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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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 321. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Except the Experimental FIM...har har har. :P


GT, if this materializes, you get cookies for the whole day..any flavor!!
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I'll admit though the CMC is showing what be the absolute worst case scenario - the system in the Caribbean really taps into that high TCHP in the western Caribbean, becomes a tropical depression before making landfall in the Yucatan, and really taking off in the Gulf. If it can close off a surface low before hitting the Yucatan then I'll be more open to a higher forecast, if not then it'll only have 48 hours to organize.
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Quoting 328. seminolesfan:


You too, man. :)


actually I'm a female..

(note to self..must remember to turn off gender type on keyboard)

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Good Morning Class
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334. IKE
Timing on the CMC is very near what the 12Z GFS shows....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting 329. Grothar:


Was that one of the Marx brothers?


LOL..nah Gro..the Color Purple..Hoppo was trying to fix the roof and fell in..the little boy then told him it was going to rain on his head..
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Quoting 323. scottsvb:



yeah was yesterday or day before GT posted one of the 1st GFS runs that showed a TS making landfall near MS/AL.. think Sat night 0z run or something.
Anyways... this system does have some potential...too early to say if it will develop or not. It's really a 50-50 chance. But sooner the development...the better chance this has and more E it will be. If it takes time or doesn't...then it will move more N towards AL-Western FL panhandle.
Agree with your accessment and the Western Caribbean from right around 20 N and 85 W will be the best spot for it to develop as the water temperatures are the warmest there and have the highest TCHP in the basin. If it waits to develop in the GOM it will likely run out of time and be a weak TS or TD at best as the latest GFS is showing. Plus it will have other influences from the baroclinic process.
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Quoting 324. StormTrackerScott:
Andrea spinned up fast in that same area where the models are putting this weekends system and that was in early June. I believe it was Cyberteddy who didn't think Andrea would get much past 40 mph.
Let's not start pointing fingers.I had a hard time beleiving Andrea would get stronger than a 50mph storm as well.I,him and others had every right because dry air was getting into the system along with high shear.
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Quoting 324. StormTrackerScott:
Andrea spinned up fast in that same area where the models are putting this weekends system and that was in early June. I believe it was Cyberteddy who didn't think Andrea would get much past 40 mph.


I'll admit I ate crow on that one.
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Quoting 293. ncstorm:


a tool that you said is useless and has no point with it..

so I guess your roof is leaking because with that analogy above and what you just wrote previously, you wouldnt use either the hammer or the sledgehammer..

as hoppo said, "its goin rain on your head"..:)


Was that one of the Marx brothers?
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Quoting 325. ncstorm:

have a good one :)


You too. :)
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Quoting 323. scottsvb:



yeah was yesterday or day before GT posted one of the 1st GFS runs that showed a TS making landfall near MS/AL.. think Sat night 0z run or something.
Anyways... this system does have some potential...too early to say if it will develop or not. It's really a 50-50 chance. But sooner the development...the better chance this has and more E it will be. If it takes time or doesn't...then it will move more N towards AL-Western FL panhandle.


I agree as well..:)
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Quoting 318. seminolesfan:


Looking at mesoscale features at ultra long ranges is the WRONG way to use the tool.

(I can see that you will most likely continue to be ultra dense and not see my point so I will not feel the urge to continue this line of discourse any further.)


see, I didnt even insult you, it never fails with some bloggers..LOL..I'll be dense over here while you continue to be the smart one..

have a good one :)
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Andrea spinned up fast in that same area where the models are putting this weekends system and that was in early June. I believe it was Cyberteddy who didn't think Andrea would get much past 40 mph.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 881
Quoting 316. ncstorm:


LOL..Scott, I said "the other day"..I didnt know we were comparing runs..none of the models have been consistent..



yeah was yesterday or day before GT posted one of the 1st GFS runs that showed a TS making landfall near MS/AL.. think Sat night 0z run or something.
Anyways... this system does have some potential...too early to say if it will develop or not. It's really a 50-50 chance. But sooner the development...the better chance this has and more E it will be. If it takes time or doesn't...then it will move more N towards AL-Western FL panhandle.
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Quoting 316. ncstorm:


