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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1239. Patrap
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Quoting 1216. Orcasystems:


I am waiting to see if the old Hippy shows up (FloodMan)


Wow, some of the old regulars showing up tonight, guess we know something might possibly be brewing close to home! Good evening everyone!
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1237. Grothar
Quoting 1235. Chicklit:
That giant African wave is edging toward the coast.


We've named it Blobzilla earlier. Wondered where you were.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25488
Quoting 1235. Chicklit:
That giant African wave is edging toward the coast.
Hi Chicklit,Grothar was just talking about you,on your whereabouts.
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That giant African wave is edging toward the coast.
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SW Caribbean surface low dominating for now

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Quoting 1148. CybrTeddy:


In this case however, the mid to upper level winds are indeed conducive for development - at least in the western Caribbean.
Sorry for the late response, but I wasn't necessarily referring to our feature in my post; I was just noticing that the blog was putting a little too much emphasis on the surface temperatures and TCHP values when in reality it's just a small ingredient in a far larger recipe. Nevertheless, upper-level winds should gradually become more conducive for development as the system moves into the northwestern Caribbean. However, once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico we could possibly start to see some stronger southwesterly shear begin to infiltrate the system due to the approaching upper-level trough from the west, which will also be pushing dry mid-level air into the western side of the circulation, if there is one, hence why I've been forecasting that the cyclone, should it develop, be weighted convectively towards the eastern quadrant. We'll see how the pattern evolves and whether the system will be able to begin to consolidate as it currently remains rather large and broad. Personally, I'm leaning towards a northern Gulf coast landfall at this point in time, but once again, we'll have a better idea once the system begins to consolidate as it moves into the northwestern Caribbean sea.
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Thanks Chicklit...I saw that a few minutes ago. Looks like it will stay north of me here in Mobile. That area of the state has had some pretty heavy rains recently and more rain is NOT what they need.
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No change in strength for 92E.

EP, 92, 2013081300, , BEST, 0, 133N, 1280W, 25, 1008, LO
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Evening, Wunderfolks.
Looks like North western AL is about to get hit with a strong line of storms AllybamaLink Southern Mississippi Valley Sector
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Good night Rob..hopefully you will be "rain free" tomorrow.
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Quoting 1224. AllyBama:
Ike, I don't think that we received that much rain in my area last month - just know that we have had about 46" so far this year...

Since about the 3rd week in June, it has rained here nearly every day. Don't have a total, but the lake is further into my back yard than I have seen it in 20 years. Hasn't rained in 2 days and might not tomorrow. Feel like throwing a party!

Anyway, out for the night. Take good care all.
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CPAC invest.

CP, 90, 2013081300, , BEST, 0, 114N, 1429W, 25, 1008, DB
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With all of that said I believe the central Caribbean Sea disturbance ie tropical wave with associated 850mb vorticity maximum will indeed intensify and develop into a Tropical storm by the time it makes it's way into the Northwestern Caribbean Sea. Therefore I anticipate that by Thursday night into Friday morning a tropical storm will be approaching the Yucatan Channel with potential rapid intensification a possibility. The track models therefore take this storm into the Florida Panhandle as the storm deepens enough to be impacted by the upper level westerlies associated with the incoming trough that will make its influence felt across theNorthern GOM. Rain will indeed become a major problem from LA to FL. I will have more on this forecast tomorrow as development will likely not happen until Wednesday night or Thursday as it nears the 80-85w longitude region of the Caribbean Sea.
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Ike, I don't think that we received that much rain in my area last month - just know that we have had about 46" so far this year...
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1223. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #35
TYPHOON UTOR (T1311)
9:00 AM JST August 13 2013
===================================

SUBJECT: Category Three Typhoon Named Cyclone In South China Sea

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Utor (955 hPa) located at 18.3N 115.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 13 knots.

Storm Force Winds
===================
70 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
==================
200 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 20.2N 112.6E - 85 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) South China Sea
48 HRS: 22.3N 110.5E - 55 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) Overland southern China
72 HRS: 23.6N 109.2E - Tropical Depression Overland southern China
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Quoting 1216. Orcasystems:


I am waiting to see if the old Hippy shows up (FloodMan)

If something develops in the Gulf, I wouldn't be surprised.

Of course, we might have to play some Grateful Dead and burn some incense.
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Sorry about the double post....OLD AGE I GUESS...don't know how that happened! HUM
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting 1218. RobDaHood:

Well, speaking of OLD...it's StormJunkie's birthday!


