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 821. Tropicsweatherpr:
Look at the low with 93L at 18z analysis how it goes WSW.



Look at the other low that should soon be 94L

That may be the real threat, not 93L.

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Quoting 815. stormpetrol:


I noticed that and headed due west.

Isn't that P20l or what 's left of it?
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12z GEOS-5 is in the western gulf, but notice how the precipitation is strung out to the northeast. Even if this goes west, moisture will try to get pulled away towards the north gulf coast. You will have a wet latter half to this week with or without a weak TS adding to it.

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Just how far south along the Gulf coast this trough gets will be the key to the future movement, and the potential strength of the 92L system once in the S GOM.
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Its never a good idea to underestimate an Invest.... especially in the middle of August.
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Quoting 820. stormpetrol:


Stronger and more north 850mb Vort keeping off the coast too.

the small vort just E of that has increase a good amount as well
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Ok, Time to go.........I hope you all have a wonderful evening....Now I just heard that CVS is going to card me when I buy "Nail Polish Remover"...Right!! Good night
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Quoting 822. wunderkidcayman:
obs on E side of Grand Cayman is reading 44mph pressures still droping




TS force gust, could be a nasty 24 -36 hours.
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Quoting 808. PalmBeachWeather:
Gro...I guess I am invited to all of the local get-togethers for my humor...But as you say, There is a time to get serious. I'm sure you living in Broward have been through many experiences like myself more than the layman... I had my share in 1974 also living in Ohio.


Throw a few wars and an F5 tornado in with those hurricanes and you get close.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25369
Quoting 809. sunlinepr:

The next monster "wave" forming over east Africa, about 6 days away.
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obs on E side of Grand Cayman is reading 44mph pressures still droping
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Look at the low with 93L at 18z analysis how it goes WSW.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14009


Stronger and more north 850mb Vort keeping off the coast too.
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Well, I tested out of Statistics on the credit exam. I never took a college statistics class, but I crammed for two days from Cliffs Notes. Half of this stuff I already knew just from other math classes anyway, but about the second half of it is pretty hard to remember every formula and the table you're supposed to use.

It was the hardest math test I've actually passed, just because of the tedious nature of statistics, and trying to remember every formula ever invented. Of course, it is a credit exam with no actual instruction, and only 2 days actually teaching myself what I didn't already know. They didn't give a formula sheet at the test; just scratch paper and a basic calculator.

I actually found mistakes on the test itself. When the computer gave me the option to give feedback, I discussed that issue and the insane time restrictions of just 76 seconds per question.
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Pressure falling in the Caribbean

Station 42057
NDBC
Location: 17.002N 81.501W
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:50:00 UTC
Winds: E (80°) at 11.7 kt gusting to 13.6 kt
Significant Wave Height: 4.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 7 sec
Mean Wave Direction: E (86°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.85 in and falling
Air Temperature: 81.3 F
Dew Point: 75.4 F
Water Temperature: 83.7 F
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25369
Quoting 813. kmanislander:


Interesting that the map has a low from the wave ahead of 93L



I noticed that and headed due west.
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Quoting 770. DavidHOUTX:
blah blah blah, the model is horrible for tropical storms but at least the Nam has the UK and Euro with it :)



The NAM only predicts out to 84 hours. You would think it could get it right?
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Quoting 786. stormpetrol:


Interesting that the map has a low from the wave ahead of 93L

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We dont need a tropical system making landfall in Mobile. We have had at least 3 to 4 inches in the last 2 hours in West Mobile. We have gotten so much rain over the last 2 months, that when you walk on the grass it feels like a sinking sponge under your feet. It wont take a strong TC to flood us and knock over trees.
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Quoting 810. TimSoCal:


Looks like quite the cyclone headed into the Northwest.


Huge swirl... and another one behind....
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Quoting 804. sunlinepr:


Looks like quite the cyclone headed into the Northwest.
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Quoting 805. Grothar:


True Dat. I lot of us joke around but when it comes to a serious situation we get serious. When people's property and lives are in danger it is time no time to joke around.
Gro...I guess I am invited to all of the local get-togethers for my humor...But as you say, There is a time to get serious. I'm sure you living in Broward have been through many experiences like myself more than the layman... I had my share in 1974 also living in Ohio.
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Quoting 794. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Hi Grothar, your Blobzilla evolved into 93L:



I figured that. That's why I named it Blobzilla a few days ago.

