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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TAFB now showing a sfc low in the extreme northwest Caribbean in 72 hours. My guess here is that proximity to land and shearing keeps it in check. It's going to depend on how quickly any shear dissipates, whether it has an anticyclone overhead, as to what it'll do. Notice too that, as I mentioned earlier as well, that it would move northwest firstly. Loops and surface maps, observations and discernment. I sure wish there was not quite so many leaning on every twist of a model, especially on a system that hasn't even initialized yet (because, well, it just ain't there yet!). ;(

Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
Quoting 1081. Kyon5:

I agree. The fact that it is showing low pressures across the Atlantic means things are about to heat up.
think so? im not too sure. i want to see actual systems developing, not sporadic areas of low pressure
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1289
Quoting 1063. Patrap:


Hiya kman, I think your spot on, and the separation is going to set the ball a rolling.

Always neat to see how 2 Basins get a split energy genesis though.



I've been watching that surface low to the West and hopefully the Ascat pass this evening will show us if it is on the way across into the Epac.

Shear continues to fall slowly over the West / Central Caribbean and if the TUTT lifts out while the tail end of it retrogrades West of the Yucatan we could see something spin up near 75 / 78 W in about 24 to 36 hours IMO. Looks like a slow process right now.
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1086. Patrap
Utor taking a deep breath after Wearing and Tearing across Luzon.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting 661. calkevin77:


I hear you. I've reset any expectations for measurable precip from the hurricane season. Like I said I'm looking for relief during the winter via the same type of storms that took CA out of their drought in the early 90s. Funny how that used to be more of the drier time of the year for TX and the surrounding areas. Jan/Feb 2012 come to mind on the 5-10 inches of rain we got.
Yeah, you ever notice, how when a storm gets anywhere in or near the gulf, there is always a trough coming down at about the same time, to turn it right into Florida, we have had this happen every year since Ike hit us 5 years ago. Texas doesnt get hurricanes like we did in the 40's to the 60's.I agree we wont see a thing this year,but you can sure bet that Florida will !!!
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Ensembles that do show a storm show a rather large storm.



If you can't see it here is a Link
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7470
Quoting 1057. washingtonian115:
moonlightcowboy

The high TCHP reminds me of 2010.However in 2010 the TCHP remained much untouched thanks to storms going north of the caribbean or being buried into central america before they could touch the highest amount.I wonder if a cape verde storm or one that forms in the east caribbean will touch those un-tapped waters?.The energy has to be released somehow?.


If it goes untapped once again, I wonder how high the available potential energy can get, or how strong a storm it will be able to create sayin October, another Sandy, or Wilma like situation. I know once Sandy emerged from the southern Caribbean Sea on her way to eastern Cuba she tapped into some of that potential energy and exploded right upon landfall in eastern Cuba. I think we can potentially see another Wilma if e Cape Verde season runs above the Caribbean Sea like the great 2010 season, until at least early October when the cv season dies down and homegrown activity begins to take hold, but this season isn't another 2005, simply not as favorable.

Given that SSTs rarely get above 86F at their warmest 30-32C, I wonder how much more available energy would be present for latent release if the temps just warmed to 90F?
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1081. Kyon5

Quoting 1051. CybrTeddy:


The fact that he's looking that far out for a consistent storm absolutely baffles me. 00z will probably have it again, or it might not. I feel like people aren't paying attention to how many highly potent lows the GFS is showing emerging and how low the MSLP is forecasted to be across the entire basin.
I agree. The fact that it is showing low pressures across the Atlantic means things are about to heat up.
Member Since: July 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
1080. Patrap
NOAA AOML TCHP

Atlantic Fields
Date: Aug 11 2013



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
GFS ensembles seem more reasonable, the few that develop it show it developing further west towards LA/TX.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
I see convection in the tw around 34w improving slowly in each frame. Today Bayamon PR received a ton of water
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Quoting 1061. kmanislander:


Quite likely the current Caribbean system will traverse the high TCHP in the NW Caribbean but the real question is whether it does so as a cyclone or as an open wave. Big difference as to how it reacts to the heat potential.
Agreed.We learned with Dorian that even when the remnants moved over much warmer waters and higher TCHP it couldn't do much because it didn't have a real established center to work with.
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1076. FOREX
Quoting 1062. VR46L:


I guess the guy is doing a job for the weather channel trying to generate interest and numbers in a storm that may not exist, if ya beleive the Euro ...


