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 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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Sea Level pressure at 48 hrs.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
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.
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Quoting 764. chrisdscane:


for a hurricane no, but this is a poorly organized area of disturbed weather atm, granted it has droped since yesterday I guess we gota wait and see.

for weak system too but once it hits 30-40kts then weak system will have problems but not with 15-20kts
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Quoting 765. HurricaneHunterJoe:


Has that FIM model you like done any flipflopping on our wannabeastorm?


AthomeinTexas posted a very important disco 100 or so posts back where a piece of 92L is going to break off and head N/NE. The rest of the wave continutes W. I don't think any models handle detachment well, or multiple vortices, either.
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Link

Pressure droping near 92l.
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Well I'm surely looking forward to the Cold Front passing Se.La. with the cooler air and lower dewpoint's.

That never happens in August.




Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
810 am CDT Tuesday Aug 13 2013


Update...
..sounding discussion...


No problems with the flight this morning. The sounding shows a
good amount of deep moisture in the atmosphere with precipitable water values
near 2.2 inches. Low level flow continues to be mainly out of the
west. Shower and thunderstorms are expected later on today and any
that develop could produce heavy rainfall. Hail is not likely to
be much of an issue...even though there is a large amount of
energy for which storms to work with. The inhibiting factors are
wet bulb zero and freezing level heights near 15k feet. Winds
shift around to the north and northeast aloft.


98/so


&&


Previous discussion... /issued 352 am CDT Tuesday Aug 13 2013/


Synopsis...ridge over the north-central Gulf weakening and ridge is now
building over the desert SW/4 corners. Weak northwest flow starting to set
up over the lower MS valley. Large polar low is over Ontario with
the l/west trough slowly digging and the trough axis running through
Lake Michigan and just east of the middle MS valley. At the
surface...stalled front still remains well off to the north draped from
northern OK...along the MO/Arkansas border and into the Ohio Valley. Radar wise
a few storms have begun to develop over the coastal waters


Short term...sounding like a broken record here but it was once
again a mostly quiet night. We are starting to get a little
development over the marine zones a tad faster than previous nights and
some of this activity has lightning with it. Expect coverage to
slowly increase across the coasts through the morning.


Today scattered to num convection is expected once again. Ridge has already
broken down across the Gulf and l/west trough is slowly digging over
the eastern Continental U.S.. this is causing the hghts to lower ever so slowly
over the lower MS valley and with abundant moisture to work
convection will get going once we start heating up. Convection will
likely be more diurnally driven initially and then driven by
boundary/outflow interactions. The reason for this is there doesnt
appear to be any noticeable disturbance embedded in the northwest flow
coming down into our area until the overnight hours and tomorrow. A
few strong to severe storms cant be ruled out and if they develop it
will likely be over the northern half of the County Warning Area.


Tonight and tomorrow...convection will initially die down during the
evening hours once we lose the daytime heating but after midnight
convection may start to re-fire if not move in from the northwest. A strong
impulse associated with convection in the southern/Central Plains will work
southeast into the lower MS valley today and into our area tonight and
there should be sufficient convection associated with it. This
impulse will slowly move across the County Warning Area during the day Wednesday and it
will help to dig the eastern Continental U.S. L/west trough all the way into the Gulf.
This will also drive that stalled boundary to our north to the south
and into the County Warning Area Wednesday. The combination of middle/upper level support...ll
forcing...and precipitable waters ata 2.25" suggest num to even widespread rain showers and
thunderstorms and rain...some which could be heavy. Heavy rain is a concern as this
front has been associated with heavy rain in multiple areas. K index
values will be in the upper 30s...precipitable waters will be 130% of normal and
could be just under 2.5". The 850 mb Theta-E ridge will be draped
across the County Warning Area all day. In addition the models are showing that we
could have some divergence aloft to work with as well. Will keep the
mention of heavy rain in the grids/zones and slightly beef up the
wording in the severe weather potential statement west/respect to flooding on Wednesday.


Wednesday night through Friday...the cold front will have a pretty good push and
could get all the way into the Gulf by Thursday morning. Yes that is
correct a cold front into the Gulf on Aug 15th and this will do a
few things. First off it could allow the County Warning Area to begin to dry out
over the northern portions of the County Warning Area a little faster than expected with
only isolated to scattered convection on Friday...best chance for rain will be
the southeastern half/3rd of the County Warning Area on Friday. It could also provide very
pleasant conditions for Aug. The models are indicating dewpoints
dropping significantly across the northwestern half of the County Warning Area Thursday and Friday
with the latest mex gui suggesting lows in the lower 60s across southwestern
MS.
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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 :)



I've actually been watching with interest as the WRF does not feedback the northern portion of the wave. That's not usually what it does.
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Quoting 759. mitchelace5:


Hey wunderkidcayman, what do you think about our disturbance near Africa?


It may develop and it will move W for not too early to say where it will end up

Quoting 760. chrisdscane:


Ton of moisture with 93L


thats old that stopped updating from yesterday morning
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Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20140
Well looks like the TAFB is leaning more towards the Northeast Gulf.



Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 738. 69Viking:


A trough picked up Opal and didn't shear it so what makes this situation different?


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 consolidated 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:





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blah blah blah, the model is horrible for tropical storms but at least the Nam has the UK and Euro with it :)

Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Quoting 749. chrisdscane:


Its still at about 15 to 20kts thats much to fast for a large disorganized area of Thunderstorms to form in, That really what were talking about here.

