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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omg.

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

:-(
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Quoting 1481. VAbeachhurricanes:
Site go down for everyone else?


It went down for me too.
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Quoting 1463. stormchaser19:


Hmmmmm!!!
1998 type of season?


Yeah,the infamous Georges. It looks like a big burst of activity will occur in September and the first half of October.
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Quoting 1477. CosmicEvents:
Pop-up near midnight poll time!
.
How do you pronounce Campeche?
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A. cam-peach-eee
B. cam-pay-chay
C. cam-pech-uh
D. something else.
.
.


A

Was this due to Levi's pronunciation? hahaha
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1485. will40


every body gets a Low
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1484. Siker
Quoting 1471. VAbeachhurricanes:
Does everyone go back to school on the 26th?
Fortunately for the blog, unfortunately for me, some of us start this week :/.
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1483. Patrap
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.
.
.


Down dere.
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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.
.
.


A
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Site go down for everyone else?
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Quoting 1476. AllyBama:


Chuck, as the crow flies, I am 3-4 miles inland from Mobile Bay. We haven't quite received the rainfall that you have - at least in the past 4-5 weeks..we are sitting at approx. 46" of rain (officially) this year.


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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1471. VAbeachhurricanes:
Does everyone go back to school on the 26th?


Richmond metro goes back the day after labor day.
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Quoting 1471. VAbeachhurricanes:
Does everyone go back to school on the 26th?


Next Monday here :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
.
.
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Quoting 1466. PanhandleChuck:


Ally, are you close to the coast? Have y'all got as much rain as we've gotten over here in the Panhandle? ...... looking like we might get a little more next weekend maybe


Chuck, as the crow flies, I am 3-4 miles inland from Mobile Bay. We haven't quite received the rainfall that you have - at least in the past 4-5 weeks..we are sitting at approx. 46" of rain (officially) this year.
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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.

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Quoting 1470. MississippiWx:




Yeah? Whats your point?
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Quoting 1468. MiamiHurricanes09:
High concentration of moisture across the northwestern Pacific 48 hours out on the 00z GFS. It's going to take an abundant amount of time for all this energy to consolidate.

The cloud shape and precipitation takes on the looks of a tropical system at that point. I know looks can be deceiving, but I also believe in reality the GFS would be showing a stronger storm here and would go with pressures in the 1008-1010 mb. range.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7464
Does everyone go back to school on the 26th?
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Quoting 1468. MiamiHurricanes09:
High concentration of moisture across the northwestern Pacific 48 hours out on the 00z GFS. It's going to take an abundant amount of time for all this energy to consolidate.


Edit: Da**it. I've been trying to post a picture for 10 minutes, but it won't load. So ANYWAY.

The point is you made a goof. LOL.
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Quoting 1462. GTstormChaserCaleb:
48 hrs. looks to be getting better organized and taking on that "S" shape.


looks like lots of rain and gusty conditions for us
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10930
High concentration of moisture across the northwestern Caribbean 48 hours out on the 00z GFS. It's going to take an abundant amount of time for all this energy to consolidate.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
There might be a mid to surface low developing near 13.5N: 78.9W, in the central Caribbean Sea just south of Jamaica.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3654
Quoting 1434. AllyBama:


and beell knows his women!..lol


Ally, are you close to the coast? Have y'all got as much rain as we've gotten over here in the Panhandle? ...... looking like we might get a little more next weekend maybe
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Quoting 1453. MississippiWx:
WPac typhoons are so bad-arse.



Even that basin's been struggling to generate any notable systems; although they've had Soulik and now Utor. Utor is probably going to become a cat 4 again, it's environment is very friendly.

Speaking of noteable systems, Henriette surprised me a little in the eastern Pacific. She seemed like Michael's twin sister.
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Quoting 1453. MississippiWx:
WPac typhoons are so bad-arse.

I am so surprise Hong kong haven`t been hit directly by a typhoon in a long time.Being in the coast and in the Wpac I thought it was almost a guarantee for a landfall every few years.
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Quoting 1443. Levi32:


I can't remember a time when the GFS wasn't flopping around in the Day 10+ forecast. It apparently doesn't see a strong signal just yet. One would think we should start seeing hurricanes out there near the end of the month.


