Utor Pounds China; Japan Breaks All-Time Heat Record; Caribbean Disturbance

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:23 PM GMT on August 13, 2013

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Category 2 Typhoon Utor is closing in on Southeast China, where it is expected to come ashore near 08 UTC (4 am EDT) on Wednesday, about 150 miles southwest of Hong Kong. Widespread heavy rains are already falling across much of Southeast China, as seen on Hong Kong radar and China radar. Satellite imagery shows that Utor is a large typhoon, and will dump torrential rains capable of causing deadly flash floods and mudslides over much of Southeast China and Northern Vietnam over the next three days; a wide swath of 6+ inches of rain is predicted over a 24-hour period for Southeast China using satellite estimates of the typhoon's current rainfall intensity. Unfortunately, the heaviest rains will fall just south of an area of extreme drought responsible for $6 billion in damages so far in 2013 (Figure 2.) Utor has drawn in some dry air and is slowly weakening, and should make landfall as a Category 2 storm.


Figure 1. Radar image of Typhoon Utor from August 13, 2013 taken at 17:12 local time (10:12 am EDT.) Image credit: Meteorological Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality.

A rough summer for extreme weather in China
China has already experienced five billion-dollar weather disasters so far in 2013. This is the most of any nation, according to insurance broker Aon Benfield. Utor is likely to the be sixth such disaster. The five Chinese billion-dollar weather disasters have all hit this summer:

1) Drought, Central and Eastern China, 1/1 - 7/31: $6.0 billion
2) Flooding, nationwide, 7/7 - 7/17: $4.5 billion
3) Flooding, Sichuan Province, China, 7/7 - 7/11: $1.6 billion
4) Flooding, China, 6/29 - 7/3: $1.4 billion
5) Flooding, China, 7/21 - 7/25: $1.4 billion

The most expensive of the these disasters, the $6 billion drought that hit Eastern China, helped intensify a remarkable and historic heat wave that assaulted Eastern China in July and August. In his latest post, wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt writes:

Virtually every possible heat statistic has been broken for most sites in eastern China (as well as central and southern Japan, and South Korea). I cannot think of any other heat event that has affected so many people for so long (including those that plagued the U.S. in the mid 1930s, Russia in 2010, and Western Europe in August 2003). Obviously, the Chinese authorities are keeping the fatalities from this ongoing event under wraps.

The Eastern China heat wave moved northwards and eastwards over Korea and Japan over the past few days, and brought Japan its all-time national heat record on August 12, 2013, when the temperature peaked at 41.0°C (105.8°F) at the Ekawasaki site in Shimanto. The previous record of 40.9°C (105.6°F) was recorded at Tajima and Kumagaya on August 16, 2007. the record heat wave also brought stiflingly hot weather to Tokyo, which on August 11 endured its warmest daily minimum temperature ever recorded: 30.4°C (86.7°F). This was also the 2nd warmest minimum on record for Japan.


Figure 2. Widespread drought over Eastern and Southeast China has caused at least $6 billion in damage, according to Aon Benfield. Image credit: Beijing Climate Center.

The Philippines clean up after Utor
The Philippines are cleaning up after 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. At least 3 deaths are being blamed on the storm, and 54 people are missing, mostly fishermen. Damage was heavy in Casiguran (population 24,000) near where the typhoon made landfall, with 80% of the infrastructure of the town reportedly destroyed.

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.


Figure 2. Typhoon Utor approaches the Philippines in this 375 meter-resolution IR image taken by the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi satellite at 04:34 UTC August 11, 2013. At the time, Utor was a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds. Image credit: Dan Lindsey, NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Fort Collins.