No it's not. It's somewhat conductive for slow development. Anything more than 25 its not. Btw that 15-20 is decreasing anyway.
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Quoting 437. GTstormChaserCaleb:
This afternoons model runs and especially tonight's ones will be very interesting.


Has that FIM model you like done any flipflopping on our wannabeastorm?
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Quoting 756. wunderkidcayman:

actually 15-20kt is not fast at all


for a hurricane no, but this is a poorly organized area of disturbed weather atm, granted it has droped since yesterday I guess we gota wait and see.
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Quoting 754. GTstormChaserCaleb:
It was howling at 40-50 knots yesterday. I agree 20 knots is still high, but once it gets below that, then game on.

it will drop further down tonight
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NAM 18Z at 84 hours. It has been consistant for many days about the system going into the BOC.
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Ton of moisture with 93L
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Quoting 750. wunderkidcayman:

and will continue to decrease as we move on to the night


Hey wunderkidcayman, what do you think about our disturbance near Africa?
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758. Skyepony (Mod)
Fresh OSCAT
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Quoting 722. GTstormChaserCaleb:
All good with me Washi. You have proof to back it up too. You already know which model I am going with on this one. *Hint I post it like every second on here. :P



experimental!
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20140
Quoting 749. chrisdscane:


Its still at about 15 to 20kts thats much to fast for a large disorganized area of Thunderstorms to form in, That really what were talking about here.

actually 15-20kt is not fast at all
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I get these sneezing fits for some unknown reason every evening...Go figure...I always sneeze exactly 7 times....I want one more.
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Quoting 749. chrisdscane:


Its still at about 15 to 20kts thats much to fast for a large disorganized area of Thunderstorms to form in, That really what were talking about here.
It was howling at 40-50 knots yesterday. I agree 20 knots is still high, but once it gets below that, then game on.
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.
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Something like this maybe?
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93L:

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Quoting 739. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The wind shear has really come down in the Western Caribbean.


and will continue to decrease as we move on to the night
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Quoting 739. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The wind shear has really come down in the Western Caribbean.



Its still at about 15 to 20kts thats much to fast for a large disorganized area of Thunderstorms to form in, That really what were talking about here.
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Quoting 735. CybrTeddy:


Hurricane Karl in 2010 disagrees with you.


And tiny Marco.
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Are there any plans to ever separate the chat from flash making it mobile friendly?
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Quoting 727. washingtonian115:
??.I never said this wave wouldn't develop.Look at my comment that I made to Ted saying that it' best chances are in the short term for development but in long term Fry air could be a problem...

I read that comment before and I knew what you were implying that for the long term. Even if it did do something in the short term (however insignificant) the implied point I got is that it would not be a threat beyond that, and that we don't know! Let's just watch and wait.
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745. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 704. Levi32:
Hey, look at the 12z CMC ensembles. Farther west than yesterday.



GEOS-5 goes more west & then turns northward with 92L..keeping it much farther west, weak. Much slower than the CMC.


I'm leaning a little more east AL/GA/Panhandle & with the straight up 12ZCMC run. There has just been a river of moisture there & across the southeast US. They just got hit the other day.. There is this other little landblob coming in less than two days through there. To usher it across the SE.. Hate to even try & call it before we got a good blob even, but if I had to.


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Zero evidence of any Low level center, I still think the easterly flow can slow just bit to allow more cyclonic turning.
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Quoting 729. Levi32:


Believe me, it will be just as boring if it heads north. The trough would shear it, import dry air from the west, and what-not. The whole situation is strung-out, so either way 92L is unlikely to become strong. The SE US doesn't want more rain, anyway.
our first hurricane, most likely it would be something from africa rather than this caribbean disturbance?
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Quoting 720. opal92nwf:

"Sigh."potentially another boring, weak BOC storm. "rolls eyes"


If your looking for exciting storms in the Gulf then find a new hobby lol
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741. josF
Quoting 730. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Discombobulated.

<3 that quote. :)
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Quoting 724. Patrap:


Pretty soon radar will be helpful in analyzing 92L. I get the impression we're gonna wake up to a whopper of a DMAX impact.
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The wind shear has really come down in the Western Caribbean.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8774
Quoting 729. Levi32:


Believe me, it will be just as boring if it heads north. The trough would shear it, import dry air from the west, and what-not. The whole situation is strung-out, so either way 92L is unlikely to become strong. The SE US doesn't want more rain, anyway.


A trough picked up Opal and didn't shear it so what makes this situation different?
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Quoting 729. Levi32:


Believe me, it will be just as boring if it heads north. The trough would shear it, import dry air from the west, and what-not. The whole situation is strung-out, so either way 92L is unlikely to become strong. The SE US doesn't want more rain, anyway.
Exactly...and that's under the assumption that it even develops. It's going to be an extremely gradual process watching 92L consolidate from its current broad state.
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Quoting 720. opal92nwf:

"Sigh."potentially another boring, weak BOC storm. "rolls eyes"

More boring if it heads north..shear would more of a factor there. So the west track shouldn't to boring.
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Quoting 720. opal92nwf:

"Sigh."potentially another boring, weak BOC storm. "rolls eyes"


Hurricane Karl in 2010 disagrees with you.
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Quoting 730. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Discombobulated.
I always loved that word.Not sure what it meant...But I will take 2
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Quoting 729. Levi32:


Believe me, it will be just as boring if it heads north. The trough would shear it, import dry air from the west, and what-not. The whole situation is strung-out, so either way 92L is unlikely to become strong. The SE US doesn't want more rain, anyway.



I agree 100% I dont see much development till the BOC.


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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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