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 1417. beell:
beell nailed Debby
well I hope it was "good" forecast for u ;)
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 934
1438. Patrap
"chortle's"..



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125617
Quoting 1424. Levi32:


That's because Beell loves the GFS :P

I kid. You've always been a wise one.
Read the post again. ;P
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1436. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1429. StormTrackerScott:
I picture Debby as a heavy set red head.
winking at levi
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Dang how about some respect to Levi. Last years Debby is long gone. This is another year. You need to look at his video. He shows his thoughts don't go hard onh him
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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.


and beell knows his women!..lol
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Okay folks I am out for tonight. Off to study some map reading :-(
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
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.
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With Debby i was with the Euro and CMC just because they were showing a stronger system :P
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Quoting 1417. beell:
beell nailed Debby.


Well then.

It must be WU after-dark hours now. It turns a little X-rated around these parts at this time of night.
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Quoting 1421. MississippiWx:


Ugh. Debby. That b****.
I picture Debby as a heavy set red head.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 934
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 :).
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15713
Quoting 1421. MississippiWx:


Ugh. Debby. That b****.


Have a snack Andrew.
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Quoting 1381. GTstormChaserCaleb:
1012-1014 mb. in the Gulf in 3 days wouldn't be that hard to penetrate considering we have an actual Tropical Cyclone by that point. 1015-1017 mb. over Texas seems to protect them as usually is the case a ridge builds in behind a trough and the 1016 mb. is offshore the East Coast of FL. When does a new TAFB come out?



Still, it does not matter what the strength of the high is to the west of the weakness. What matters is the strength of the high to its immediate north and east. That's the line that give guidance.
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1425. Drakoen
He who laughs last laughs best :)
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
1424. Levi32
Quoting 1417. beell:
beell nailed Debby.


That's because Beell loves the GFS :P

I kid. You've always been a wise one.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting 1413. washingtonian115:
Remember my temps are more important as to what happens..here's the forecast for the next few days...Which are mid to low 80's through next week.


We have to get through tomorrow first though, low 90s for me here in Richmond, with a slight risk for severe weather. You might be under the gun for some storms too. After that, ahhhh low 80s for the rest of the week!
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Quoting 1418. KoritheMan:


Hey, I said west as well... Don't feel bad. :P


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


Ugh. Debby. That b****.
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nothing is set in stone. models cant decide it. only the tropical systems themselves and the steering flow and the environment around a tropical system can decide the outcome of the system. all opinions are respected as long as you provide evidence. i probably don't agree with half the bloggers on the tropics yet i respect their opinions ^_^
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Is that ULL to the north supposed to get kicked NE by the cold front?

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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.


Hey, I said west as well... Don't feel bad. :P
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1417. beell
beell nailed Debby
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Quoting 1382. moonlightcowboy:



If and when the storm develops, its steering will not depend on the high to its west, unless it gets trapped on the west side of it, but in front of the weakness to its north and east. And, a strengthening system will move more quickly to the north.

Think about it. There's high pressure to its west - can it go through it? Nope. But, it can and will go up to it depending on any weakness between the two high pressures. But the high pressure to the west of it is not the guiding force. The guiding force will be the high pressure to which it's already adjoined, hence the guidance to the immediate weakness north and east of any system. Assume the weakness was very large - do you think a storm would continue to track towards the high west of the weakness? No, it would not. It would immediately follow the most northeastern weakness poleward.
If we get a storm it would round the A-B High. If not it gets trapped in the zonal steering pattern of the (East-West) pattern in the Caribbean which occurs at the lower levels. Again I'm sticking with my original forecast of a tropical storm to form in the Western Caribbean and enter the GOM. Watch the evolution of the system as it unfolds over that high TCHP content. Wind Shear looks low and there isn't much of a presence of dry air when it gets there.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 6690
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 two days later. The NHC track was towards Texas originally as well. Bad day for many forecasters.


Yeah but you've been right far more than wrong. Even the super computers miss at times, as they did with Debbie

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting 1410. VAbeachhurricanes:


Please Please Please Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee


CAD events like that happened in July 1979 and 1999 and in August 1986.
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Quoting 1365. MississippiWx:


My high temps for the next 7 days:

Tuesday-93
Wednesday-90
Thursday-91
Friday-93
Saturday-92
Sunday-93
Monday-94

These are very much average for this time of the year, with lows 70 or higher.
Remember my temps are more important as to what happens..here's the forecast for the next few days...Which are mid to low 80's through next week.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15713
Quoting 1403. ncstorm:



exactly..its too late for insults..thats usually reserved with coffee and GW discussions in the morning..