LOL..Scott, I said "the other day"..I didnt know we were comparing runs..none of the models have been consistent..
Even so, yesterday the GFS did show the GOM storm. Its been pretty consistent showing a little 1008-1010 low, which looks to be non tropical cause it reaches the front before anything gets organized.
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Quoting 316. ncstorm:


LOL..Scott, I said "the other day"..I didnt know we were comparing runs..none of the models have been consistent..
Except the Experimental FIM...har har har. :P
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Quoting 305. CybrTeddy:


Weak TS. 40kts at most. The SST's are warm and shear looks favorable, but it's simply not going to have enough time to organize and will start to become hampered by that front that's going to scoop it out.


I think in all honesty we will be dealing with a much stronger storm come this weekend. Gulf is virtually untapped right now. Get your popcorn ready folks as we are about to be in for a ride.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 881
CMC up to 240 hours precip totals
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Quoting 293. ncstorm:


a tool that you said is useless and has no point with it..

so I guess your roof is leaking because with that analogy above and what you just wrote previously, you wouldnt use either the hammer or the sledgehammer..

as hoppo said, "its goin rain on your head"..:)


Looking at mesoscale features at ultra long ranges is the WRONG way to use the tool.

(I can see that you will most likely continue to be ultra dense and not see my point; If so, I will not feel the urge to continue this line of discourse any further.)
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Quoting 302. CybrTeddy:
CMC being the CMC as usual, I doubt whatever materialize in the Gulf of Mexico will be a hurricane.


Why is that? Everything is in place a a very strong system in the Gulf. No shear, no dry air, and very warm SST's. I would watch this system very close if I lived from Tampa to Panama City.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 881
Quoting 311. scottsvb:


It didn't? thought 1 run it showed a 1004mb low then the next run it showed nothing, then the next run it shows 1007mb low.... anotherwords, models change from each run.


LOL..Scott, I said "the other day"..I didnt know we were comparing runs..none of the models have been consistent..
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315. IKE
Meanwhile we get Bastardi and other mets telling us the long range forecast for winter 2014. Isn't it based off models?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Why does the CMC always almost amplifies something when it comes to intensity?.
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this is not good!
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Now the GFS, NAVGEM, and GEM are showing the Northeast Gulf Coast. Waiting to see what the FIM and Euro will show.
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Quoting 307. ncstorm:


the GFS showed nothing the other day..your point? :)


It didn't? thought 1 run it showed a 1004mb low then the next run it showed nothing, then the next run it shows 1007mb low.... anotherwords, models change from each run.
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.
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If the system materializes in the GOMEX, I'll definitely give kudos for the FIM models for sniffing this out first.
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CMC is not near the FIM man, FIM shows maybe a 55 MPH storm.
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Quoting 304. scottsvb:


CMC is guessing...didn't it show BOC the other day?


the GFS showed nothing the other day..your point? :)
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Quoting 302. CybrTeddy:
CMC being the CMC as usual, I doubt whatever materialize in the Gulf of Mexico will be a hurricane.
maybe a cat 3 hurricane
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Quoting 299. IKE:
12Z GFS @ 129 hours.....




Weak TS. 40kts at most. The SST's are warm and shear looks favorable, but it's simply not going to have enough time to organize and will start to become hampered by that front that's going to scoop it out.
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Quoting 297. ncstorm:


Now Scott..thats 126 hours..you should have stopped at the 120 hour and kept everyone guessing..LOL


CMC is guessing...didn't it show BOC the other day?
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The GEM is showing bombgenesis this run, but it does have support from the FIM which has been showing the stronger system as opposed to the GFS and NAVGEM. I also said don't rule out Erin becoming our first hurricane of the season I wouldn't expect anything more than a Cat. 1 hurricane though.

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CMC being the CMC as usual, I doubt whatever materialize in the Gulf of Mexico will be a hurricane.
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Quoting 295. LargoFl:
GEM is on track also now.........


If this does develop before the Yucitan...expect it to move more NE from tampa-panama city. If it takes time to develop..further west it will get and make landfall from Panama City-Mobile
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watch that 1010mb low to
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299. IKE
12Z GFS @ 129 hours.....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
The CMC has shown several Hurricanes this season that never happened, it had Dorian become a 979 MB low in the Gulf. Look how that panned out.
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Quoting 291. StormTrackerScott:
BAM!