Caribbean tropical wave may develop when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico
A tropical wave in the Central Caribbean is kicking up disorganized heavy thunderstorms over Jamaica today, and this activity will spread westwards into the Cayman Islands by Wednesday, and into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba by Thursday. Wind shear is a very high 30 - 40 knots over the the wave, making development very unlikely through Wednesday. However, once the wave reaches the Western Caribbean on Thursday and pushes into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, the wave will find a region with lower wind shear, and a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical storm could form. If a tropical depression or tropical storm does form, and its circulation extends high above the surface, a trough of low pressure over the northern Gulf of Mexico would likely steer the storm northwards to a landfall between Eastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. This is the solution presented by the Navy's 00Z run of the NAVGEM model, which shows a landfall on Saturday of a moderate-strength tropical storm. The other reliable models for genesis--the GFS, European, and UKMET--do not develop the system, or show very weak development. The European model takes much of the wave's moisture west-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, but the other models show the main moisture heading northwards into the Southeast U.S. Soils across the Southeast U.S. are already saturated, and tropical moisture from this storm system will be capable of dumping a large area of 4+" of rain, potentially causing significant flooding over the weekend. In their 8 am EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the system a 30% of developing by Sunday, and a 10% chance of developing by Thursday. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the system on Thursday.


Figure 4. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. Tropical moisture flowing north and northeastwards over the Southeast U.S. is expected to create a broad swath of 4+ inches of rain, capable of triggering damaging flooding. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Resilience to Extreme Weather panel discussion being livestreamed today (Tuesday)
The 6th annual National Clean Energy Summit is today, Tuesday, August 13, and will be livestreamed here. Of particular interest may be the 6pm EDT panel on Resilience to Extreme Weather, featuring:

- Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce, Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Maria LaRosa, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
- Patricia Mulroy, General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority
- Chris Taylor, Executive Director, West Coast Infrastructure Exchange

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 68. ryang:
Tropical waves seem to be leaving Africa at a higher latitude than normal.
Once the "wave-train" gets chugging, we should see low and high latitude waves.
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So here we are with yet another broken all-time national high temperature record. That is, by my count, more than 30 such incidences in just the past few years, compared to but a single all-time national record low over the same span. And here we are with yet another deadly, deep, and dangerously prolonged heat wave that's claiming lives--and I've lost count how many of those there've been recently.

I know some bristle at the term, but there's truly no better adjective to describe what's going on than "unprecedented".
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The GFS moves the CV "low" to the NW juste like it did with Dorian, VERY TIRED WITH THAT. Where are the westward moving storms!
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very weak storm
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My guess is this wave exiting Africa will be a fish, unless it stays weak as depicted here.

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Quoting 74. ChemPhysMath:


Erinzilla?


Maybe Fernandzilla wants to come along with Erinzilla. lol
Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
landocane in central Africa?



flash
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that's a huge plume of tropical moisture alright....
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Quoting 39. Grothar:
Blobzilla has left the building




Erinzilla?
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Thanks for the new blog Doc!
Those of us who went through Hurricane Charley 9 years ago today will never forget the experience
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Yes, Utor is a big one..



could fit in the whole Indian Ocean
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One has to look closely, but this image shows how small Charley actually was.
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Tropical waves seem to be leaving Africa at a higher latitude than normal.
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Really strange weather in China: Flooding in the South with Utor to come (and previous storms), heat and drought in the middle, severe flooding in the north:

EuroNews video:
China floods close Russian border checkpoint
13/08 10:25 CET
China’s north-eastern port city of Heihe has been hit by some of the worst floods in thirty years.
The Daheihe island bordering Russia was partially submerged as waters continued to rise following days of heavy rain.
The downpour has forced the Heilongjang river over its banks, covering farm lands, inundating homes and forcing immigration offices to close. ...



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Quoting 39. Grothar:
Blobzilla has left the building


We might get Erin and Fernand by end of the week.
Quoting 31. Drakoen:
Vigorous tropical wave off the African coast should be watch for potential development. The models show upper level anticyclonic flow becoming more dominant over the MDR.

I am sorry was going to plus you but I click on the minus by mistakes,my apologies.
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Another large AOI over Africa approaching central Africa. Wave train not going that strong YET.

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Quoting 49. SRQfl:

We have splash down... Lets see if this ducky can swim.
It should float at the very least.:)
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Quoting 53. scottsvb:
GFS 12Z shows nothing more than a trough heading north into the panhandle... this sounds reasonable at this time. Unless this stays further east...shear and dry air from the NW GOM will keep everything scrambled. The air patterns on all levels are not going to be good for development.


