Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Phailin Rapidly Intensifying, Headed Towards India

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:22 PM GMT on October 10, 2013

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Very dangerous Tropical Cyclone Phailin, in the North Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal, has put on an impressive burst of rapid intensification, going from a tropical storm with 65 mph winds to a formidable Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds in just twelve hours. Satellite estimates of Phailin's strength at 8 am EDT ranged as high as 135 mph. Satellite images show that Phailin, whose name means "a sapphire" in Thai, continues to intensify. The cloud tops of the very intense thunderstorms in the eyewall are expanding and cooling, showing that their updrafts are growing stronger and pushing the clouds higher into the atmosphere. Water temperatures are warm, 28 - 29°C, and the ocean heat content is very high, 80 - 100 kJ/cm^2--a level often associated with rapid intensification. With wind shear low, Phailin should be able to continue to intensify until an eyewall replacement cycle begins. It is very difficult for a tropical cyclone to maintain an eye diameter less than ten miles across before the inner core grows unstable and the eyewall collapses, with a new, larger-diameter eyewall forming from an outer spiral band. This process typically weakens the top winds of a tropical cyclone by 5 - 15 mph, but spreads hurricane-force winds over a larger area of ocean, resulting a larger storm surge, but less wind damage. With Phailin's eye diameter already down to a tiny 9 miles, an eyewall replacement cycle is likely to occur by Friday morning.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phailin, taken at approximately 07:30 UTC on October 10, 2013. At the time, Phailin had top winds of 75 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Forecast for Phailin
The models are in tight agreement that Phailin will track northwest into the northeast coast of India, with landfall expected to occur between 06 - 12 UTC on Saturday. The 11 am EDT Thursday forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicts that Phailin will peak as a top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds 12 hours before landfall. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is predicting that Phailin will be a borderline Category 2/Category 3 storm at landfall. The 06Z Thursday run of the HWRF model predicted that Phailin would be a strong Category 3 storm with 130 mph winds at landfall on Saturday.


Figure 2. Storm surge forecast for Tropical Cyclone Phailin, made on October 10, 2013. The peak surge was predicted to be 87 cm (2.9'). This forecast is likely to be a considerable underestimate of the surge, given Phailin's recent rapid intensification. Image credit: IMD.

The Bay of Bengal is notorious for deadly tropical cyclones
There is good reason to be concerned when a major tropical cyclone forms in the Bay of Bengal. Twenty-six of the thirty-five deadliest tropical cyclones in world history have been Bay of Bengal storms. During the past two centuries, 42% of Earth's tropical cyclone-associated deaths have occurred in Bangladesh, and 27% have occurred in India (Nicholls et al., 1995.) Phailin is likely to be the strongest tropical cyclone to affect India in fourteen years, since the great 1999 Odisha Cyclone. That terrible storm hit Northeast India in the Indian state of Odisha (formerly called Orissa) near the city of Bhubaneswar, as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds on October 29, 1999. The mighty cyclone, which peaked at Category 5 strength with 160 mph winds and a 912 mb central pressure shortly before landfall, drove a storm surge of 26 feet (8 meters) onto the coast. The storm stalled just inland, dumping torrential rains on portions of India already saturated from the landfall of Category 4 Tropical Cyclone 04B just twelve days before. The catastrophe killed 9,658 people and left $2.5 billion in damage (1999 dollars), India's most expensive and fourth deadliest tropical cyclone in the past 100 years. Although Phailin is expected to hit the same province of India that the great 1999 Odisha Cyclone hit, Phailin's landfall location is predicted to fall about 100 miles farther to the south, in a region where the coast is not as low-lying. This should keep the death toll due to storm surge much lower compared to the 1999 Odisha Cyclone, where more than 70% of the deaths occurred due to the storm surge. The latest storm surge forecast from IMD (Figure 2) predicts a peak surge under 3', but this is much too low, considering Phailin's recent round of rapid intensification. Phailin's heavy rains will be capable of causing great destruction, as did the rains from the 1999 Odisha cyclone. More than 2,000 of the deaths from that storm occurred due to fresh water flooding in the town of Padmapur, located more than 150 miles from the coast. Deforestation was cited as a contributing cause to these destructive floods that killed 36% of the town's population.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a detailed post on India's tropical cyclone history.

References
Nicholls, R.J.N., N. Mimura, J.C. Topping, 1995, "Climate change in south and south-east Asia: some implications for coastal areas," J Glob Environ Eng 1995;1:137–54.



