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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Giant surface circulation over the central Atlantic is moving westward towards e Lesser Antilles is entering a better moisture axis as convection is beginning to develop all around the circulation. It is a large low.
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Quoting 680. JrWeathermanFL:
As much as a TS would be thrilling...here in Florida we really don't need one. Even if it makes landfall in NOLA, it'd have its convection on its east side which means more rain for us :/
The Suwannee is already extremely flooded..


To be honest, I rarely "root" for tropical cyclones to hit anyone after having gone through many hurricanes 2003-2005, but from what I've gathered if anyone could use this storm it would be Texas.
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Quoting 673. TheDawnAwakening:


Unless the upper level anticyclone moves northward and catches up to the eastern circulation south of Hispaniola, I see shear being a major problem until the western Caribbean Sea.


Exactly.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30490
Quoting 676. Levi32:


I agree that the monsoon low is not the real system. That low won't move much over the next 5 days. It will supply some vorticity advection to the incoming wave from the east.

Link
New ecmwf disagrees right now
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Speaking of the NAM - 18z at 36 hours
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Quoting 674. StormTrackerScott:
Fresh off the press!
Jeez! Drain the rivers now or I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot about inland river flooding.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8245
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.


I received the most less than one day total yesterday of 0.86" the most all summer in a day.
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As much as a TS would be thrilling...here in Florida we really don't need one. Even if it makes landfall in NOLA, it'd have its convection on its east side which means more rain for us :/
The Suwannee is already extremely flooded..
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Quoting 663. TheDawnAwakening:


I see best cyclonic surface turning near 10n and 77.5, just off the northwest coastline of SA.


Convection starting to refocus near the wave south of Hispaniola cyclonic turning is from the monsoonal grye extend north into the SW Caribbean from SA. The Lower convergence also confirms this. Conditions are unfavorable for about 48 hours wont see much organization till after.
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Link

New ecmwf model takes the sw low and vorticity and keeps it main vorticity !!
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Quoting 592. Stormchaser2007:
TAFB @ 72 hours

I have a really hard time seeing anything more than a weak tropical storm coming out of this.

Until the ECMWF starts showing TCG, the NHC is going to be rather conservative with whatever congeals in the NW Caribbean.



The ECMWF would probably be closer to the GFS in terms of intensity if it wasn't persistent with shoving it into Mexico. I think it will be weak, 45kts at the absolute most, but if a surface low becomes established before reaching the GOMEX under that high TCHP then we might have something stronger.
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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.


I agree that the monsoon low is not the real system. That low won't move much over the next 5 days. It will supply some vorticity advection to the incoming wave from the east.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting 662. hydrus:
The NAM has been forecasting development in the Southern Caribbean for the past 5-7 years....everyday..:)


lol and the truth. What is it? A blind squirrel eventually finds a nut.
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Fresh off the press!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 2937
Quoting 668. Drakoen:


Yes, that will be moving into Nicaragua within the next 48 hours while the actual system farther east attempts to get going.


Unless the upper level anticyclone moves northward and catches up to the eastern circulation south of Hispaniola, I see shear being a major problem until the western Caribbean Sea.
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Quoting 668. Drakoen:


Yes, that will be moving into Nicaragua within the next 48 hours while the actual system farther east attempts to get going.


Agree with that which is what I have been saying for a while now.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15816
Quoting 660. Camille33:

Careful calling it trash Ukmet and Ecmwf take that trash sw circulation vort and become the dominant on those 2 model!!
I think that is just the typical area of disturbed weather enhanced by the Columbian Heat Low that will likely move into the EPAC and not be a threat to develop at least not on our end, maybe in the EPAC. The area we should be focusing on is the weak wave moving through the Central Caribbean just south of Hispaniola that in combination of the monsoon trough will be the spark for cyclogenesis.
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Quoting 665. Sfloridacat5:
18z NAM at 27 hours. Low well established.

Wow!!
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I was a great Flutophone player in grade school
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Quoting 663. TheDawnAwakening:


I see best cyclonic surface turning near 10n and 77.5, just off the northwest coastline of SA.


Yes, that will be moving into Nicaragua within the next 48 hours while the actual system farther east attempts to get going.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30490
WPC Folks seem to be agreeing with the NE turn toward the FL Big Bend.

Day 4 thru 5

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 2937
We will have an Invest sometime tomorrow likely. Maybe sooner.
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18z NAM at 27 hours. Low well established.
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Quoting 650. Grothar:


If you go back to the blog earlier this morning before doc's new blog and last night. I pinpointed the exact spot of development and the possible track. And for more than 10 days I said to look for possible development around the 13th in the Caribbean which would move North.

:):)

you da man Gro :)
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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.


I see best cyclonic surface turning near 10n and 77.5, just off the northwest coastline of SA.
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Quoting 654. Sfloridacat5:
NAM has been forecasting development in the southern Caribbean for at least 5-7 days.
The NAM has been forecasting development in the Southern Caribbean for the past 5-7 years....everyday..:)
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Quoting 632. RitaEvac:


Hate to say it, but I believe hurricane season is already over for TX before it even began.


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.
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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.

Careful calling it trash Ukmet and Ecmwf take that trash sw circulation vort and become the dominant on those 2 model!!
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Quoting 647. Camille33:

1922 z from aug 12...that about 2 hour ago!