Could be.lol. His eyes were bulging out.
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1403
Quoting 795. CosmicEvents:
You're complaining about not realistic? You've spent all day and dozens of posts forecasting where a storms going and how strong...when we have nothing even close to close to being a TD. There's not even 2 clouds in the Caribbean spinning. Why don't you take a break and allow the blog to learn from adult members like KMan, who's seen plenty, or Levi, who has actual schooling.


OUCH!
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Quoting 1044. moonlightcowboy:
Not sure if anyone saw this post earlier today, didn't get much love! ;P


Shear can be a killer, but systems with strong vorticity and maybe with an anticyclone over warm waters can fight off upper level winds. Let's not forget the rocketfuel factor as this or any other system approaches the northwest Caribbean where there's extremely high TCHP, and then look at the Loop Current, the large eddy that's about to pinch away from the loop, and all the other warm eddys around the GoM. Remember, models consistently have trouble with intensity. It's the tropics - strange, peculiar things can happen! ;)


TCHP in the northwest Caribbean





LOOP CURRENT and EDDYS




You make some good points here. Especially in regards to the strange nature in which weather can conspire, I mean transpire, in the tropical latitudes. :)

I know that the ocean temps and THCP and upwelling and all the other ocean-air boundary ideas are frequently talked about; But I don't think that they are understood in a fuel-goes-into-the-engine fashion that would help in understanding the thermodynamics of TCs 'feeding' off the heat.

It takes a discrete atmospheric 'engine' of pressures and related factors to use the 'fuel' of warm ocean waters. Pour all the gasoline you want into a car motor with a broken timing chain, she won't be turning over.

It is the functioning of this complex atmospheric 'engine' that makes these tropical seasons so entertaining! Even the pros have trouble making heads or tails of some of the REAL tricky setups...
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Quoting 1051. CybrTeddy:


The fact that he's looking that far out for a consistent storm absolutely baffles me. 00z will probably have it again, or it might not. I feel like people aren't paying attention to how many highly potent lows the GFS is showing emerging and how low the MSLP is forecasted to be across the entire basin.
i want to see storms not areas or low pressure big difference. i hope the 0z realizes this
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1289
Quoting 651. Drakoen:
Area that needs to be monitored for a developing circulation is around 73W south of Hispaniola. The trash north of Panama will aid in sustaining high RH values for the system to develop.


Hey great to see you back posting here, you are right the real focus is the tropical wave south of Hispaniola not that disturbance near Panama.
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Quoting 1061. kmanislander:


Quite likely the Caribbean system will traverse the high TCHP in the NW Caribbean but the real question is whether it does so as cyclone or as an open wave. Big difference as to how it reacts to the heat potential.


How it preforms over that high TCHP will be detrimental to this system's future. It it can even close off a low over the Caribbean we may be facing a stronger cyclone in the Gulf. If not, we'll be lucky to get a 50mph cyclone off it.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
1070. hydrus
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20489
First visible image of the day for Utor.
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Quoting 1057. washingtonian115:
moonlightcowboy

The high TCHP reminds me of 2010.However in 2010 the TCHP remained much untouched thanks to storms going north of the caribbean or being buried into central america before they could touch the highest amount.I wonder if a cape verde storm or one that forms in the east caribbean will touch those un-tapped waters?.The energy has to be released somehow?.


Wash, that has been my fear since before season started, the B/A high setup looked precarious to me, and that we'd see CV systems funneled though the Caribbean and into the GoM. Otherwise, I would be lurking, watching all of you figure this out! ;P
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
1066. icmoore
Quoting 1023. LargoFl:
looks like tampa bay may get some of the rainstorms too...


I just came in from sitting outside under an umbrella out back with the clouds and showers going over, no thunder or lightening, but some wonderful sun showers mixed in with the smell of the salt air. Feeling blessed and refreshed right now.
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Quoting 792. Grothar:


Where is that, Nebraska?


LOL
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Can anyone share JB's updated hurricane outlook?
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1063. Patrap
Quoting 1052. kmanislander:
Still two areas of low pressure competing for the available energy in the SW caribbean. Until the one farthest West moves across into the Pacific the AOI just N of Colombia will struggle to develop. Waiting to see when a new surface low will be added to the map below Hispaniola and N of Colombia.



Hiya kman, I think your spot on, and the separation is going to set the ball a rolling.

Always neat to see how 2 Basins get a split energy genesis though.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1062. VR46L
Quoting 1048. FOREX:


A couple of hours ago Cantore was acting like it might be a strong system because of going over very warm Gulf loop and other warm sst's.


