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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1889. FOREX
Quoting 1878. hurricanes2018:
I think you are right


Does it look like a westward motion though or is that just an illusion because of the thunderstorms to the NE?
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Quoting 1865. JrWeathermanFL:
What was shear with Andrea? Like 25kts? And another few hours more over water could have made her a hurricane..
10-15kts might hurt this one..but not badly.
Depends on the system some are more susceptible that others.
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I can't stand the rain anymore. It's been raining for 2 months. When did I move to Seattle?
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1886. LargoFl
Lets see by Thursday if it crashes into the yucatan or if it slips thru the channel...both are still possibilities..the channel slip I really don't want to happen but its looking more and more likely.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42266
Quoting 1882. SRQfl:


LOL Change your location to a place that does not get alerts. Lice cloud City or the Moon. Maybe your ex won't find you there either. ;)


LOL - some people do say that I'm "outta' this world". And "tenacious" would be the best way of describing the ex. There is no escaping . . . we all have crosses to bear in this life, and some mistakes can never be forgotten :)
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Quoting 1875. TampaSpin:



Without putting words into Levi's mouth....I too favored a Southern Track along with the Euro model. But, I am a Model Geek, with that the Consensus of models says it moves more North. I believe the models are picking up the monsoonal Low in the South and some are picking up the Potential low developing to the North. I would say at this point lets just watch it play out and see if anything develops at all. Its almost impossible to be certain of anything until something at the surface develops.


I'm leaning weaker. It's going to take quite a while for that mess to consolidate into a closed low pressure. We have 2 different disturbances combining into one, with one being monsoonal in nature. NHC is at 10%-48 hrs, and 30% 120 hrs. I'm thinking by the time we are at 120 hours we may be within a 70-80% of a tropical depression developing within 48 hours or after it emerges from the Yucatan.
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Quoting 1880. Neapolitan:
Apologies for those who've seen it already, but WU's Christopher Burt has a great write-up about the ongoing east Asian heat wave, including the news that Japan has broken its national heat record, the latest in a string of such records.

Far more sadly, Burt joins many experts in speculating as to the true and actual number of deaths caused by the unprecedented heat in China, concluding, "...it is almost certain that many thousands must have perished as the result of the heat over the past month." As Burt states, the ongoing Chinese heat wave has affected more people for a longer period of time than either the 2010 Russian event or the one in western Europe in 2003--each of which killed tens of thousands--so "a major catastrophe" is likely happening in China.

Some evidence, albeit very morbid, of Jennifer Francis' work.
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1882. SRQfl
Quoting 1868. daddyjames:


I tried that - using chrome. Everytime I refresh, its back hanging over my head (kinda reminds me of my ex). ;)


LOL Change your location to a place that does not get alerts. Lice cloud City or the Moon. Maybe your ex won't find you there either. ;)
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1881. pcola57
Quoting 1861. Kristina40:
Please, no more rain on the Panhandle. The standing water was almost gone and we just had a downpour here in PC. My yard hasn't been mowed in over 4 weeks now. We were hoping tomorrow it would be dry enough. :( I hope the blob goes to Texas, where it is needed and wanted.


Morning Kristina40..
Looks like your gonna get even more rain..
As am I.. :(

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Apologies for those who've seen it already, but WU's Christopher Burt has a great write-up about the ongoing east Asian heat wave, including the news that Japan has broken its national heat record, the latest in a string of such records.

Far more sadly, Burt joins many experts in speculating as to the true and actual number of deaths caused by the unprecedented heat in China, concluding, "...it is almost certain that many thousands must have perished as the result of the heat over the past month." As Burt states, the ongoing Chinese heat wave has affected more people for a longer period of time than either the 2010 Russian event or the one in western Europe in 2003--each of which killed tens of thousands--so "a major catastrophe" is likely happening in China.
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Quoting 1856. wunderweatherman123:
alot of experts expect an active season, do you find it strange the GFS model doesnt show anything in the eastern atlantic as we head into late august given the conditions forecasted?
The GFS is not the only model though, other models are showing development in the Central Atlantic as early as in 7 days with the CMC being the most bullish. The GFS also has its flaws in the long range developing ghost storms and sometimes not showing any storms only to show a storm in the short range. Season is about to get cranked up here all indications point to that, especially with the lowering MSLP and upward motion of the MJO in our basin.

My personal favorite model the FIM is showing development in the Central Atlantic as does the CMC:



Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 1862. TheDawnAwakening:
Tropical wave near 15n and 16w appears to be organizing and is our disturbance that the CMC sees developing into a hurricane I believe in the long range. 850mb vorticity is getting more circular and strengthening with each passing update.
I think you are right
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 113 Comments: 106802
1877. LargoFl
Quoting 1866. Times2:


Don't bet on that spot though. Typically the storm lands further west than forcasted 5 days out.
yes im watching out for that whatever to make that righthand brush along the western coastline..thanks.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42266
1876. ncstorm
Last frame on the GFS Africa..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Quoting 1858. clwstmchasr:


It appears the the llc is trying to form in the SW Caribbean. Do you think that would impact the track? Yesterday, Levi seemed to think that if it formed further south that it would go west. Today is a different day though.



