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 2038. seminolesfan:
06zGFS-Ensembles @700mb

Not showing much more than a trof axis through 72hrs.
No defined circulation in the midlayer, stuck in the easterlies below the midlevel ridging.

More of a weak circulation as it nears the 500mb troughing once it is out in the gulf in the 72-90hr window(looks kind of subT to me...)


The ensembles rarely - if ever - show a tropical cyclone. Ensemble support is actually better than yesterday, and have clustered onto the Gulf coast idea instead of Levi's western Gulf idea.
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06zGFS-Ensembles @700mb

Not showing much more than a trof axis through 72hrs.
No defined circulation in the midlayer, stuck in the easterlies below the midlevel ridging.

More of a weak circulation as it nears the 500mb troughing once it is out in the gulf in the 72-90hr window(looks kind of subT to me...)
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
Quoting 2016. CaribBoy:


The eye of Georges passed over the island of St. Kitts then around 50 miles to my south west... as a 110 MPH category 2... and I can tell you that from 2 to 5 am it was almost as bad as Cat 4 Luis 3 years earlier.

The NW quadrant of a storm is just insane! There have been reports of isolated tornados, and wind increase due to local effects as the eye was at its closest.

In 1999, Lenny produced very similar conditions and the vegetation took years to restore...







Look at the landfall of Georges in PR.

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Quoting 2021. FLScouser:

Do WHAT to the blog?


Take what he wrote in context, then see that U and I are next to each other on the keyboard.
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2035. cg2916
Is there any notable reason that shear is still so high this late into the season?
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Quoting 2023. MTWX:
2019: may want to check your grammar...


#2017 also...
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On the HWRF that is going to be a TS
Quoting 2022. hurricanes2018:
maybe invest coming soon.
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Quoting 2024. VR46L:


I thought it was a funny and truthful comment .

Nothing has formed yet and 3 of the better ,none experimental models are only seeing a rain maker ..upper levels are not right at the moment and there is a strong shear forecast ...


If you think that is truthful then that calls into question your knowledge of anything related to weather. A gulf system even away from the fl peninsula would increase moisture there.
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2031. MTWX
Quoting 2026. MahFL:


You mean spelling ?


Never been too good at English, but yeah... ;)
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1392
Quoting 2003. ricderr:
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.

the ultimate of wishcasting...is when we don't have a true blob....we don't have an invest....we don't have a storm...we don't have a track.....and people are talking about a LOPSIDED storm that could affect tampa...



Good grief charlie brown


Are you serious, you are calling that wishcasting? That is not even close to wishcasting. He is just listing a scenario. I think wishcasting would be more on the lines of him saying something like a lopsided system bringing category 3 winds to Tampa. That's wishcasting bro. He is just making an observation that it would be lopsided because of the possible shear profile in 4-6 days.

Stop trying to attack people and get a grip. This fella is NOT wishcasting.
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2029. IKE
Think I see a spin on those western Caribbean clouds....appears to be SW of Jamaica....under the convection.
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Quoting 2003. ricderr:
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.

the ultimate of wishcasting...is when we don't have a true blob....we don't have an invest....we don't have a storm...we don't have a track.....and people are talking about a LOPSIDED storm that could affect tampa...



Good grief charlie brown


Do you have absolutely any idea how to read? That path would increas moisture for west central Florida. There is more nonsense in that response than in an entire book of ravings of a madman.
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Quoting 2018. Bielle:


Lovely idea. It's just a long, long way from you to me. :)


So true. Too bad dry ice doesn't exist on this island. I would definitely have a market on the mainland!

-L
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2026. MahFL
Quoting 2023. MTWX:
2019: may want to check your grammar...


You mean spelling ?
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here we go!! need to be watch I mean it!
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2024. VR46L
Quoting 2006. StormTrackerScott:


Reported! Unreal some of the post on here lately.


I thought it was a funny and truthful comment .

Nothing has formed yet and 3 of the better ,none experimental models are only seeing a rain maker ..upper levels are not right at the moment and there is a strong shear forecast ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6820
2023. MTWX
2019: may want to check your grammar...
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1392
maybe invest coming soon.
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Utor coming into radar view within South China...

Click picture for loop

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2018. Bielle
Quoting 2009. VirginIslandsVisitor:
Good morning, everyone

Beautiful blue-skied morning, light breeze and not too hot yet.

Sitting here making phone calls, leaving messages and killing time to get all the fish orders together. Anyone interested in yellowtail snapper fillet today? Fresh off the boat 7 hours ago!

Lindy


Lovely idea. It's just a long, long way from you to me. :)
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Quoting 2014. MTWX:


Welcome to Hurricane Season Scott!! LOL!


Caleb is great poster on here and for someone to come on here and attack him in that manner is unexceptable.
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Quoting 1976. GTstormChaserCaleb:
LOL...how did you all fare during Georges? I know he ripped through the Greater Antilles.


