Typhoon Utor Pounds Phiippines, Heads for China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT on August 12, 2013

Share this Blog
56
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 139 - 89

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42Blog Index

27 hrs.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 127. LargoFl:
well if it does take that northern track along florida..look..


I wouldn't call conditions highly favourable with disruptive upper level shear.



I'm not really a fan of that map you post. It tends not to be that accurate imo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 131. Grothar:


I can't leave the blog quiet when I take my nap. Besides, every time my bananas grow wild like this year, we have an active season.




WOW....LOOK at that baby...One of my favorite foods.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS 24hrs.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
I think the Blog ate a recent post of mine but here is the European link again for the Africa Satt loop to keep an eye on the continental waves. As noted, regardless of how good the wave train looks over land, they have to transition to the water near the Cape Verde Islands into the ITCZ and continue the journey across the Atlantic.

Link

The "switch" (multiple viable waves emerging and being developed by the long-range models) has not been thrown yet but it will within the next two to three week time frame. That transition to the switch usually only takes 2-4 days as the ITCZ suddenly fills in between Africa and the Caribbean; just keep an eye on the MJO and ITCZ as it nears the 10N mark; happens every year in the mid-to-late August time frame.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 122. ncstorm:


I think Nea must have set him up an app alert that when the word "Carolinas" is mentioned, it pops up for him to view..LOL


I'm surprised he's not here already. I played the song for him once, "Nothing could be fina than to be in Carolina in the morhaharning." He didn't think it was funny.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 121. IKE:
You can sit here all day long and debate the ATL hurricane season as far as storm totals and it not being active vs. it being active.. I believe what the experts say as far as numbers in the end.


Amen brother
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 114. Skyepony:
GEOS-5 is picking up on a weak disturbance threading the islands Thursday afternoon.

Does it go out further in time?
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 112. TampaSpin:


WHY go there before the Afternoon NAP.....Now look what you just did.....LOL...HEY MAN!


I can't leave the blog quiet when I take my nap. Besides, every time my bananas grow wild like this year, we have an active season.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 40. RitaEvac:


Wherever the models are pointing it out now, it wont go there, just the way it works.


The models have been pretty good this year, even before storms have developed. Just sayin
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 92. moonlightcowboy:
Throwing a little attention to the pouch with large cyclonic rotation out in the central Atlantic, notice how it is totally embedded within considerable within the dry Saharan Air Layer. It's moisture starved but trying to pull anything it can from the monsoonal trough. The large circulation is not likely to dissipate anytime soon, given its size and vorticity, and further west it will run into a moisture field associated with and generated by the TUTT. Thing is though, a system that large will have a very tough time consolidating and mixing out the dry air. It will be interesting to watch, however, and may serve to pave the way for the next system.




There is still a bit of dry air in the MDR, but nothing like it was...Dry air will be out of the picture soon, just in time for the the very large and vigorous wave to take advantage of the situation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Whatever forms , will likely be a West coast of Florida to Mississippi event ! Because of the states magnetism ! We stick out like a sore thumb, it's like we have a target on the state ! Like I said early this is going to be a active season!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
well if it does take that northern track along florida..look..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42120
126. etxwx
Quoting 90. Grothar:


It is HOT!!! I also have a Trinidad Scorpion growing, but not many peppers this year.


From wiki: The siling labuyo is small but packs quite a lot of heat. At one time it was even listed as the hottest chili in the Guinness Book of World Records but other hotter varieties of chili have since been identified. It measures around 80,000-100,000 Scoville units which is at the lower end of the range for the hotter habañero chili. And it's medicinal...Link
Now you've inspired me to go work on the fall garden.

Meanwhile it's cooler and maybe wetter here...I'm happy with this plan:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 121. IKE:
You can sit here all day long and debate the ATL hurricane season as far as storm totals and it not being active vs. it being active.. I believe what the experts say as far as numbers in the end.


Exactly. If all the experts are saying it, I believe it.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24575
Thursday-Sunday, yes!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 119. GTstormChaserCaleb:
There is an official end to the season which is November 30th. That doesn't mean we can't get storms after that. In fact there was the Groundhog Day Storm and Hurricane Alice that formed in January. In addition, there have been storms that have formed in April and May.

Groundhog Day Tropical Storm/Nor'Easter:


Hurricane Alice:


Subtropical Storm Ana:
and don't forget Sandy
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42120
121. IKE
You can sit here all day long and debate the ATL hurricane season as far as storm totals and it not being active vs. it being active.. I believe what the experts say as far as numbers in the end.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 115. JrWeathermanFL:
If the storm forms and hits the panhandle of FL at a size similar to Andrea, we could have a problem...
We're already over-waterlogged from getting rain almost every day.