Hmmmmm!!!
1998 type of season?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
48 hrs. looks to be getting better organized and taking on that "S" shape.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7464
1461. Levi32
Quoting 1448. StormTrackerScott:
Hey Levi did u chase any tornadoes while in Oklahoma


I got stuck in traffic within 1.5 miles of the El Reno tornado. Dr. Masters actually put my adventure in his blog post about that week.
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Quoting 1453. MississippiWx:
WPac typhoons are so bad-arse.

wish we had those in the atlantic
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1459. Patrap
I think Levi got chased by a few one day and evening If I recall right.
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1458. Patrap
Isaac added like 13 hours to my Lifetime Eyewall total.




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Quoting Grothar:


I would have thought it would have been Isaac. :)


Is it too much to ask for both? :)
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Quoting 1443. Levi32:


I can't remember a time when the GFS wasn't flopping around in the Day 10+ forecast. It apparently doesn't see a strong signal just yet. One would think we should start seeing hurricanes out there near the end of the month.


Yes, moisture is increasing so is a matter of time.
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1455. Grothar
Quoting 1397. kmanislander:


Debbie was one of my great moments on the blog :-)

Mostly everyone with the exception of a handful including myself and the GFS stuck with it it heading off to the NE over the panhandle. The rest of the blog and every other model had it ging West into Mexico or West Texas. NE it was


Yes, those entries are still there in the archives for everyone to read. We took the insults, but stuck to our guns.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting 1428. washingtonian115:
I didn't make a forecast on where Debbie will be going.All I said is that it will get out of the caribbean and get into the gulf.My forecast was a bust either as that did happen :).
Quoting 1428. washingtonian115:
I didn't make a forecast on where Debbie will be going.All I said is that it will get out of the caribbean and get into the gulf.My forecast was a bust either as that did happen :).
I went east to be honest because I am pretty much a gfs fan so I follow the model very closely,So I went to that direction,I have always hate the euro and don`t ask me why because I am not even sure myself.lol
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WPac typhoons are so bad-arse.

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Debby didn't do Dallas.
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1451. Levi32
Quoting 1430. MississippiWx:


Well then.

It must be WU after-dark hours now. It turns a little X-rated around these parts at this time of night.
Quoting 1437. MiamiHurricanes09:
Read the post again. ;P


LOL. I thought MET vocabulary was protected lol.
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Well this was an interesting night. Good to be back y'all!

Drak, take no prisoners :P
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Quoting 1409. beell:


Post that sea surface altimetry plot again, MLC.


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Hey Levi did u chase any tornadoes while in Oklahoma
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1447. Patrap
UTOR night IR to RGB



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1422. VAbeachhurricanes:


Well that's because you are a terrible forecaster...


That might have hurt if I actually cared about your opinion.

;)
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1445. beell
Quoting 1424. Levi32:


That's because Beell loves the GFS :P

I kid. You've always been a wise one.


Guilty as charged. (on the GFS fetish). Got burnt early on w/Sandy-but made a quick backtrack and joined the rest of the modern world.
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1444. yoboi
Quoting 1417. beell:
beell nailed Debby


I thought Debby was going to dallas........
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1443. Levi32
Quoting 1432. Tropicsweatherpr:
A question for Drakoen or Levi. Why GFS is flip-flopping in terms of CV activity? Today GFS had a hurricane at 12z run but at 18z nada.


I can't remember a time when the GFS wasn't flopping around in the Day 10+ forecast. It apparently doesn't see a strong signal just yet. One would think we should start seeing hurricanes out there near the end of the month.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1442. Grothar
Quoting 1407. Levi32:


That was one of my worst moments on the blog lol. I predicted a model switch to the west, it happened, and then I felt validated and stuck to the forecast, but they flipped back east two days later as Debby headed northeast. The NHC track was towards Texas originally as well. It was a bad day for many forecasters, especially myself.


I would have thought it would have been Isaac. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
27 hrs. I would like to see what this system looks like when it hits the Western Caribbean.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7464
Quoting 1402. StormTrackerScott:
For the record I have much respect for Levi if my balls can get busted all the time by many on the blog then so can Levi. By the way there is no one on this blog who adds as much wisdom as Levi however sometimes his wisdom can be a little off.



StormTrackerScott, your a met and add a lot of good to the blog. And you were so close to complimenting Levi;"By the way there is no one on this blog who adds as much wisdom as Levi." That would have been perfect. But...."However sometimes his wisdom can be a little off." Totally defeated the effort of compliment. Levi adds the most weather wisdom, Gro the most life wisdom. We'd, I'd imagine, love to hear more finite details in regards to what your thinking in regards to development of systems like Levi and Drak. Can never get enough info from those in the field. Thanks for what you do add to the blog.
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Quoting 1417. beell:
beell nailed Debby
well I hope it was "good" forecast for u ;)
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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.