I leave you people alone for two hours and I come back to 2 invests. And not a decent model between you.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25369
And by the way, the 12z GFS was too low with the pressures in the Caymans again. It was supposed to be 1011mb there at 21z (now):



The NAM, on the other hand, got the pressure right:

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Quoting 785. PalmBeachWeather:
If I may.... I have been in south Florida for 30+ years...When I came here there was not even an internet....We survived without all of the panic, and all of the hype....I makes jokes and kid around until things get really serious...Kinda like Grother does.Trust me, I have seen it all more than you know....Don't get too excited and crazy in the early stages....It's not worth it ...It is what it is....There may be only a handful of the "Experts" here that I listen to. I do enjoy listening to the others... For now...I love you all ,kind of


True Dat. I lot of us joke around but when it comes to a serious situation we get serious. When people's property and lives are in danger it is time no time to joke around.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25369
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Take a look at where the strongest winds are located in the trough that is hanging over the Great Lakes region

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Note where the areas of Upper-level divergence and convergence are located

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Rule of thumb:

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Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1342
You know, I wouldn't be surprised to see a storm like this this year. With all the semi-unfavorable conditions in the Caribbean and Atlantic, this would make sense with it starting out weak and then strengthening in the Gulf.

With August being like it is now (yes we have some invests, but the futures is not to bright for them), maybe this September will be when the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season pulls it's big guns out!

I'm out, see you later!
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Quoting 787. wunderkidcayman:


yep here too pressures earlier was 1015mbs now its 1012mbs and dropping fast

and currently E said of the Islands getting 30mph


Your pressures were 1012mb during the last diurnal cycle as well. You should know about trans-diurnal pressure trends since you live there.

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Quoting 796. Levi32:


So far there have been no significant pressure falls at that buoy relative to the diurnal cycles from the last few days.




true, but it hasnt peaked as high the past few days somethings gota give.
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Quoting 795. GeorgiaStormz:
from GA wx office

.THE CANADIAN IS STRONGER AND FURTHER
WEST WITH THE SURFACE LOW THAN THE GFS...WHICH WOULD POSSIBLY
INDICATE SEVERE POTENTIAL ON SATURDAY...BUT IT IS A BIT OF AN
OUTLIER THERE.
That's not fair, why does the GFS always get all the credit? :(
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Quoting 778. chrisdscane:
Link

Pressure droping near 92l.


So far there have been no significant pressure falls at that buoy relative to the diurnal cycles from the last few days.

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from GA wx office

.THE CANADIAN IS STRONGER AND FURTHER
WEST WITH THE SURFACE LOW THAN THE GFS...WHICH WOULD POSSIBLY
INDICATE SEVERE POTENTIAL ON SATURDAY...BUT IT IS A BIT OF AN
OUTLIER THERE.
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Quoting 790. Grothar:
I disagree. When it reaches the Gulf, it will have to move North.


Hi Grothar, your Blobzilla evolved into 93L:

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Quoting 781. HurricaneAndre:
Poll
92L what % do you think it will be at the next TWO.
A 30/50
B 40/50
C 30/30
D same

93L,what % do you think it will be at the next TWO.
A 30/60
B 40/60
C 50/50
D 60/70

I think A and B.


A or B

E 20/30%
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Quoting 789. GTstormChaserCaleb:
As soon as you point that out look what happens.

Convergence increases in that area.



Im magic, someones get get alot of rain and gusty winds thats the only thing thats set in stone at this time.
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I disagree. When it reaches the Gulf, it will have to move North.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25369
Quoting 778. chrisdscane:
Link

Pressure droping near 92l.
As soon as you point that out look what happens.

Convergence increases in that area.

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Quoting 778. chrisdscane:
Link

Pressure droping near 92l.


yep here too pressures earlier was 1015mbs now its 1012mbs and dropping fast

and currently E said of the Islands getting 30mph
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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If I may.... I have been in south Florida for 30+ years...When I came here there was not even an internet....We survived without all of the panic, and all of the hype....I makes jokes and kid around until things get really serious...Kinda like Grother does.Trust me, I have seen it all more than you know....Don't get too excited and crazy in the early stages....It's not worth it ...It is what it is....There may be only a handful of the "Experts" here that I listen to. I do enjoy listening to the others... For now...I love you all ,kind of
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Quoting 771. Levi32:


Well there are many reasons why Opal was better off.

One is that the trough coming to get Opal was broader and farther north, allowing a more focused area of lowering pressures, with the jet to the northeast of Opal providing a great outflow channel instead of shearing the storm. Contrast that with 92L's setup, with a sharp trough causing pressure falls along an elongated region, and shearing more than providing outflow.


Opal:



92L:




Also notice how in IR satellite imagery Opal was a consolidate mass of heat in the southern gulf before being drawn north, while our system is probably going to be strung out to the northeast and not very consolidated for most of its life.

Opal:



92L:






I was wondering the very same thing. Good comparison analysis. Hurricane Eloise in 1975 had a trough pick up too as well.

Eloise remained a fairly disorganized tropical storm until September 20, when it approached the Yucatan Peninsula and began to re-intensify. The storm crossed over the northern tip of the peninsula as it began to turn northward in response to an approaching trough. Between September 17 and September 21, however, reports on the storm were scarce, leading to uncertainty in its exact location and strength. Upon entering the Gulf of Mexico, Eloise quickly organized. The trough enhanced the wind divergence over the storm's center, allowing it to strengthen once again to reach hurricane force about 345 miles (555 km) south of New Orleans, Louisiana.
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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.