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 983. GeoffreyWPB:


Not yet. Give me a hour.


:) Behave!!!
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Quoting 981. weathermanwannabe:


Exactly; "To Serve Man".............


Hence, the reference. :)
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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.

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Waiting for the shear to drop.

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Quoting 980. Grothar:


Not TV, movies. Where are you, in the Twilight Zone?


Not yet. Give me a hour.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11002
Quoting 980. Grothar:


Not TV, movies. Where are you, in the Twilight Zone?


Exactly; "To Serve Man".............
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Quoting 978. GeoffreyWPB:


It's a cookbook!


Not TV, movies. Where are you, in the Twilight Zone?
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Quoting 967. Grothar:


Rosebud.


It's a cookbook!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11002
Quoting 976. VR46L:
Navgem ...a minor TS...

In practically the same spot as the GFS except 6 hours slower.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7574
976. VR46L
Navgem ...a minor TS...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.."The Baby is Born"
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127636
Quoting 967. Grothar:


Rosebud.


Never seen that, but I'm sure it was better if you say so.
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Quoting 967. Grothar:


Rosebud.


"You provide the prose poems; I'll provide the war,"
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Quoting 962. mrmombq:
Tropical forces are massing in the East; his eye is fixed on Yucatan.




The hour is later than you think. Tropical forces are already moving. The Nine have left Africa.
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Looks headed for the Panhandle:

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7574
Quoting 955. GeorgiaStormz:


lol, best movie ever


Rosebud.
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Quoting 963. Grothar:


Welcome back!


Thanks! I was an army medic.
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And blobzilla dies. High PWATs contiune over Georiga.

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Quoting 950. DonnieBwkGA:


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


Welcome back!
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Quoting 955. GeorgiaStormz:


lol, best movie ever
Tropical forces are massing in the East; his eye is fixed on Yucatan.
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Vorticity is well rounded:

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7574
Quoting 957. AtHomeInTX:


Couldn't agree more. ;)


I don't mind rain, but over and over and over and over is annoying....pick one day, rain all day, and then give me some clear days.....

And on those clear days here, it can rain every day in Texas. :)



On friday here, the high will be..... 77F...Amazing. :)

About the only cool thing from this frontal system, if you know what I mean.
Unless it's TC washout induced.
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Meanwhile 18z NAVGEM:

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Quoting 954. GeorgiaStormz:
Ewww



Couldn't agree more. ;)
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Quoting 878. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

2013 Storms




All

Active

Year




Atlantic



East Pacific


green ball92E.INVEST



Central Pacific


green ball90C.INVEST



West Pacific


green ball11W.UTOR



Indian Ocean



Southern Hemisphere


green ball90S.INVEST


Are there other colors for the Atlantic?
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Quoting 953. mrmombq:
"Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east."


lol, best movie ever
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Ewww

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Quoting 921. marcuskyle:
looks east what does that mean?
"Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east."
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952. FOREX
Quoting 942. EyEtoEyE:
. Looks like you are on to something , with this GFS sat pic , probally a little more east than what this shows , does this look anything like Mexico bound HMMN! Is the Florida Panhandle anywhere near Mexico NO!


My local MET says atleast 5 inches of rain in Panama City beach area before Friday. This is not counting the saturation from July 4 nor the impending tropical system if it comes here. Possible trouble.
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1461
951. Kyon5

Quoting 941. HurricaneAndre:

Pretty good spin.
I'm starting to wonder if this will be our next system.


Member Since: July 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
Quoting 943. Grothar:


HA! Been there, huh??


I served in Afghanistan but I'm not brave enough to take on gas station sushi ;)
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I second the motion to pave the Sahara.
I'll input my savings. $10 is a good start. :P
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Weak ts or td it isn't much different arguing on how strong it is! It hasn't even developed yet!!!
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Anybody seen little Chicklit. It's not the same when she's not on with us.
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Quoting 941. HurricaneAndre:

Pretty good spin.


Looks closed, but very weak. Maybe an invest if it strengthens a bit.
Member Since: July 9, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 608
Quoting 935. weatherlover94:



0Z will be stronger
Depends on the state of the system. I have noticed when the system is stronger that the GFS depicts a stronger storm later in the run. We shall see current conditions in the atmosphere aren't ideal yet, but as the system gets towards the Western Caribbean shear should decrease and dry air shouldn't be a factor. It will only have a slight chance of undergoing intensification before it becomes absorbed by the trough.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 11 Comments: 7574
Quoting 938. DonnieBwkGA:


Stroganoff is much too risky for me. The gas station sushi is the way to go!

*added* The dust-covered wrappings show which ones have the best flavor ;)


HA! Been there, huh??
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Quoting 920. GTstormChaserCaleb:
99 hrs.

. Looks like you are on to something , with this GFS sat pic , probally a little more east than what this shows , does this look anything like Mexico bound HMMN! Is the Florida Panhandle anywhere near Mexico NO!
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Pretty good spin.
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2 different features....2 different tracks....if the Northern feature comes together then its a Gulf of Mexico system....if the southern feature is the dominate system then it moves toward Mexico.


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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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