98L in the Eastern Atlantic more organized
A tropical wave (Invest 98L) located about 400 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands is headed west to west-northwest at about 10 mph. Satellite loops show that 98L has a modest area of heavy thunderstorms with a substantial amount of spin. The disturbance is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear today, but the shear is expected to rise to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, Friday - Monday, making Thursday the most likely day for development. The UKMET model develops the disturbance into a tropical depression this week, but the European and GFS models do not. In their 8 am EDT Thursday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance 2-day development odds of 50%, and 5-day odds of 50%. 98L's projected west-northwest track is expected take it several hundred miles northeast of the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands by the middle of next week, according to the 00Z Thursday morning runs of the GFS and European models.

Typhoon Nari headed towards the Philippines
In the Western Pacific, Category 1 Typhoon Nari is expected to intensify into a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds and make landfall on Luzon Island in the Philippines near 12 UTC Friday. Nari will then make a second landfall in Vietnam around 00 UTC on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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India is a Nuclear Power,last I checked.

Yup
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
Quoting 414. SLU:


The NHC needs to take over the areas governed by the IMD. To call this a 90kt hurricane is an insult to all the scientific studies that have been carried out over the last 6 decades to determine the intensity of hurricanes using the various tools that have been established. The IMD is the most farcical met department in the world. This hurricane is almost literally 2 times as strong as 90kts in intensity and exponentially more dangerous in terms of damage potential than what they currently rate is as. This is ridiculous.



IMD needs to refine their system after this storm, this cyclone is more powerful than a Cat 2.
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They won't let you link to individual radars. Have to chose from drop down menu.
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Quoting 414. SLU:


The NHC needs to take over the areas governed by the IMD. To call this a 90kt hurricane is an insult to all the scientific studies that have been carried out over the last 6 decades to determine the intensity of hurricanes using the various tools that have been established. The IMD is the most farcical met department in the world. This hurricane is almost literally 2 times as strong as 90kts in intensity and exponentially more dangerous in terms of damage potential than what they currently rate is as. This is ridiculous.

90 knots at 3-minute winds.
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419. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #20
Typhoon Warning
TYPHOON NARI (T1325)
6:00 PM JST October 11 2013
======================================

Sea East Of The Philippines

At 21:00 PM UTC, Typhoon Nari (975 hPa) located at 15.3N 125.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots with gusts of 95 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 7 knots.

Storm Force Winds
================
50 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
180 NM from the center in north quadrant
150 NM from the center in south quadrant

Dvorak intensity: T4.0

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 15.8N 121.4E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Overland Luzon
45 HRS: 15.8N 117.7E - 60 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) South China Sea
69 HRS: 15.6N 113.2E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) South China Sea
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45220
Quoting FunnelVortex:


You're underestimating India. It's a pretty rich country.

Parts of it, surely.
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Quoting 408. FunnelVortex:


You're underestimating India. It's a pretty rich country.


I don't think so.
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Based solely on satellite presentation, Phailin looks stronger than Usagi was.
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Agartala radar is up and covers northeast India and Bangladesh. But it is well north of the expected landfall.
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414. SLU
Quoting 392. DonnieBwkGA:


They say it is 90 kts and 966 mb now. I think Phailin is stronger.


The NHC needs to take over the areas governed by the IMD. To call this a 90kt hurricane is an insult to all the scientific studies that have been carried out over the last 6 decades to determine the intensity of hurricanes using the various tools that have been established. The IMD is the most farcical met department in the world. This hurricane is almost literally 2 times as strong as 90kts in intensity and exponentially more dangerous in terms of damage potential than what they currently rate is as. This is ridiculous.

EDIT: 90kts 3-minute winds are no more than 95kts 1-minute winds and that's still a woeful underestimate for such a beautiful (dangerous) hurricane.

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KQED Science

The Science of California’s Seismic Pests, or Earthquake “Swarms”

"Earlier this week, a cluster of dozens of little earthquakes occurred under the Salton Sea in southernmost California over the course of a couple of days. Most were too tiny to feel, and the largest—of magnitude 2.3—wasn’t big enough to be remarked upon. Specialists call this kind of thing an earthquake swarm, and while it seems like swarms ought to be telling us something, nobody yet has figured out what."

Read more from our community contributor Andrew Alden here: http://goo.gl/xE4aaf
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Machilipatnam radar is working but is south of the forecast landfall area.