Ya is seen that....he has about a 3 or 4 year old now.....NOT MUCH TIME i'm sure....LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting 1212. moonlightcowboy:
TD/TS Erin is going to distract all of us. ;) The CV is brewing. Dust is not a big deal at all. The large cyclonic low in the central Atlantic is paving the way for the wave train that's likely to follow.



Wouldn't shear be an issue for these waves?
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Quoting 1215. TampaSpin:


Who you calling OLD....LOL..hey man!

Well, speaking of OLD...it's StormJunkie's birthday!
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The link I posted above...when you view it scroll down and look at the Jet Stream going all the way down South America....Never seen that before that I can remember.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting 1210. RobDaHood:

Hey Ike!
Good to see some of the old crew checking in here!


I am waiting to see if the old Hippy shows up (FloodMan)
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Quoting 1210. RobDaHood:

Hey Ike!
Good to see some of the old crew checking in here!


Who you calling OLD....LOL..hey man!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
I would tend to over forecast potential intensity forecasts based upon a highly favorable upper level anticyclonic environment rather than one ruled by upper level lows and upper level troughs. A highly divergent upper level flow over a low pressure system will favor a higher forecasted intensity rather than an upper level convergent flow contributed by upper level lows and troughs, ie why a major hurricane near 30n: 70w, gets killed and weakened to extra tropical transition by the average upper level continental US trough by 35n: 75w, where upper level westerlies initially favor upper level divergence on the edge of a hurricanes outflow, it weakens the hurricane as the core gets closer to the upper level westerlies. The trade winds are to the tropical Atlantic as the upper level westerlies are to the northern Atlantic Ocean. GOM landfalls as well as southeast coastal landfalls are stronger than northeastern US landfalls due to the degree of strength in the upper level wind field and Coriolis effect impact on potential troughs and westerly upper level wind flow.
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This is one heck of a dip in the Subtropical Jet Stream......at least I think that is what it is....STRANGE!

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxlo op.cgi?wv_east_enhanced+12
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
TD/TS Erin is going to distract all of us. ;) The CV is brewing. Dust is not a big deal at all. The large cyclonic low in the central Atlantic is paving the way for the wave train that's likely to follow.

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Quoting 1092. Ameister12:
This image was taken several hours ago, but it shows pretty much all of Luzon has so power after Utor. The only populated area with power is Manila, the capital.
It looked like that before. It's the Philippines man.
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Quoting 1209. IKE:

I had nearly 18 inches in July. Approaching 3 in August, so far.

Hey Ike!
Good to see some of the old crew checking in here!
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1209. IKE

Quoting AllyBama:


IKE! I am going to send you my rain! lol
I had nearly 18 inches in July. Approaching 3 in August, so far.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
While SST are hard to compare year to year and their impact on e average Atlantic hurricane season number of storms, a warmer Tropical Atlantic Ocean leads to stronger storms, based on potential peak intensity bias based upon perfect atmospheric conditions present in the warmest regions of the tropical Atlantic Ocean. More oceanic heat, more potential latent heat release equals a much stronger hurricane or heat engine. However the dynamics present for each individual hurricane are different and so is the SST anomaly layout. But everyone already knows this is correct, right? A stronger initial low pressure center, a stronger heat engine, a stronger heat engine, stronger latent heat release and therefore a stronger Atlantic Hurricane.
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James Reynolds (‏@typhoonfury) just posted this, he's heading into China proper to the area of potential landfall. Twitter account will be interesting to follow for sure.

Meanwhile the death toll stands at 3, with at least 54 others missing. Here's the best news account a quick search on recent google news hits found, there are details on the 3 confirmed deaths, as well as the effects in several provinces:

Typhoon “Labuyo” plowed northeastern Luzon and the Cordillera from Aurora province early Monday, triggering floods and landslides while toppling trees and power lines.
At least three persons were reported dead while 54 others, mostly fishermen, were missing as Labuyo (international name: Utor) swept across coastal and mountain regions with wind gusts of 200 kilometers per hour. President Aquino had earlier directed civil defense officials to aim for a zero-casualty rate from the typhoon.
“An increase in the number of casualties is still possible, but we hope that this is already the final list of casualties,” Undersecretary Eduardo del Rosario, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said in a press conference.
Jomar Salicong, 22, a construction worker, was buried in mud as he cleared a canal in Tuba, Benguet, at 8:30 a.m. He died at Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center at about 11 a.m., said Rafael Valencia, chief of the facility’s 911 On-Call.
Salicong was part of a work crew in Mt. Kabuyao in Tuba, said Senior Supt. Rodolfo Azurin, provincial police director.
In Surigao City, two persons died when their banca sank after strong waves destroyed its outrigger off the coastal village of Buenavista on Saturday night. They were on their way home to the village of Cagniog.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) identified them as Dolores Montero, 68 and Erica Montero Sim, 8.