Lol. Finally, someone who understands this blog. ;-)
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1411. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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 two days later. The NHC track was towards Texas originally as well. Bad day for many forecasters.
they happen always something to throw a fly into it all
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Quoting 1408. Walshy:
GFS still showing a cold air damming event with 20-25 degree below normal temps.



Please Please Please Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee
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1409. beell
Quoting 1398. moonlightcowboy:


Very aptly stated.


Post that sea surface altimetry plot again, MLC.
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1408. Walshy
GFS still showing a cold air damming event with 20-25 degree below normal temps.

Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
1407. Levi32
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. NE it was


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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
.
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Of course you knew that Drak LMAO
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting 1388. LAbonbon:


MacBeth, I believe


Correct!

I recall the postulate I made about Debbie too although after the fact.
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1403. ncstorm
Quoting 1394. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Hey be nice, Levi is a nice guy here, keep it respectful and civil. I don't ever recall him pointing you out for being wrong before. 10 bucks says we have all been wrong before, shucks even the guys at the NHC have gotten it wrong before I bet. :)



exactly..its too late for insults..thats usually reserved with coffee and GW discussions in the morning..







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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.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 934
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Quoting 1367. StormTrackerScott:
The only system the Euro has nailed over the last 2 years is Sandy.


Well, if your going to nail one.....Euro and GFS were pretty equal last year. Euro has been bad though this year so far for sure. Drak vs Levi is always epic. Debby was a fun one to watch last year, and lets be honest, that was about impossible for human or model to correctly forecast. Could have easily have gone either way. Drak and Levi demonstrate how to have a contentious debate without the nastiness.
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1399. beell
Quoting 1392. AllyBama:


oh man! and I was hoping to get a new pair of shoes from you too..lol


Lie-to-me-red-high-heels, correct, AllyB?
(jk)
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Quoting 1373. TheDawnAwakening:
I think everyone here needs to realize the importance of when this system develops into a tropical cyclone. If conditions atmospherically present themselves favorably, then when this circulation center reaches the NWrn Caribbean Sea, rapid intensification can occur. The ceiling is potentially limitless in the northwestern Caribbean Sea. Wind shear and dry air become an issue towards landfall if the trough is more pronounced.


Very aptly stated.
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Quoting 1387. Drakoen:


What exactly happened with Debby last year? Can't remember. Care to refresh my memory?


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
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting 1387. Drakoen:


What exactly happened with Debby last year? Can't remember. Care to refresh my memory?
LOLLL.
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1395. Drakoen
Quoting 1393. MississippiWx:


LOL. Drak. You are fishing...You're gonna get someone hook, line, and sinker. ;-)


:)
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting 1364. StormTrackerScott:
I guess me having a met degree means I don't know what I'm talking about as Levi would say. I think the guy is having a power struggle.
Hey be nice, Levi is a nice guy here, keep it respectful and civil. I don't ever recall him pointing you out for being wrong before. 10 bucks says we have all been wrong before, shucks even the guys at the NHC have gotten it wrong before I bet. :)
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 6690
Quoting 1387. Drakoen:


What exactly happened with Debby last year? Can't remember. Care to refresh my memory?


LOL. Drak. You are fishing...You're gonna get someone hook, line, and sinker. ;-)
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Quoting 1383. beell:
beell has decided his work here on the blog tonight is finished...
;-)


oh man! and I was hoping to get a new pair of shoes from you too..lol
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Quoting 1386. StormTrackerScott:
I would like to go fishing in Alaska. The salmon should be running rampid right now.


rampant?
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Quoting 1386. StormTrackerScott:
I would like to go fishing in Alaska. The salmon should be running rampid right now.


Hey, my dad went up there about a month ago. He did very well. ;-)
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1389. beell
Quoting 1385. MississippiWx:


As usual, you are one of the smartest ones here. :-)


Oh you know how to play also Mississippi. Never say too much!
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.