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Quoting 404. PlazaRed:
391. Envoirment
With all due respect and taking everything you say into deep consideration.
A wind speed of +100 MPH will make short service of mud hut.(many of them in the target area,) I know from experience.
The storm surge if its near the cost will remove the remains and the resultant flooding will wipe out the road network.
Hell of a scenario!


Oh I know! It's going to be horrid to see the impact the storm will make regardless of whether it's a 115mph or 145mph storm at landfall.

I was just defending what the IMD had said in the article, as they didn't say anything necessarily wrong in it. And some memebers may forget they use 3 minuted sustained winds rather than 1 minute sustained.
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410. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #8
TYPHOON SANTI
5:00 AM PhST October 11 2013
================================================= ==

"SANTI" has intensified into a typhoon as it continues to move towards Aurora-Isabela area

At 4:00 AM PhST, Typhoon Santi [NARI] (976 hPa) located at 15.4N 125.1E or 340 km east of Baler, Aurora has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots with gustiness up to 80 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 8 knots.

Signal Warnings
===============

Signal Warning #3

Luzon Region
-------------
1. Aurora


Signal Warning #2

Luzon Region
-------------

1. Isabela
2. Ifugao
3. Nueva Vizcaya
4. Nueva Ecija
5. Quirino
6. Benguet
7. La Union
8. Pangasinan
9. Tarlac
10. Zambales
11. Northern Quezon
12. Polilio Island
13. Pampanga
14. Bulacan

Signal Warning #1

Luzon Region
---------------

1. Southern Cagayan
2. Kalinga
3. Abra
4. Mt. Province
5. Ilocos Sur
6. Bataan
7. Metro Manila
8. Rizal
9. Cavite
10. Batangas
11. Laguna
12. Lubang Islands
13. Quezon
14. Marinduque
15. Camarines Provinces
16. Albay
17. Catanduanes

Additional Information
==========================

Estimated rainfall amount is from 7.5-30.0 mm per hour (Heavy to Intense) within the 500 km diameter of the typhoon.

Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under signal #3, #2 and #1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal #3 and #2 are alerted against storm surges.

Sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboard of northern Luzon and of Visayas.

The public and the disaster risk reduction and management council concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 AM today.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45220
409. VR46L
Quoting 400. Articuno:
Sadly, It's gonna take more then alot to weaken this.



And the conditions are perfect no shearor dry air just will continue to wrap and strengthen unless it has an eyewall issue at landfall
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Quoting 404. PlazaRed:
391. Envoirment
With all due respect and taking everything you say into deep consideration.
A wind speed of +100 MPH will make short service of mud hut.(many of them in the target area,) I know from experience.
The storm surge if its near the cost will remove the remains and the resultant flooding will wipe out the road network.
Hell of a scenario!


You're underestimating India. It's a pretty rich country.
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407. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #19
VERY SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM PHAILIN (BOB04-2013)
23:30 PM IST October 10 2013
======================================

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Over East Central Bay Of Bengal

Cyclone Warning for North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Coast

At 18:00 PM UTC, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phailin over east central Bay of Bengal moved westwards and now lays center near 15.5N 89.5E, about 625 km south southeast of Paradip, 650 km southeast of Gopalpur, and 650 km east southeast of Kalingapatnam.

It would continue to move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by Friday/Saturday as a very severe cyclonic storm with sustained winds of 105-110 knots.

According to satellite imagery, the intensity of the system is T5.0. Intense to very intense convection is seen over east central bay and adjoining north Andaman Sea islands and area between lat 13.0N to 16.5Nand long 88.0E to 91.0E. The associated convection has increased gradually with respect to height and organization during past 3 hours. The lowest cloud top temperature is about -70C The system is eye pattern. Eye is circular with diameter of about 15 km.

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 90 knots with gusts of 100 knots. The state of the sea is phenomenal around the center. Phailin central pressure is 966 hPa.

The upper tropospheric ridge runs along 18N and is providing poleward out flow in association with the anticyclonic circulation over central India. Hence upper level divergence is favorable for intensification. The low level convergence along with low level relative vorticity has increased during past 6 hours.. The sea surface temperature is about 28-29C and ocean thermal energy is about 80-100 kj/cm2. The vertical wind shear of horizontal wind has decreased and is about 5-10 knots (low). The Madden-Jullian oscillation index is in phase 6 with amplitude greater than 1. Numeral weather prediction models suggest that Madden-Jullian Oscillation would move to phase 7 during next 3 days