Labuyo’ stings N. Luzon; 3 dead, 54 missing (Inquirer News)
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1206. LargoFl
Quoting 1202. moonlightcowboy:


Yeah, seems like Levi thinks TX might still yet get some rain too. ;)
texas sure could use the rains..florida panhandle surely does not...unsure about new Orleans.
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Quoting 1201. OhNoLa:


I checked out Levi's video and it's really clear and informative. I just hope that yellow arrow coming over SELA doesn't come to paass! lol


As I'm in SELA, me too!
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1203. LargoFl
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Quoting 1199. LargoFl:
wow............Link


Yeah, seems like Levi thinks TX might still yet get some rain too. ;)
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1201. OhNoLa
Quoting 1181. LAbonbon:


No problem. Me as well. Coming here I realized how much I didn't know...

Also recommend Levi's site Tropical Tidbits Link

His short videos help me pull together and understand a lot of the posts and graphics from this site.


I checked out Levi's video and it's really clear and informative. I just hope that yellow arrow coming over SELA doesn't come to paass! lol
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Quoting 1194. IKE:
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
434 PM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

.SYNOPSIS...A RIDGE DOMINATES THE NORTHERN GULF WATERS THROUGH
WED. LOW PRES MOVES INTO THE EASTERN GULF FROM NW CARIBBEAN LATE
THU AND STRENGTHENS BY LATE FRI...APPROACHING THE NE GULF COAST
SAT.


IKE! I am going to send you my rain! lol
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1199. LargoFl
wow............Link
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Utor remains a very large and dangerous typhoon in the South China Sea:



It's core still hasn't quite recovered from its trek over the Philippines yesterday as the eye remains pretty ragged, but it is improving. Very dangerous for sure.

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1197. LargoFl
now IF it goes the way navgem says..and goes to new Orleans..wont it be over the warm gulf waters longer?..and the other model putting it into southern texas even longer?..NOW I understand the predicament the NHC is in..until it forms and moves one way or the other..its uncertainty
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TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 PM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS OF
SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST FROM THE
EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED ON SATELLITE
IMAGERY...WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...RADAR...AND METEOROLOGICAL
ANALYSIS.

BASED ON 1800 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
2322 UTC.

...TROPICAL WAVES...
A TROPICAL WAVE ASSOCIATED WITH A 1010 MB LOW EMBEDDED WITHIN
THE MONSOON TROUGH EXTENDS AN AXIS FROM 19N33W TO 11N33W WHICH
IS MOVING W NEAR 10 KT. TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY SHOW
THAT FOR THE MOST PART THE WAVE IS EMBEDDED IN A HIGH MOIST
ENVIRONMENT AT THE LOWER LEVELS. HOWEVER...METEOSAT SATELLITE
IMAGERY SHOW SAHARAN DUST AND DRY AIR SPREADING OVER THE WAVE
ENVIRONMENT N OF THE MONSOON TROUGH WHERE CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY IS
MINIMAL. SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 07N-11N BETWEEN
27W-36W.
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 8 Comments: 13848
1195. Patrap
Okay, that looks promising.

Ack'
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1194. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
434 PM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

.SYNOPSIS...A RIDGE DOMINATES THE NORTHERN GULF WATERS THROUGH
WED. LOW PRES MOVES INTO THE EASTERN GULF FROM NW CARIBBEAN LATE
THU AND STRENGTHENS BY LATE FRI...APPROACHING THE NE GULF COAST
SAT.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1193. LargoFl
patrap..you see this?...................
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Quoting 1180. Patrap:
Hurricane Juan here in 85 was a Hybrid, October 29th in this image.

That structure actually looks very similar to Hurricane Sandy from the same time of the year, October 29, 2012. Hmmmmm............
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Quoting 1041. ncstorm:
Hey Storm, heard there were a couple of funnel clouds spotted at Wrightsville yesterday??? I'm an hour south of ya in Little River.
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1190. Patrap
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1189. Patrap
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About

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