The time of an Ascat pass is located at the bottom of the image, not the top. The image that was posted shows the time as 2:55 which was last night. As we are nowhere near 2:55 today the most recent image is the one I posted stamped 15:25 which was this morning.
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The best cyclonic circulation at the surface is around 10n and 77.5w
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NAM has been forecasting development in the southern Caribbean for at least 5-7 days.
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Quoting 648. Sfloridacat5:


Season is usually over for Texas when the first major cold front pushes off the Texas coast.


Correct, but I'm refering because of the drought situation, it's just not gonna happen for us
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Quoting 612. kmanislander:
This recent image shows a NNW wind immediately to the west of the AOI which suggests that a new surface low is developing with it as the other surface low in the extreme SW Caribbean begins to exit to the West into the Pacific.



Edit: There is some weak low trying to form in that area where conditions a little more favorable but unlikely to become dominant since lower convergence is increasing south of Hipaniola where the wave axis is.



overall its remains a large broad area of vorticity but once shear relaxes within the next 24-72 hours it will allow for those two areas to merge and consolidate better. The TCHP is maxed out near the isla of Youth even in marginal upper air conditions we could see it strengthen quite a bit if it develops.



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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.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30490
Quoting 461. ricderr:
blob alert - did Grothar make it official ?



psst..i think the nhc just barely trumps him


If you go back to the blog earlier this morning before doc's new blog and last night. I pinpointed the exact spot of development and the possible track. And for more than 10 days I said to look for possible development around the 13th in the Caribbean which would move North.

:):)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26126
North Carolina 2013 July Stats

Link

Statewide Average Precipitation: *9.30 inches (very wet - 3rd wettest since 1895)

Statewide Average Temperature: *76.83 (in the middle - 60th coolest since 1895)

Most of NC Still Wet, Western NC on Track for Wettest Summer on Record

July 2013 continued the wet pattern from earlier, and most of the state received above normal precipitation for the month. Coastal counties, especially along the Outer Banks, were much drier. However, many mountain communities experienced torrential rains. Several western locations reported in excess of 10 inches last month, and many reported their wettest July on record. For a few locations, this follows the wettest June on record. Depending on what August brings to western NC, much of that region will likely report their wettest summer on record.

Statewide average rainfall for July 2013 ranked as the 3rd wettest since 1895 in NC. Only 2 years had more: 1906 (rank #2) and 1916 (rank #1). July 1916 was famous for 2 back-to-back tropical storms that brought devastating flooding to the mountains of North Carolina, and transformed much of the French Broad river valley, including Asheville. July 1916 brought the 24-hour all time rainfall record for NC, with 22.22 inches reported at Altapass. This amount stood as the nationwide 24-hour record for decades.
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Quoting 632. RitaEvac:


Hate to say it, but I believe hurricane season is already over for TX before it even began.


Season is usually over for Texas when the first major cold front pushes off the Texas coast.
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Quoting 636. kmanislander:


That is nearly 18 hours old from last night. That feature is now much farther West than that.

1912 z from aug 12...that about 2 hour ago!
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A statement!!!!
... Significant weather advisory for northwestern Alexander... western
Union and southern Jackson counties in southern Illinois... and
eastern Wayne... Stoddard... Scott... Perry... Cape Girardeau... Butler
and Bollinger counties in southeast Missouri until 400 PM CDT...

At 300 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar was tracking
strong thunderstorms 6 miles east of Daisy... or 11 miles north of
Jackson... moving east at 40 mph. Other strong storms were near
advance and Poplar Bluff... also moving east at 40 mph.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph are expected with this storm... along with
heavy rain and frequent dangerous lightning.

An isolated pulse storm may produce a higher gusts or hail up to the
size of dimes... as happened near advance at 300 PM.

Locations that may be impacted include...
Benton... Cape Girardeau... Scott City... Trail of Tears State Park...
Murphysboro... Morley... Hay-wood city... Altenburg... Kelso... Grand
Tower... Ware... Cedar Lake area... Pocahontas... Frohna... Lambert...
Blodgett... Gorham... East Cape Girardeau... Thebes and Commerce.

Torrential rain... which may flood low lying areas such as ditches and
underpasses... is also likely. Do not drive your vehicle on a flooded
roadway.

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Quoting 632. RitaEvac:


Hate to say it, but I believe hurricane season is already over for TX before it even began.


ya could be rita
but there is always a chance
no matter how small
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Quoting 639. TheDawnAwakening:


That's a new surface low. Wasn't ere about three hours ago, the image from this morning showed a surface low developing in same location, but that one weakened and moved into the Pacific Ocean.


This is the image from this morning. Please see time stamp at the bottom.

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Quoting 622. ricderr:
Really starting to take shape, wouldn't be surprised to see an invest tagged later today


i see the eye


best be careful them eyes
can run into doors and fall down

here let me help you up
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
Quoting 622. ricderr:
Really starting to take shape, wouldn't be surprised to see an invest tagged later today


i see the eye
ricderr........ I'm going to stray off subject a bit....Your moniker reminds me of an a friend I knew way back....His name was Rick Derringer from the Dayton are...I knew him when he was Rick and the Raiders..Later to become The McCoys (Hang On Sloopy) I still contact him and he is still doing tour dates....Just a sidenote
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Delete - repost
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Quoting 629. Camille33:

no new surface low !!


That's a new surface low. Wasn't ere about three hours ago, the image from this morning showed a surface low developing in same location, but that one weakened and moved into the Pacific Ocean.
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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.