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 16.4N 87.7E - 95-100 knots (Very Severe Cyclonic Storm)
24 HRS: 17.4N 86.3E - 95-100 knots (Very Severe Cyclonic Storm)
42 HRS: 19.2N 85.0E - 105-110 knots (Very Severe Cyclonic Storm)

Storm Surge Guidance

Storm surge with height of around 2.0-2.5 meters above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh during landfall.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 45220
Visakhapatnam doppler radar. That UPS problem is a downer!
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View from KALPANA-1;



Other info from IMD, under "Cyclone warnings"; IMD
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391. Envoirment
With all due respect and taking everything you say into deep consideration.
A wind speed of +100 MPH will make short service of mud hut.(many of them in the target area,) I know from experience.
The storm surge if its near the cost will remove the remains and the resultant flooding will wipe out the road network.
Hell of a scenario!
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Quoting 369. DonnieBwkGA:
From the article

"Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro also appealed to the people not to panic."

In this case panic might be the best response!


It's a fine line to walk, eh? I don't know how you best approach telling a large population that a storm is almost certain to bring death and destruction without inducing straight up panic and hysteria (people tend to feed off eachother's panic, which leads to a dangerous downward spiral).

The images of clogged highways leading out of Oklahoma City during the 2013 El Reno tornado come to mind as a perfect example of panic leading to poor decision-making:

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98L probably a TD now.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7832
I hope Phailin hits at the downturn of an eyewall replacement or it may landfall much stronger than they forecast.
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Sadly, It's gonna take more then alot to weaken this.

Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2369
"We have asked all the officials concerned to stay prepared and conduct mock drills of relief and rescue forces. We have asked them to keep adequate food items, boats and tree-cutting equipment ready," special relief commissioner Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra told IANS.

This is from the Times of India article. It seems a bit late to ask to conduct mock drills.
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If Phailin is not a Cat 5, I never seen one! Time to run or seek shelter, probably be a headliner for disaster in a few days , very sad!!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7832
Quoting 378. Tazmanian:
this is saying its a cat 5 Super cyclony

10/2030 UTC 15.7N 89.1E T7.0/7.0 PHAILIN -- Bay of Bengal
I guess this doesn't stray far from the truth.

If it is of that intensity, it will exceed Gonu a few years back.
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396. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 388. DonnieBwkGA:


The India Meteorological Department runs storm surge models and I posted that graphic in comment 353. You can expand the image by clicking on it. The same graphic is on the bottom of Dr. Master's entry.


that map was for a class 2 or 3 .. believe she is much stronger now .. should have asked update surge forecast ..
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395. VR46L
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Quoting 385. whitewabit:


Has anyone heard of what size storm surge is expected in the landfall area ??


(iii) Storm Surge Guidance: Storm surge with height of around 2.0-2.5 m above astronomical
tide would inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha and
Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh during landfall.


Link
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Quoting 377. DonnieBwkGA:
Cyclone Phailin: Heavy rains lash Andhra; Odisha seeks Army's help

From the Times of India

In the article is this extraordinary sentence

"People will also be evacuated from low-lying areas to safer places if this is required" [my italics]

*if*? what is this *if*?!


Well, I only hope it means those that will be affected! Big country.
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Quoting 390. Sfloridacat5:
Based on Dr. Master's post
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is predicting that Phailin will be a borderline Category 2/Category 3 storm at landfall.


The India Meteorological Department says it is 90 kts and 966 mb now. I think Phailin is stronger.
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Quoting 369. DonnieBwkGA:
From the article

"Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro also appealed to the people not to panic."

In this case panic might be the best response!


Well, considering the storm will affect 50 million+ people, the last thing you need is for wide spread panic.

In regards to the article, they are talking about landfall and compared it to the Odisha cyclone of 1999, which made landfall with winds of 155mph (3 minute sustained).

They are predicting to make landfall as a Category 3 with 115mph winds. I think that's not an outrageous statement using 3 minute sustained measurements. The JTWC has it being a 105kt system inland and 130kt about 3 hours before landfall. So it'll make landfall with 1-minute sustained winds of perhaps 145-150mph.

As I previously mentioned, 1 minute sustained can differ greatly with 3 minute/10 minute sustained winds. The peak intensity of Usagi was 160mph 1 minute sustained and 125mph 10 minute sustained. A differnce of 35mph. The same is happening here.
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Based on Dr. Master's post
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is predicting that Phailin will be a borderline Category 2/Category 3 storm at landfall.
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389. VR46L
IR Image of the Beast of Bengal

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Quoting 385. whitewabit:


Has anyone heard of what size storm surge is expected in the landfall area ??