The eye of Georges passed over the island of St. Kitts then around 50 miles to my south west... as a 110 MPH category 2... and I can tell you that from 2 to 5 am it was almost as bad as Cat 4 Luis 3 years earlier.

The NW quadrant of a storm is just insane! There have been reports of isolated tornados, and wind increase due to local effects as the eye was at its closest.

In 1999, Lenny produced very similar conditions and the vegetation took years to restore...





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Quoting 2004. 69Viking:


Looking better Viking.
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2014. MTWX
Quoting 2006. StormTrackerScott:


Reported! Unreal some of the post on here lately.


Welcome to Hurricane Season Scott!! LOL!
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1392
2013. Kumo
Quoting 1625. TheTJE:
So I guess the most pressing nonweather question on this blog tonight for me is - will the poster above who ignored me take me off ignore if I'm right? Apparently newbies don't get to have an opinion or even defend themselves. I've been a member a while, but just started working nights and was looking to get more involved. As to the poster who replied about me "living on the edge" - I live in The Florida Keys and work at a resort backed up to The Florida Straights - I couldn't be anymore affected by the weather. I've just lived here for this season and one a few years back and while I don't wish for loss of life and land a morbid and curious part of me wants to see a Hurricane - a small one because anything about Cat 2 and I'm evacuating. I hope to start posting more, and should a storm come I'll be around to post before and after pictures. So Hi bloggers - maybe I got off on the wrong foot.


Hello, hope you folks have a calm rest of the Summer. If a tropical storm or depression heads your way, send it to Texas, we could definitely still use the rain.

Some folks in this blog are on edge right now because of the seemingly endless train of people claiming and complaining that the season is bust. I can see their point, especially since we have not even got to the busy part of the season yet. If you have been watching the tropics for awhile you know that sometimes August is rather quiet, but when September rolls around, we can often get a brutal onslaught of storms lasting until mid-October.

Global warming can be a touchy subject here on the blog, it's best to only have a healthy discussion either for or against it during the hurricane off-season or when Dr. Masters posts a blog entry on it.

Politics can also be a very touchy subject, seems we have a good mix of people from either side of the spectrum. It's best to keep that kind of discussion to a minimum, or if it can't be avoided, keep things civil.

If someone engages in a personal attack on your beliefs, you can always report their post and place them on ignore.

Chances are he probably won't take you off ignore until you show a pattern of healthy and non-inflammatory discussion. Don't worry about it, it happens. There have been others on the blog who have been perceived to be trolls that have gone on to be respected and make quite a few friends here.

If you need to vent, it's always a good idea to take it to your own personal WU blog or other message forum where it is acceptable.
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2012. FOREX
Quoting 2008. Grothar:


No, there are no blob alerts at this time.


Maybe a blob alert by 6pm Grothar?
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For what it's worth, the 12z NAM continues to bring the Low into the BOC. But lots of moisture all the way up to the gulf coast.
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2010. FOREX
Quoting 2004. 69Viking:


Do you see a Westward or NW movement?
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Good morning, everyone

Beautiful blue-skied morning, light breeze and not too hot yet.

Sitting here making phone calls, leaving messages and killing time to get all the fish orders together. Anyone interested in yellowtail snapper fillet today? Fresh off the boat 7 hours ago!

Lindy
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2008. Grothar
Quoting 1999. mcdsara1:
Perhaps this has been answered, has there been an official blob alert yet?


No, there are no blob alerts at this time.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Actually got 1/8" of rain last night, only the 2nd time it's rained in the past 9 days. This dry spell is about to come to end, however, thanks to our wave in the SW Carib. All that tropical moisture, regardless of development, looks to amp up the rain chances for the whole state as it moves north.
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Quoting 2003. ricderr:
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.

the ultimate of wishcasting...is when we don't have a true blob....we don't have an invest....we don't have a storm...we don't have a track.....and people are talking about a LOPSIDED storm that could affect tampa...



Good grief charlie brown


Reported! Unreal some of the post on here lately.
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2005. Grothar
Quoting 1956. Drakoen:


Exactly Gro. The models, including the ECMWF , which has been showing this for the past couple of runs btw, a large weakness in the Gulf of Mexico, due to a cut off low level disturbance preventing the subtropical ridge from extending far west into the GOM. Should a system develop it would likely move more poleward as it rounds the low level high.


I couldn't have said it better myself. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
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2003. ricderr
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.

the ultimate of wishcasting...is when we don't have a true blob....we don't have an invest....we don't have a storm...we don't have a track.....and people are talking about a LOPSIDED storm that could affect tampa...