Without putting words into Levi's mouth....I too favored a Southern Track along with the Euro model. But, I am a Model Geek, with that the Consensus of models says it moves more North. I believe the models are picking up the monsoonal Low in the South and some are picking up the Potential low developing to the North. I would say at this point lets just watch it play out and see if anything develops at all. Its almost impossible to be certain of anything until something at the surface develops.
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MIMIC TPW maps haven't been updating since 12th 07Z
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Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20140
1872. scott39
Storms are building in the the Caribbean.
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1871. LargoFl
Quoting 1870. Grothar:


looks better this morning huh Gro...
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1870. Grothar


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Quoting 1848. pcola57:


I pinned it to my banner..
Stays there now..
Using Firefox if that makes any diff..
Which I doubt.. :)


I tried that - using chrome. Everytime I refresh, its back hanging over my head (kinda reminds me of my ex). ;)
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Quoting 1856. wunderweatherman123:
alot of experts expect an active season, do you find it strange the GFS model doesnt show anything in the eastern atlantic as we head into late august given the conditions forecasted?


I do and I am beginning to wonder if we will have an active season. Too much Dry air came off Africa the last few weeks so it is taking extra long to moisten the atmosphere back up.

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4768
1866. Times2
Quoting 1769. LargoFl:
06z GFS..it says a Panhandle hit..............


Don't bet on that spot though. Typically the storm lands further west than forcasted 5 days out.
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What was shear with Andrea? Like 25kts? And another few hours more over water could have made her a hurricane..
10-15kts might hurt this one..but not badly.
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Quoting 1854. moonlightcowboy:
Good morning, weathergeeks! ;)

P16L obs: sfc low with competing vorticity still, proximity to land narrowing, 30/40 kts shear, anticyclone near the mouth of the Yucatan, potent GoM high pressure, lateral CONUS trough.



Our twave is going to run out of liquid real estate underneath the GoM high pressure if it doesn't get something started soon. West is the word for now, not FL.


Makes sense to me MLC. Looks like the pacific may need to worry about it in the future. I don't see anything to pull it north before it hits Central America. But if y'all do please show me
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what storm is this!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 113 Comments: 106802
Tropical wave near 15n and 16w appears to be organizing and is our disturbance that the CMC sees developing into a hurricane I believe in the long range. 850mb vorticity is getting more circular and strengthening with each passing update.
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Please, no more rain on the Panhandle. The standing water was almost gone and we just had a downpour here in PC. My yard hasn't been mowed in over 4 weeks now. We were hoping tomorrow it would be dry enough. :( I hope the blob goes to Texas, where it is needed and wanted.
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1860. pcola57
Messy Eastern seaboard/East Coast this am..



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Quoting 1833. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Organizing slowly...depending on what the forecast is by the models and for wind shear we could see this area tagged an invest later today.



Surface charts show the low in the SW Caribbean is stationary as the Tropical Wave approaches it, will be interesting to see how this interaction takes place.



Currently steering is into Central America, however heights are decreasing in the GOM as the trough continues to dig in and we await another short wave energy.



Here is the AM MCEP Caribbean Desk Discussion. The wave is not organizing per se but the convection is increasing due to enhancement by the nearly Tutt/ULL cell. Nonetheless, the convection is putting some more meat on the bones..............

TROPICAL DISCUSSION - INTERNATIONAL DESKS
NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
720 AM EDT TUE AUG 13 2013

PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION FOR PUERTO RICO AND THE USVI. TUTT EXTENDS TO THE NORTHEAST AT29N 59W EXTENDING TO THE SOUTHWEST INTO JUST NORTH OF THE LEEWARDS. AT LOW LEVELS...TUTT INDUCED WAVE EXTENDED ACROSS THE LEEWARDS. HIGHEST CONVECTIVE INSTABILITY WAS OCCURRING AHEAD OF IT...OVER PUERTO RICO/USVI AND THE NORTHERN LEEWARDS. BEHIND THIS WAVE...A SURGE IN THE EASTERLIES WAS LEADING TO A FRONT OF ENHANCED CONVECTION THAT WAS CROSSING THE FRENCH ANTILLES.

MODELS SHOW ENHANCED CONVECTIVE INSTABILITY DECREASING THIS EVENING WHILE WANING SURGE IN THE TRADES AND ASSOCIATED CONVECTION CROSSES THE ISLANDS BETWEEN 04-07Z. AT UPPER LEVELS...TUTT IS TO BUILD TO THE SOUTH ACROSS THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN BY WEDNESDAY MORNING...TO ENHANCE CONVECTION. THIS SHOULD LEAD TO MORE SHOWERS DURING THE EVENING INTO EARLY MORNING HOURS ON WEDNESDAY. EXPECTING MUCH DRIER CONDITIONS DURING THURSDAY...WITH PATTERN
CHARACTERIZED BY ISOLATED SHALLOW CONVECTION. NEW TUTT-INDUCED WAVE IS EXPECTED ON FRIDAY...LEADING TO ANOTHER ROUND OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS INTO SATURDAY MORNING/AFTERNOON.

MODELS ARE SUGGESTING LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS TODAY INTO
TOMORROW...WITH A WETTER CONDITIONS WITH THE WAVE ARRIVING BY THE END OF THE WEEK. THROUGH TOMORROW...EXPECTING ISOLATED MAXIMA IN THE 15-20MM RANGE ESPECIALLY ALONG EASTERN PUERTO RICO/USVI.

MILLER...CINWS (CAYMAN ISLANDS)
ROBINSON...MSJ (JAMAICA)
GALVEZ...WPC (USA)



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6z FIM-9:

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 1851. StormTrackerScott:
The Best thing about watching the Tropical Updates when Dr. Steve Lyons was at TWC was he alawys gave you a surf update as he loved to surf.
alot of experts expect an active season, do you find it strange the GFS model doesnt show anything in the eastern atlantic as we head into late august given the conditions forecasted?
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Quoting 1843. GTstormChaserCaleb:
That is still manageable isn't it TampaSpin?
Quoting 1845. FOREX:


So that would be light to lightly moderate?



Anything under 20kts is ok for something to develop. When it gets over 20kts its very difficult. The 10-15kts is good for Slow development, but nothing very strong is likely under that much shear. Keep in mind that Shear forecasting is very poor beyond 48hrs.....so I really don't look much beyond 48hrs.
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Good morning, weathergeeks! ;)

P16L obs: sfc low with competing vorticity still, proximity to land narrowing, 30/40 kts shear, anticyclone near the mouth of the Yucatan, potent GoM high pressure, lateral CONUS trough.



Our twave is going to run out of liquid real estate underneath the GoM high pressure if it doesn't get something started soon. West is the word for now, not FL.
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1. CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS EXTENDING FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA NORTHEASTWARD TO NEAR JAMAICA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL
WAVE AND A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OVER THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS WHEN THE DISTURBANCE MOVES TOWARD THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA AND THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW
CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS
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1852. scott39
The TCHP in the W and NW Caribbean, combined with low to moderate wind shear, is rocket fuel for an oganizing or even worse organized TC.
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The Best thing about watching the Tropical Updates when Dr. Steve Lyons was at TWC was he alawys gave you a surf update as he loved to surf.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4768
6z NAVGEM:

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
1848. pcola57
Quoting 1832. daddyjames:


Happy to hear that! Hope that things continue to improve.

Hype? What hype? ;) I was using sound science - combined with a few libations when I came up with my numbers.

By the way, the flood advisory banner above the page is cool and all, but anyone know how to get rid of it? I tried making a comment, and hitting the x, but it keeps popping back up when I refresh.


I pinned it to my banner..
Stays there now..
Using Firefox if that makes any diff..
Which I doubt.. :)
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Quoting 1840. Sfloridacat5:
I mentioned it yesterday, the speed of the system won't give it much time to strengthen. If the system had more time over the Western Caribbean or GOM, we'd be looking at a hurricane. But most likley will just see a T.D. or weak T.S.
However, the NHC keeps increasing its chances of development for the long run (5 days) than it does day to day...by tomorrow they may increase the AOI to 20%, based on yesterday's labeling and\or logic.
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And the GFS keeps N GA drier now I see

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1845. FOREX
Quoting 1841. TampaSpin:
The 48hr shear looks to stay in the 10-15kts range throughout the entire area of the NW Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.



So that would be light to lightly moderate?
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I see the CMC has got the recurve in the longrun



This feature which has been on the GFS and CMC and some others could be disastrous to flooding should our disturbance materialize and end up in the SE




GFS wrung a few inches out of that low on a previous run
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Quoting 1841. TampaSpin:
The 48hr shear looks to stay in the 10-15kts range throughout the entire area of the NW Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

That is still manageable isn't it TampaSpin?
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Just another hour over water could have made Charley a Cat. 5.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4768
The 48hr shear looks to stay in the 10-15kts range throughout the entire area of the NW Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

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I mentioned it yesterday, the speed of the system won't give it much time to strengthen. If the system had more time over the Western Caribbean or GOM, we'd be looking at a hurricane. But most likley will just see a T.D. or weak T.S.
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Quoting 1837. scott39:
I dont like the idea of the AOI in the SW caribbean, tracking N across the Western and NW Caribbean.
...ditto.
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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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