs. after that I don't know what the heck happens it stretches the energy with a piece staying down in the Caribbean and inland into Central America and then the BOC and a piece going towards the northwest into the GOM and moving up towards NW FL basically becoming part of the front. But I think that is way too soon, GFS is too fast in terms of movement.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8662
I think there is a consolidating mid level low near 13.5n: 79.5w. It doesn't look to be at the surface yet.
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Quoting 1510. BaltimoreBrian:


Erects storm shield with a 500 km radius around Gonzalez, LA :)


Works for me. Sorry, Kori
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1514. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
tomorrow afternoon late tomorrow night once there is a actual area to work with we will know better

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54805
Quoting 1471. VAbeachhurricanes:
Does everyone go back to school on the 26th?


I move into UT on the 23rd, but classes don't start until the 28th.
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Quoting 1475. Levi32:
0z GFS is getting really far north really fast. The 700mb vorticity maximum is up near the Isle of Youth at 48 hours. For comparison, the ECMWF is down near the coast of Honduras. The position of the low east of the Yucatan Peninsula could determine the entirety of its track thereafter.


Agreed. The gfs is picking it up to fast. Some bloggers seem to think a poleward turn seems likely but it's not. This depends on where the llc wants to get going.
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Quoting 1506. KoritheMan:


I swear, the next person who tries to rob me of my storm, will feel the blade of my soon to commence Japanese katana hunting. :P
Lmaooo at katana hunting.

Don't worry though, the FIM seems very optimistic. That should keep you hopeful.
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Quoting 1506. KoritheMan:


I swear, the next person who tries to rob me of my storm, will feel the blade of my soon to commence Japanese katana hunting. :P


Erects storm shield with a 500 km radius around Gonzalez, LA :)
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1509. Patrap
..Uh oh' I don't trust that GFS'...


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HEY ISAAC (wxchaser97),

It's still August 12th in CDT, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
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Quoting 1501. MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm keeping my chances for development at 30%. Even though it's 1 run, it's reflecting pretty well what I've been thinking. Such a large feature will take plenty of time to consolidate into one well-defined cyclone, time which I don't think it will have if it takes the poleward course into the Gulf Coast.


The only chance for it to organize better is to move slowly thru the NW Caribbean going thru the Yucatan Channel.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
Quoting 1501. MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm keeping my chances for development at 30%. Even though it's 1 run, it's reflecting pretty well what I've been thinking. Such a large feature will take plenty of time to consolidate into one well-defined cyclone, time which I don't think it will have if it takes the poleward course into the Gulf Coast.


I swear, the next person who tries to rob me of my storm, will feel the blade of my soon to commence Japanese katana hunting. :P
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Quoting 1477. CosmicEvents:
Pop-up near midnight poll time!
.
How do you pronounce Campeche?
.
A. cam-peach-eee
B. cam-pay-chay
C. cam-pech-uh
D. something else.
.
.


Cam-pe-che///
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Quoting 1462. GTstormChaserCaleb:
48 hrs. looks to be getting better organized and taking on that "S" shape.

. I hope this comes true , I am in need of something to track ! With that said Good Night All ! See you in the AM!
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Quoting 1495. MississippiWx:


LOL. Figures.

The GFS takes it so far north at the beginning that it has no time to develop.

Exactly what he said LOL
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It's 3 a.m., the witching hour in the Cape Verde Islands. Time to brew up a storm! I'm starting to wonder if there will be a named storm by the 21st.
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Quoting 1493. Tropicsweatherpr:


It looks like Erin may have to wait for another system.
I'm keeping my chances for development at 30%. Even though it's 1 run, it's reflecting pretty well what I've been thinking. Such a large feature will take plenty of time to consolidate into one well-defined cyclone, time which I don't think it will have if it takes the poleward course into the Gulf Coast.
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I think we have had such a long lull, everyone just assumes this thing will develop. When according to the NHC there's currently a 70% chance it wont.
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Quoting 1493. Tropicsweatherpr:


It looks like Erin may have to wait for another system.

Not really.it's just that run. They change u know
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It will be interesting to see if the FIM still shows a pretty decent system tonight or if it trends down in development or up. I've been going with that model all along.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8662
1497. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1479. tropicfreak:


Richmond metro goes back the day after labor day.
same like up here
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54805
Quoting 1480. PanhandleChuck:


If we get a decent storm this year, there won't be a tree standing, the ground is saturated. I used to live 2 miles from Navarre beach, now a little further North


Chuck, I agree and think that there will be lots of trees down all along the coast and inland for several miles. I got trees all around my house..
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Quoting 1491. MiamiHurricanes09:
00z GFS backing off significantly on development. Just a large amount of precipitation heading into the northern Gulf coast.



LOL. Figures.

The GFS takes it so far north at the beginning that it has no time to develop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1477. CosmicEvents:
Pop-up near midnight poll time!
.
How do you pronounce Campeche?
.
A. cam-peach-eee
B. cam-pay-chay
C. cam-pech-uh
D. something else.
.
.


A. If you're in the south
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Quoting 1491. MiamiHurricanes09:
00z GFS backing off significantly on development. Just a large amount of precipitation heading into the northern Gulf coast.



It looks like Erin may have to wait for another system if trend by models to not develop sustains.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
Quoting 1489. MississippiWx:
omg.

Comment 1470 = epic failure. That's what I get for trying to be witty and make fun of MH09.

:-(
LMAO, you should know better. ;)

I posted a response but I don't think it posted because the site crashed.
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00z GFS backing off significantly on development. Just a large amount of precipitation heading into the northern Gulf coast.

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Quoting 1485. will40:


every body gets a Low
Looks like it passes through the Yucatan Channel wouldn't be surprised if it is a Tropical Storm by that point.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8662
omg.

Comment 1470 = epic failure. That's what I get for trying to be witty and make fun of MH09.

:-(
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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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