Now Scott..thats 126 hours..you should have stopped at the 120 hour and kept everyone guessing..LOL
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Quoting 289. reedzone:
I think what scottsvb is saying is that the chance of a storm being in that position is under 2%. Which he is right because we really don't know what the future holds. Heck GFS tricked us with Dorians strength and we all thought the Cape Verde season was going to get going a month ago. However the GFS has and still is indicating that the season is about to get active. I can see 2-3 storms named by the beginning of September. It took 2010 a while to get going, it took 2004 to get going. This season will not be below average by any means. As you can tell I have been lurking and keeping up with all the nonsense posts with people saying "SAL and shear is too high to get the season going." What evidence do you have to say that? Especially when SAL and shear is winding down. Models are showing lower pressures and with lower pressures comes storms. I'm thinking 13-16 named storms this year, however we could have higher number. I doubt we get under 12 named storms with the conditions in place. The pattern has not changed and still supports long track storms to make it past 60W.


that's pretty much correct on most accounts
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GEM is on track also now.........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33211
Quoting 289. reedzone:
I think what scottsvb is saying is that the chance of a storm being in that position is under 2%. Which he is right because we really don't know what the future holds. Heck GFS tricked us with Dorians strength and we all thought the Cape Verde season was going to get going a month ago. However the GFS has and still is indicating that the season is about to get active. I can see 2-3 storms named by the beginning of September. It took 2010 a while to get going, it took 2004 to get going. This season will not be below average by any means. As you can tell I have been lurking and keeping up with all the nonsense posts with people saying "SAL and shear is too high to get the season going." What evidence do you have to say that? Especially when SAL and shear is winding down. Models are showing lower pressures and with lower pressures comes storms. I'm thinking 13-16 named storms this year, however we could have higher number. I doubt we get under 12 named storms with the conditions in place. The pattern has not changed and still supports long track storms to make it past 60W.


They don't have any evidence. They're hyped up kids who want a hurricane to hit them and resort to desperation and knee-jerk reactions to models when the Category 5 they wished for by the time school starts doesn't appear likely to happen.
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Quoting 282. seminolesfan:


Its a tool. Professionals in any field know how to use their tools properly.

Non-professional roofers can obtain and use hammers.

It isn't the hammer's fault that your roof still has a leak.

Why did you use a 6 pound sledge hammer to nail down some loose tar paper?

I will never know.


a tool that you said is useless and has no point with it..

so I guess your roof is leaking because with that analogy above and what you just wrote previously, you wouldnt use either the hammer or the sledgehammer..

as hoppo said, "its goin rain on your head"..:)
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Quoting 285. scottsvb:


What pattern are you looking at? Systems come off Africa in a seasonal pattern, but if your looking at LR development, it's not accurate out past 120hrs.
Steering Pattern and placement and strength of the A-B High and whether or not there is a tendency to show strong or weaker troughs especially along the East Coast that have been responsible over the past 3 seasons for steering most of the Cape-Verde Storms OTS. Right now the pattern seems to be shaping up we are into August and if the pattern we have now sticks around by the time September moves around we are in trouble.
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BAM!

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 881
00GFS HR 144 SUN AUG 18

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
I think what scottsvb is saying is that the chance of a storm being in that position is under 2%. Which he is right because we really don't know what the future holds. Heck GFS tricked us with Dorians strength and we all thought the Cape Verde season was going to get going a month ago. However the GFS has and still is indicating that the season is about to get active. I can see 2-3 storms named by the beginning of September. It took 2010 a while to get going, it took 2004 to get going. This season will not be below average by any means. As you can tell I have been lurking and keeping up with all the nonsense posts with people saying "SAL and shear is too high to get the season going." What evidence do you have to say that? Especially when SAL and shear is winding down. Models are showing lower pressures and with lower pressures comes storms. I'm thinking 13-16 named storms this year, however we could have higher number. I doubt we get under 12 named storms with the conditions in place. The pattern has not changed and still supports long track storms to make it past 60W.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.