The India Meteorological Department runs storm surge models and I posted that graphic in comment 353. You can expand the image by clicking on it. The same graphic is on the bottom of Dr. Master's entry.
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Quoting 342. Astrometeor:


Quick, someone get the GFS at 384 hours out.

Nonsense "hype"? Can a weather lover not dream?
If that's a dream; I lived through Frances and Jeanne, more like a nightmare for me. I went outside and played in the wind, like Cantore, and my neck got broken, lot of pain and almost surgery; 1 year of pain and rehab not cool or fun. Never do that again!
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386. SLU
Supercane


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385. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 377. DonnieBwkGA:
Cyclone Phailin: Heavy rains lash Andhra; Odisha seeks Army's help

From the Times of India

In the article is this extraordinary sentence

"People will also be evacuated from low-lying areas to safer places if this is required" [my italics]

*if*? what is this *if*?!


Has anyone heard of what size storm surge is expected in the landfall area ??
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Quoting 378. Tazmanian:
this is saying its a cat 5 Super cyclony

10/2030 UTC 15.7N 89.1E T7.0/7.0 PHAILIN -- Bay of Bengal
it is taz hopefully it weakens some

if it does not they could be looking at a storm with winds gusting to near 200mph if not already
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Cant help thinking from those images and plots that the gulf of Mexico looks very similar to what we are looking at right now on this blog.
There's is probably no infrastructure to deal with a cyclone in this area and the best thing to look for is a tree branch, as there is very little high ground!
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Quoting 378. Tazmanian:
this is saying its a cat 5 Super cyclony

10/2030 UTC 15.7N 89.1E T7.0/7.0 PHAILIN -- Bay of Bengal

Wouldn't doubt it.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2369
.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2369
TXIO24 KNES 102052
TCSNIO

A. 02B (PHAILIN)

B. 10/2030Z

C. 15.7N

D. 89.1E

E. ONE/MET-7

F. T7.0/7.0/D2.5/24HRS

G. IR/EIR/SWIR/TMI

H. REMARKS...OW EYE IS EMBEDDED IN CMG FOR AN EYE NO. OF 6.5. THE
EYE IS SURROUNDED BY A RING OF CMG FOR AN EYE ADJUSTMENT OF POSITIVE
0.5 WHICH YIELDS A DT=7.0. MET IS 6.0 BASED ON RAPID DEVELOPMENT OVER
24 HOURS AND THE PT IS 6.5. DT WAS CALCULATED EACH HOUR SINCE THE LAST
CLASSIFICATION RESULTING IN A SIX HOUR AVERAGE DT=7.0. THIS ALLOWS THE
RULE LIMITING THE CHANGE IN FT TO 2.0 IN 18 HOURS TO BE BROKEN. FT IS
BASED ON RAPID INTENSIFICATION.
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Having the last piece of "German Chocolate Cake" Doesn't get any better than that!!
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this is saying its a cat 5 Super cyclony

10/2030 UTC 15.7N 89.1E T7.0/7.0 PHAILIN -- Bay of Bengal
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Cyclone Phailin: Heavy rains lash Andhra; Odisha seeks Army's help

From the Times of India

In the article is this extraordinary sentence

"People will also be evacuated from low-lying areas to safer places if this is required" [my italics]

*if*? what is this *if*?!
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I wonder what Grady would think of all this dry air and African dust. I wonder what he'd think of this season altogether. Just in case anybody is interested, Grady Norton died 59-years ago yesterday in Miami. R.I.P. Grady.
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Quoting 373. DonnieBwkGA:


I just posted that sorry I didn't see you had posted it earlier.

Nah, I didn't see you post it when I commented. This is the first time I've posted about it, just didn't know if someone else had.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31889
Quoting 363. georgevandenberghe:


But this is in your climatology. I'll take this over a TC bearing down on my house, hearth and family.

BTW in DC I'm also cool and debating firing up the woodstove. Wish I could have bottled up some of the heat from last week when the AC was operating at half of its summer duration.

Well I didn't say I would prefer that, I am just saying I don't like the combination.

Quoting 357. washingtonian115:
We did need the rain though.The grass was turning brown.


And yeah it was turning brown, but isn't it going to do so soonish anyway? :p
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Quoting 371. TropicalAnalystwx13:
I'm not sure if you guys saw this article earlier...

'Phailin' will not be a super cyclone: IMD

Super cyclone starts at 120 knots (140 mph)

I have no words.


I just posted that sorry I didn't see you had posted it earlier.
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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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