Good grief charlie brown
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2002. hu2007
everything in the atlantic is starting to take shape especially near africa and the mjo is knocking the atlantic door way to make development easier for cycloes to form
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2001. Grothar
Quoting 1969. stormhawg:


My guess would be over my house in Blue Mountain Beach, hanging out for a couple of days enjoying tea and crumpets, then lollygagging NE through Dothan and up to the Carolinas...


Luckily it will be two miles west of Blue Mountain Beach. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Quoting 1994. GeorgiaStormz:
I'm really not expecting much from this


You might get a nice cool wedge of cool air damming down the eastside of the Appalachians. Could have highs 20 to 30 degrees below average.

A high of 73 Saturday in Atlanta. Unheard of in August.

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Perhaps this has been answered, has there been an official blob alert yet?
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Charley
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Good morning all! Just a couple of weird observations -
First, here we are talking about the anniversary of Charlie in 2004. Conversely, we have those who say the season is already a bust, yet we're already up to Erin. So, so sorry you bustcasters haven't had a storm that has brought destruction, but the last time I checked, 4 named systems at this point was a decent start! And if so many experts are using 2004 as an analog, than those of us in Fla need to pay attention.
Second, ok, I know this is reaching, and I am in no way stating this possible Carib invest will become a clone of her, but I do remember early analyses that placed New Orleans in the 5 day cone for Wilma. I remember looking at a frontal map and telling my husband that the cold front moving down was too strong, and that Wilma would hit here in South Fla. And here we are, with a storm forming, looking to pass near, over the Yucatan, with steering highly dependent upon an incoming front. No, I'm NOT saying it will happen, just think the similarities are interesting, especially given this is August rather than October!
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Quite the cool snap affecting the Central and Eastern US so any system that forms in the Gulf will likely pull what could be record lows down to the Gulf Coast come this weekend.
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1995. hu2007
Quoting 1705. matara28:


Atlantic hurricane season is vanishing.
Triple lol
seriously???
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I'm really not expecting much from this
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Quoting 1991. StormTrackerScott:


Finally someone other than me see's this scenario playing out. If this does form which seems likely then people from New Orleans over to Pensacola are in for a Fall Treat.

It's Halloween already? :P
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7470
Quoting 1972. StormTrackerScott:


Yep, here comes the moisture.

if we were to have an active season, we would need to have almost the entire season in september. i think eventually the GFS will start showing some consistency, i had 13-17 storms this year i might reduce it to 13-15 storms. still active but not hyperactive. SAL and dry air isnt really a problem if you look at the recent maps of it.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1289
Quoting 1959. canehater1:
From the New Orleans Fcst Discussion:

NOW WE HAVE BEEN KEEPING AN EYE ON THIS WAVE IN THE CNTRL CARIBBEAN
AND LATEST GFS CONTINUES TO HOLD ONTO A SFC REFLECTION...ALBEIT
WEAK...DRIFTING TO THE N AND THEN RE-CURVING TO THE NORTH AND NE
WHILE IN THE ERN GULF. WITH A STALLED BNDRY AND BEING JUST
DOWNSTREAM OF THE TROUGH AXIS IT MERGES WITH A WEAK WAVE ALONG THE
STALLED FRONT AND TRIES TO SPIN UP A SFC LOW...THIS IS NOT
COMPLETELY TROPICAL IN NATURE BUT IT IS SOMETHING. GOOD NEWS IS IT
LOOKS LIKE IF THAT HAPPENS IT WILL BE EAST OF OUR AREA. AS FOR THE
ECMWF IT CONTINUES TO NOT LIKE THE SYSTEM AND SHOWS AN OPEN WAVE
MOVING INTO THE YUCATAN. GIVEN HOW WEAK THE SYSTEM IS AND HOW FAR
SOUTH IT CURRENTLY IS THE ECMWF MAKES MORE SINCE. NOW WITH THAT ALL
SAID GOOD THING FOR US IS BOTH OF THE MDLS STILL SHOWED MOSTLY THE
SAME SENSIBLE WEATHER FOR OUR AREA AND THUS HAVE STUCK TO THE MEX
GUI. ONE SMALL ISSUE IS THE GFS IS DRIER AND SLIGHTLY COOLER FOR OUR
AREA AND THIS COULD BE AN INDIRECT IMPACT OF IT TRYING TO SPIN UP A
LOW IN THE GULF. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH AND SEE. /CAB/



Finally someone other than me see's this scenario playing out. If this does form which seems likely then people from New Orleans over to Pensacola are in for a Fall Treat.

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1990. FOREX
Quoting 1987. Kristina40:


Yeah, but they're not. There goes any chance of getting this lawn cut. Going on 5 weeks now. Ugh.


Do you live in the Panhandle also?
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1989. gator23
Quoting 1934. LargoFl:
have no idea,what im looking at..but these runs take it a charleys path..
3

That is quite a bit higher than charley.
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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.