With already saturated ground..20 inches of rain wouldn't help.
gee I sure hope it somehow goes to Texas where they really need this rain,for sure florida does Not.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42120
Quoting 96. Waltanater:

When DOES the season end?
There is an official end to the season which is November 30th. That doesn't mean we can't get storms after that. In fact there was the Groundhog Day Storm and Hurricane Alice that formed in January. In addition, there have been storms that have formed in April and May like Subtropical Storm Ana.

Groundhog Day Tropical Storm/Nor'Easter:


Hurricane Alice:


Subtropical Storm Ana:
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 116. ncstorm:


that wave is as big as the Carolinas put together..(dont let Press hear that though)


I don't know how he knows, but he always comes on.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 93. LargoFl:
hiya Gro...do we have a blob alert yet?


Not yet. I like my blobs a little rounder. Those elongated ones don't qualify. Pressures should begin dropping there soon.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
If the storm forms and hits the panhandle of FL at a size similar to Andrea, we could have a problem...
We're already over-waterlogged from getting rain almost every day.

With already saturated ground..20 inches of rain wouldn't help.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
114. Skyepony (Mod)
GEOS-5 is picking up on a weak disturbance threading the islands Thursday afternoon.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42120
Quoting 102. Grothar:
It is going to be an above average season.


WHY go there before the Afternoon NAP.....Now look what you just did.....LOL...HEY MAN!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 101. hydrus:
I dont mind saying that looks a bit worrisome.


That's why I showed it. (You want to see something really scary?????)









Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 80. LargoFl:
Lets just say for discussions sake..the GFS is right on the money with a weak tropical storm hitting the panhandle of florida........now how does one prepare for a tropical storm?........me i'd be taking in things that can blow around outside the house, and definitely trimming tree's like dead branches etc..and if im in a flood zone, dunno what I would do about that..do you maybe?....guess if I did..live in a flood zone i'd have sand bags handy always huh.....anything else one should do to prepare?
For a weak Tropical Storm, you would not have to do much to prepare at all. If the system has top winds of say 40-45-MPH you'd be lucky if you get anything more then 30-MPH in gusts. Not worth the effort to go out and trim your trees. I would not trim my trees unless I was going to get hit with a cat.2 or higher. With any Tropical Storm you'd have more to worry about with flooding then anything else.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NWS NOLA, Disco,


Long term...well now the extended portion of the forecast. Medium range
models continue to indicate a deep trough developing over the eastern
Continental U.S. With a front dropping into the area but its the tropics where
the models diverge. One thing to note is the sensible weather that
both the GFS and European model (ecmwf) advertise is fairly close so surprisingly will
not deviate much from the mex with the exception of the winds.


Wednesday through Friday...the main issue will be the deepening of the l/west
trough just east of the MS valley dominating much of the eastern Continental U.S..
this will keep the region under northwest flow and actually push a cold
front into the area Wednesday night/Thu. The northwest flow will send multiple
disturbances through the area while the front will provide a ll
focus and thus rain chances will remain quite high Wednesday and Thursday.
Moving into Friday the front is being advertised to push to the coast
with slightly drier air moving in from the north. This should
finally lead to lower rain chances for the northwestern half of the County Warning Area Friday.


Heading into the weekend the biggest question is this wave in the
Caribbean. The GFS made the biggest change over the last 24 hours with
respect to the tropics while the European model (ecmwf) is consistent with nothing really
developing. The GFS moves the tropical wave currently in the
eastern/central Caribbean to the west until it reaches the far western
Caribbean and then starts to turn it into the trough in the Gulf. By
late Sat a surface low over the central/N-cntrl Gulf develops and then
begins to move to the NE and into the Alabama/Florida coast as a tropical
system or possibly a hybrid. The GFS is plausible but not buying why
such a weak system would start to turn right and re-curve in the
Gulf. Typically weaker systems without a well defined middle level
structure dont tend to follow the steering currents as much and will
just keep moving west...which is what the European model (ecmwf) does. In fact the
European model (ecmwf) never even gets the wave north of 20n latitude. If this wave does
not develop before it approaches the Yucatan then the European model (ecmwf) makes
far more since and thus why we are using the European model (ecmwf) winds right now
for Fri-sun. If the wave can get somewhat organized in the Caribbean
then we will need to closely watch this system and the GFS and
Canadian may be right. /Cab/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 83. mfcmom:
Please not the Panhandle we are still recovering from 20+ inches of rain last month. To all the wishcasters please send it somewhere else, waiting for Noah to pull up in my backyard with an Ark. 40 days and 40 nights and I don't even go to church.
hi, best thing to do right now is stay alert the next few days and see what happens..as of right now nothing has developed, and these models change from day to day..by Thursday they should have a good idea whats going on tropics wise...as of right now the gfs says yes, it is coming to the panhandle rain wise..tomorrow it could be texas..there is no confidence yet in where this might go....stay safe up there...here by me in july we had rain storms for 30 days straight..gee, I know how you feel
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42120
Quoting 97. ncstorm:
anyone seeing the Cape Verde season going longer than expected?
Yep..I was going to add that to my hunch post yesterday, but as always, I am in a rush to do everything and forgot. Late October will still have T-Wave action by the Cape Verdes. That is my guess for now unless something significant happens.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, I'm not gonna drink the "not too active a hurricane year after all" kool aid till October 30th. C'mon guys, I am a weather rookie but I know in September things always seem to get a lot more interesting out on the pond.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 97. ncstorm:
anyone seeing the Cape Verde season going longer than expected?