I guess the guy is doing a job for the weather channel trying to generate interest and numbers in a storm that may not exist, if ya beleive the Euro ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6820
Quoting 1057. washingtonian115:
moonlightcowboy

The high TCHP reminds me of 2010.However in 2010 the TCHP remained much untouched thanks to storms going north of the caribbean or being buried into central america before they could touch the highest amount.I wonder if a cape verde storm or one that forms in the east caribbean will touch those un-tapped waters?.The energy has to be released somehow?.


Quite likely the current Caribbean system will traverse the high TCHP in the NW Caribbean but the real question is whether it does so as a cyclone or as an open wave. Big difference as to how it reacts to the heat potential.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1060. Patrap
The NOLA Disco yesterday afternoon hit all the relevant modeling and at the end of the long range noted the Genesis and timing of Camille.

I hate when they do that.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting 1054. EyEtoEyE:
. It looks like Florida ! But as what a TS, or a Cat 1,2,3 Hurricane ? Very close to Tampa Bay !


TS, Cat 1 maybe
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2068
DonnieBwkGA you got mail
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moonlightcowboy

The high TCHP reminds me of 2010.However in 2010 the TCHP remained much untouched thanks to storms going north of the caribbean or being buried into central america before they could touch the highest amount.I wonder if a cape verde storm or one that forms in the east caribbean will touch those un-tapped waters?.The energy has to be released somehow?.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From the Miami NWS Disco

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY...A STATIONARY BOUNDARY WILL SETUP ACROSS THE
SOUTHEAST AS THE UPPER TROUGH REMAINS IN PLACE. PWATS WILL SURGE
ABOVE 2 INCHES AS THE NORTHERN PORTION OF THE TROPICAL WAVE MOVES
THROUGH AND DEEP SOUTHERLY FLOW DEVELOPS ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA.
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE FORECAST AREAWIDE WITH
HIGHS NEAR NORMAL. THE FOCUS COULD BE ACROSS THE NORTH DUE TO THE
SOUTHERLY FLOW. STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO BE MOVING AROUND 10
KNOTS...BUT LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL CANNOT BE RULED OUT DUE TO THE
HIGH LEVELS OF MOISTURE BOTH THURSDAY AND FRIDAY.

NEXT WEEKEND...THE GFS/CANADIAN MODELS HAVE BEEN PERSISTENT IN
DEVELOPING A SHEARED TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL STORM ALONG THE
NORTHERN PORTION OF THE WAVE AXIS AND MOVING THE SYSTEM NORTH INTO
THE WEAKNESS ACROSS THE NORTHERN AND NORTHEASTERN GULF COAST. THIS
WOULD NOT REALLY AFFECT OUR WEATHER...BESIDES POSSIBLY BRINGING IN
DRIER AIR EARLIER. THE ECMWF KEEPS THE SYSTEM WEAKER AND DEVELOPS A
TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHERN BAY OF CAMPECHE. SLIGHTLY
DRIER AIR WOULD STILL MOVE INTO THE REGION BY THE SECOND HALF OF THE
WEEKEND AS THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC TRIES TO
BUILD BACK TO THE WEST ONCE AGAIN. HOWEVER...LOW END CHANCE POPS ARE
STILL IN THE FORECAST.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10971
1055. FOREX
Quoting 1050. LargoFl:
FOLKS IN THE PANHANDLE ETC NEED TO READ THIS FROM NWS TALLAHASSEE....................................... ........LONG TERM [Thursday through Monday]...
A long wave trough will remain in place from the Great Lakes to the
central Gulf Coast early in the period as a reinforcing short wave
in the northern plains drops into the trough, resulting in a closed
low over the Lower Mississippi Valley by Saturday. This low
gradually fills and weakens, leaving behind a weak trough for early
next week with an axis still to our west.

The end result is a prolonged period of rain for the southeast with
periods of heavy rain likely. Total rainfall from the GFS indicates
areas of rain up to 10 inches across the FL panhandle through
Monday, due in part to its development of a tropical cyclone in the
gulf which it brings into the FL panhandle Saturday. The Canadian
also generates a tropical system similar to the GFS, however the
ECMWF does not generate a tropical system and therefore depicts
rainfall totals through Monday of about 5 inches.

Confidence of a period of heavy rain is high, and if the
GFS-advertised tropical system does develop then local rainfall
amounts could be double or triple the current WPC 5.5" totals.

&&


Right where I live.
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1403
Quoting 1017. ncstorm:
12z HWRF-






. It looks like Florida ! But as what a TS, or a Cat 1,2,3 Hurricane ? Very close to Tampa Bay !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still two areas of low pressure competing for the available energy in the SW caribbean. Until the one farthest West moves across into the Pacific the AOI just N of Colombia will struggle to develop. Waiting to see when a new surface low will be added to the map below Hispaniola and N of Colombia.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1051. CybrTeddy
11:06 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Quoting 1046. Kyon5:

The GFS might show it again and then drop it again. It's like that. There's always inconsistency when the storm hasn't formed yet. All we can do is wait & see.


The fact that he's looking that far out for a consistent storm absolutely baffles me. 00z will probably have it again, or it might not. I feel like people aren't paying attention to how many highly potent lows the GFS is showing emerging and how low the MSLP is forecasted to be across the entire basin.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
1050. LargoFl
11:06 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
FOLKS IN THE PANHANDLE ETC NEED TO READ THIS FROM NWS TALLAHASSEE....................................... ........LONG TERM [Thursday through Monday]...
A long wave trough will remain in place from the Great Lakes to the
central Gulf Coast early in the period as a reinforcing short wave
in the northern plains drops into the trough, resulting in a closed
low over the Lower Mississippi Valley by Saturday. This low
gradually fills and weakens, leaving behind a weak trough for early
next week with an axis still to our west.

The end result is a prolonged period of rain for the southeast with
periods of heavy rain likely. Total rainfall from the GFS indicates
areas of rain up to 10 inches across the FL panhandle through
Monday, due in part to its development of a tropical cyclone in the
gulf which it brings into the FL panhandle Saturday. The Canadian
also generates a tropical system similar to the GFS, however the
ECMWF does not generate a tropical system and therefore depicts
rainfall totals through Monday of about 5 inches.

Confidence of a period of heavy rain is high, and if the
GFS-advertised tropical system does develop then local rainfall
amounts could be double or triple the current WPC 5.5" totals.

&&
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36847
1049. OhNoLa
11:04 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Quoting 1015. weathermanwannabe:


Here is a good start; a Chapter on Tropical Storms from a text book on the American Meteorological Society site. A very good and pretty detailed introduction to the topic:

Link


Thanks for the link!
Member Since: July 24, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 8
1048. FOREX
11:04 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Quoting 1039. VR46L:


Good Point !

True the models are really bad on intensity ... But if the scenario is what the Navgem and GFS show then it would be a minor storm at best ...


A couple of hours ago Cantore was acting like it might be a strong system because of going over very warm Gulf loop and other warm sst's.
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1403
1046. Kyon5
11:04 PM GMT on August 12, 2013

Quoting 1037. wunderweatherman123:
the gfs dropped the CV storm :( such a consistent model
The GFS might show it again and then drop it again. It's like that. There's always inconsistency when the storm hasn't formed yet. All we can do is wait & see.
Member Since: July 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
1045. Patrap
11:03 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Trouble is coming soon enough as the ingredients for Cyclogensis will have a open window for formation and development.

The most interesting part will be how the Vortex from the tropics interacts with that frontal trof.

Could have us a neuter-storm/tropical storm in the long run.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1044. moonlightcowboy
11:02 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Not sure if anyone saw this post earlier today, didn't get much love then! ;P


Shear can be a killer, but systems with strong vorticity and maybe with an anticyclone over warm waters can fight off upper level winds. Let's not forget the rocketfuel factor as this or any other system approaches the northwest Caribbean where there's extremely high TCHP, and then look at the Loop Current, the large eddy that's about to pinch away from the loop, and all the other warm eddys around the GoM. Remember, models consistently have trouble with intensity. It's the tropics - strange, peculiar things can happen! ;)


TCHP in the northwest Caribbean





LOOP CURRENT and EDDYS


Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
1043. weatherlover94
11:02 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Quoting 1035. marcuskyle:
local radio broadcasts could begin as early as tommorow afternoon.. stay alert to any upcomming weather changes in your area... i prefer the ham radio peeps


((sigh))
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2068
1042. LargoFl
11:02 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
UKMET is starting to see it at 72 hours,just starting to come into the gulf..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36847
1041. ncstorm
11:02 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
1040. hydrus
11:02 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20489
1039. VR46L
11:01 PM GMT on August 12, 2013
Quoting 1024. FOREX:


Until it actually develops, do we really know what the strength will be?


Good Point !

True the models are really bad on intensity ... But if the scenario is what the Navgem and GFS show then it would be a minor storm at best ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6820

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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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