This is a good safe bet at this time. I have, myself, tried to stay on the conservative side of this one because there is just so much pointing to frontal-type convection with the modeling.
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Quoting 18. hydrus:
Hurricane Charley heading for Western Cuba on Aug 12 2004...


I remember that.. Models had it riiiight over Tampa,, I was ready to board the house but waited til the last minute because id seen soooo many sstorns hang a louie when I lived in Miami except for Andrew...
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NHC seems to agree on the low placement.

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wind shear going down.
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Quoting 48. Grothar:


Don't worry about it. Happens to me all the time. Especially after 40 years of marriage.


Oh, is that what this is? :) Forty years for me, too...
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Quoting 50. Drakoen:
Wave off Africa probably deserves some mention in the TWO soon.
agreed some cyclonic turning is evident, lets see if GFS develops something in the 12z run
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I think we have invest 92L now.Just waiting from the navy.
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I have to go for a few hours. So play nicey nice.


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Quoting 50. Drakoen:
Wave off Africa probably deserves some mention in the TWO soon.

12z GFS develops it:

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Quoting 46. seminolesfan:


I think a lot of people have that same gut feeling.

It is a 'scary' consistency to the strength and location of the Atlantic Ridge, IMO.

It is all about timings of features and the setup influencing their paths; Something VERY hard to predict at days longer than 5-7. Just soo much going on that ultimately decides the outcome.
There's only one entity that knows. Even the experts at the NHC take a model average , with added wisdom to decide the track.
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GFS 12Z shows nothing more than a trough heading north into the panhandle... this sounds reasonable at this time. Unless this stays further east...shear and dry air from the NW GOM will keep everything scrambled. The air patterns on all levels are not going to be good for development.
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GFS 12z run 90h:

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Did the satellite go into eclipse or something ? Last pic was 13:15 UTC.
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Wave off Africa probably deserves some mention in the TWO soon.
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Quoting 39. Grothar:
Blobzilla has left the building



We have splash down... Lets see if this ducky can swim.
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Quoting 43. Josihua2:

sorry about that negative vote there..... hit the wrong symbol -.-


Don't worry about it. Happens to me all the time. Especially after 40 years of marriage.
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47. Skyepony (Mod)
This morning's ASCAT off Africa..
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Quoting 37. unknowncomic:
Yep. Most of the summer many observers thought the high unpenetratable. Weather is dynamic--always changing. Still think we will see something strong approaching the US coast this year.


I think a lot of people have that same gut feeling.

It is a 'scary' consistency to the strength and location of the Atlantic Ridge, IMO.

It is all about timings of features and the setup influencing their paths; Something VERY hard to predict at days longer than 5-7. Just soo much going on that ultimately decides the outcome.
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Quoting 41. mrsalagranny:
Are you declaring a Blob Alert Gro?


Not yet. I'm going to wait until I see what Drak says later and then claim it as my own. :)

(I did name it Blobzilla 3 days ago, though)
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Quoting 39. Grothar:
Blobzilla has left the building



sorry about that negative vote there..... hit the wrong symbol -.-
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Are you declaring a Blob Alert Gro?
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Quoting 38. Envoirment:




Very nice loop to put into perspective! Thank you.
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Blobzilla has left the building


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26131


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Quoting 28. seminolesfan:


It always comes down to timing and evolution of the pressure scheme. Its how weather works...
Yep. Most of the summer many observers thought the high unpenetratable. Weather is dynamic--always changing. Still think we will see something strong approaching the US coast this year.
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Quoting 25. Envoirment:


Based on my calculations, he is almost 1000 miles across!
dear god! :o what has that thing been eating!
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Quoting 31. Drakoen:
Vigorous tropical wave off the African coast should be watch for potential development. The models show upper level anticyclonic flow becoming more dominant over the MDR.



Tropics finally showing signs of life.

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invest coming in two days from now
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Quoting 31. Drakoen:
Vigorous tropical wave off the African coast should be watch for potential development. The models show upper level anticyclonic flow becoming more dominant over the MDR.

its look like a tropical low to me.
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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.