Longer? You mean thru October/November?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It is going to be an above average season.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 86. Grothar:
I dont mind saying that looks a bit worrisome.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 89. wunderweatherman123:
when does our first hurricane usally form? early august. the models dont show a SINGLE hurricane by august 28th... you dont find that at all awkward? seriously, time is running out unless the entire seasonill be in september and october which i find is unrealistic


It is not unrealistic at all.. And I don't know what models you are looking at but they are showing development this week.. Models never have accurate intensity. ESPECIALLY Before the storm even develops.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 59. wunderweatherman123:
im beginning to suspect this season may not be as active as people thought
. There's just no proof of that ! What did the forecasters say , it will be active , they know more about this , than we do!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 85. wunderweatherman123:
models dont develop ANYTHING. ANYTHING is there something wrong with the models or our forecasts?

You've asked this question at least a dozen times and it has been answered at least a dozen times, both on here and in my Facebook group. Reread.

and then see the following seasons...1950, 1998, 1999, 2004.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 88. Waltanater:
...and MODELS are good up to when? When the the season end?

When DOES the season end?
Member Since: May 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1472
Quoting 80. LargoFl:
Lets just say for discussions sake..the GFS is right on the money with a weak tropical storm hitting the panhandle of florida........now how does one prepare for a tropical storm?........me i'd be taking in things that can blow around outside the house, and definitely trimming tree's like dead branches etc..and if im in a flood zone, dunno what I would do about that..do you maybe?....guess if I did..live in a flood zone i'd have sand bags handy always huh.....anything else one should do to prepare?


Power can still be lost, so food, (and method to prep it), and candles/lamps/flashlights

Depending on the area, water could be an issue if under a boil advisory
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 80. LargoFl:
Lets just say for discussions sake..the GFS is right on the money with a weak tropical storm hitting the panhandle of florida........now how does one prepare for a tropical storm?........me i'd be taking in things that can blow around outside the house, and definitely trimming tree's like dead branches etc..and if im in a flood zone, dunno what I would do about that..do you maybe?....guess if I did..live in a flood zone i'd have sand bags handy always huh.....anything else one should do to prepare?


As wet as we are here it won't really matter if you have sandbags. The flooding will be devastating. I'm not in a flood plain and my yard has had standing water for 4 weeks. The ground is completely saturated.
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 760
Quoting 86. Grothar:
hiya Gro...do we have a blob alert yet?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42120
Throwing a little attention to the pouch with large cyclonic rotation out in the central Atlantic, notice how it is totally embedded within considerable within the dry Saharan Air Layer. It's moisture starved but trying to pull anything it can from the monsoonal trough. The large circulation is not likely to dissipate anytime soon given its size and vorticity, and further west it will run into a moisture field associated with and generated by the TUTT. Thing is though, a system that large will have a very tough time consolidating and mixing out the dry air. It will be interesting to watch, however, and may serve to pave the way for the next system.




Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
Quoting 81. seminolesfan:


If the trough is as far south as the GFS is painting the low will have some baroclinic energy to tap into as it noses N of the mid-level ridging bridged out to the AB High. Would most likely have a tilted core structure from shearing, also...
Something like this?



Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 84. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Save me some for when I come to visit you, would like to make some nice pepper sauce with it. :D


It is HOT!!! I also have a Trinidad Scorpion growing, but not many peppers this year.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting 77. DavidHOUTX:


How is time running out when the peak of the season is about a month away?

when does our first hurricane usally form? early august. the models dont show a SINGLE hurricane by august 28th... you dont find that at all awkward? seriously, time is running out unless the entire seasonill be in september and october which i find is unrealistic
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1727

Viewing: 139 - 89

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron