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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1039. VR46L
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: 6997
Quoting 1031. GTstormChaserCaleb:
This is the most moist I have seen the Caribbean be all season. The wind shear is still a problem though.



But that anti-cyclone in the SW Caribbean is drawing northwards, let's see what happens in the next day or two.

the gfs dropped the CV storm :( such a consistent model
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1727
IntelliGeoff in lurk mode...May activate tomorrow...

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11538
Quoting 1030. GeoffreyWPB:


I have assigned Nea invest duty.



ok lol
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2231
1033. hydrus
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22585
These computer models right now are pretty useless,yesterday the cmc 00z run had a major Hurricane going into South Texas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is the most moist I have seen the Caribbean be all season. The wind shear is still a problem though.



But that anti-cyclone in the SW Caribbean is drawing northwards, let's see what happens in the next day or two.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 1011. weatherlover94:


They still kind of are for the time being....anybody agree we will get an invest at 8:00 ?


I have assigned Nea invest duty.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11538
Quoting 1014. Patrap:
Believe it on not, there are 46 more US Conus States than Fla. and Ca.

Really.

I googled it to be sure,though






Didn't Texasssss secede? or is that just wishful thinking???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening, weathergeeks! ;)

Y'all got this thing figured out yet?

...tick tock, tick tock. How long is this anticyclone going to hang out?

Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
Quoting 1016. marcuskyle:
well things might get crazy soon huh


maybe
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2231
1025. LargoFl
Quoting 1022. FOREX:


I think they were referring to the CV wave.
ok thanks.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42050
1024. FOREX
Quoting 1019. VR46L:


Yes it is , Thankfully its showing as a minor event rather than a cane but that area has has a lot of rain ... Was hoping it would be like that but for the Texas region ...as they could do with a minor TS for drought reasons..


Until it actually develops, do we really know what the strength will be?
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2335
1023. LargoFl
looks like tampa bay may get some of the rainstorms too...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42050
1022. FOREX
Quoting 1018. LargoFl:
GFS 18z did not drop the system...........


I think they were referring to the CV wave.
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2335
Quoting 989. Grothar:


:) Behave!!!
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1019. VR46L
Quoting 977. GTstormChaserCaleb:
In practically the same spot as the GFS except 6 hours slower.



Yes it is , Thankfully its showing as a minor event rather than a cane but that area has had a lot of rain ... Was hoping it would be like that but for the Texas region ...as they could do with a minor TS for drought reasons..
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6997
1018. LargoFl
GFS 18z did not drop the system...........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42050
1017. ncstorm
12z HWRF-






Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 998. OhNoLa:
Hi! Long time casual and occasional lurker, first time poster. Since it appears hurricane season is on the brink of really ramping up, can any of y'all recommend a book along the lines of "Meteorology for Dummies"? The alphabet soup of acronyms and the various maps that are posted without explanation are confusing for a noob like me. Thanks!


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
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1014. Patrap
Believe it on not, there are 46 more US Conus States than Fla. and Ca.

Really.

I googled it to be sure,though



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
1012. Kyon5
Quoting 994. JLPR2:


It has a circulation, all it needs to do is prove it's alive, in other words, fire some decent convection. So far it has failed to do so.
We'll see if it can manage to do something. Even if it doesn't develop, it is clearing the SAL for the next ones.
Member Since: July 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
Quoting 1006. marcuskyle:
well the weather channel isnt tgalking much about anything in the tropics right now they say thbings quiet


They still kind of are for the time being....anybody agree we will get an invest at 8:00 ?
Member Since: September 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2231
1010. Grothar
Quoting 1004. PedleyCA:


Are you feeling well, Sensei?


OK. A little weak lately.
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Quoting 1002. Socalmargie:
Hi, I'm near savanah Ga.. Just moved back to be with my family.


Ah, the Handle threw me off. Lots of those here that are not what they seem.
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1008. Patrap
Things are quiet in the Basin,

...well save for wunder Modeler's single frame DOOM imagery.

; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129796
The current SAL free region between the coast of Africa and about 30W (below) would give an emerging African wave a nice window of opportunity to develop into a TD before the 30W mark but I think you would still need a little bit of help from a robust ITCZ.

Link

Not quite there yet IMO, and a bit below the 10N mark at the moment, but a good start in terms of overall moisturizing of the ITCZ heading into the next two weeks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 995. wunderkidcayman:

cool where were you based


Kandahar Airfield.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 999. Grothar:


Good Evening, Grasshopper.


Are you feeling well, Sensei?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 992. Socalmargie:
Very quiet in here this evening. Is everyone out to dinner?
I'm having dinner now. :D
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
what a shocker the 18z GFS droped the CV system
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1727
Quoting 992. Socalmargie:
Very quiet in here this evening. Is everyone out to dinner?


I would say out to lunch, but that is another story for another day. :)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11538
Quoting 991. PedleyCA:
MesoWest Jurupa Valley CA US SGXWFO, Riverside, California (PWS)
Updated: 2:49 PM PDT on August 12, 2013
Clear
91 °F
Clear
Humidity: 29%
Dew Point: 54 °F
Wind: 4 mph from the West
Wind Gust: 9.0 mph
Pressure: 29.85 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 89 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 9 out of 16
Pollen: 4.20 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 794 ft

90.5 here, just down the road a mile or so.


Good Evening, Grasshopper.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi! Long time casual and occasional lurker, first time poster. Since it appears hurricane season is on the brink of really ramping up, can any of y'all recommend a book along the lines of "Meteorology for Dummies"? The alphabet soup of acronyms and the various maps that are posted without explanation are confusing for a noob like me. Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 994. JLPR2:


It has a circulation, all it needs to do is prove it's alive, in other words, fire some decent convection. So far it has failed to do so.


Hey, give it time. It takes me a couple of days, too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 984. Socalmargie:
Good evening all, What a miserable hot day today.


What part of SoCal if I may ask.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 950. DonnieBwkGA:


I served in Afghanistan but I'm not brave enough to take on gas station sushi ;)

cool where were you based
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
994. JLPR2
Quoting 990. Kyon5:

Do you think the wave might get a percentage later on?


It has a circulation, all it needs to do is prove it's alive, in other words, fire some decent convection. So far it has failed to do so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MesoWest Jurupa Valley CA US SGXWFO, Riverside, California (PWS)
Updated: 2:49 PM PDT on August 12, 2013
Clear
91 °F
Clear
Humidity: 29%
Dew Point: 54 °F
Wind: 4 mph from the West
Wind Gust: 9.0 mph
Pressure: 29.85 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 89 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 9 out of 16
Pollen: 4.20 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 794 ft

90.5 here, just down the road a mile or so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
990. Kyon5

Quoting 987. JLPR2:
TW around 32W is maintaining its circulation and has some bits of convection here and there.

As I have said the last few days, I don't discount the possibility of it trying something further down the road.

Do you think the wave might get a percentage later on?
Member Since: July 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
Quoting 983. GeoffreyWPB:


Not yet. Give me a hour.


:) Behave!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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