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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It's hard to see the convection temperature gradient, much less the center of Wilma's eye.

Peak intensity:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
Quoting 295. nwobilderburg:
2013OCT10 200000 7.4 910.7 152.0 7.4 7.4 7.4 NO LIMIT OFF OFF


Not that one can really tell from satellite, but I would have to say that estimate isn't far off.

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Quoting 271. PedleyCA:


Oh Please, It was 50.9 here. lol
"More than a Feeling"
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320. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 314. StormTrackerScott:


Wilma?


Scott I looked at pictures of Wilma and couldn't find one that small when it she wasn't going through EWRC ..

edit : didn't see that one ..
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At 1800 UTC, 10 October 2013, DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL98) was located in the North Atlantic basin at 10.6°N and 33°W. The current intensity was 25 kt and the center was moving at 13 kt at a bearing of 270 degrees. The minimum central pressure was 1008 mb.
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Quoting 314. StormTrackerScott:


Wilma?


A whole 2 miles wide when Wilma was at peak strength.



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Quoting 312. whitewabit:


that is I believe the smallest eye I have seen in all my years of seeing pictures of Hurricanes/typhoons ..
a true pinhole eye
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Quoting 301. skycycle:


If this is true, it's already the strongest storm ever in the basin... not to mention that the wind speed translates to 175mph / 280kmh - even if it's 1 min-sustained, it's a MONSTER of a storm... and if keeps this up, it might well shatter a few records.

Here's to hoping that the damage and casualties are as little/few as possible - unfortunately, the pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling in place, and in my opinion,what the IMD is doing in terms of reporting and underestimating should be considered a CRIMINAL offence :/ Any thoughts?
There are obviously those in the US who would like to see scientists put in jail for all kinds of reasons. And just a few years ago, Italy jailed some seismologists for their "failure" to predict a deadly quake. But, no, locking up good, hardworking scientists is kind of pointless. Lashing out is understandable, I suppose, as that's how some deal with stress and disappointment. But that's pretty much akin to shouting at clouds. Ya know?

As was mentioned earlier today, while some may disagree, the Indian people are well aware of what's coming their way. For example, read this article in the Times of India: coastal districts are on high alert; people living near the coast are under mandatory evacuation orders; relief camps have opened in advance of the storm; all branches of the Indian military are standing by to help; fishermen have been warned to stay away from the sea; satellite phones have been given to administrative officials should regular phone service be down; round-the-clock control rooms have been set up; striking government workers are back on the job for the duration; and so on. Again, this isn't 1780, 1880, or even 1980; this storm isn't creeping up on anyone. They know it's coming...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 309. Civicane49:
That has to be a category 5 no way it's a cat 3
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Quoting 312. whitewabit:


that is I believe the smallest eye I have seen in all my years of seeing pictures of Hurricanes/typhoons ..


Wilma?
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2382
gfs at 240 hours................
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
312. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 309. Civicane49:


that is I believe the smallest eye I have seen in all my years of seeing pictures of Hurricanes/typhoons ..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A second EF-4 tornado from last Friday's tornado outbreak has been confirmed. This is the one that impacted the Washta-Quimby-Cherokee area (prompting the tornado emergency) later on in the evening. 170 mph winds, 1.5 miles wide.

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
GFS in fantasyland........begins around 360 hours..then boom..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting 297. greencat1993:
Hey ladies and gentlemen first time here finally..
welcome..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 289. Patrap:
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

Scott Carpenter, astronaut-aquanaut, dies, was second American in orbit
Godspeed Scott Carpenter..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 300. allancalderini:
Being from Honduras and living in here I can say with all honest that Mitch killed at least 8000 people in here + the many that were never found alive.Which were around 3000 or 4000 we will never know the exact number because many villages were washed completely away.


I know I did disaster releif there back in High School
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2382
Quoting 301. skycycle:


If this is true, it's already the strongest storm ever in the basin... not to mention that the wind speed translates to 175mph / 280kmh - even if it's 1 min-sustained, it's a MONSTER of a storm... and if keeps this up, it might well shatter a few records.

Here's to hoping that the damage and casualties are as little/few as possible - unfortunately, the pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling in place, and in my opinion, what the IMD is doing in terms of reporting and underestimating should be considered a CRIMINAL offence :/ Any thoughts?


I think IMD is going to refine their system after this storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
304. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting 299. Stormchaser2007:
Down to 910mb and up to 152 knots on the RSMC ADT site

The eyewall seems to be so intense that its contracting to a critical point that will almost guarantee an EWRC something within the next 24 hours.


you would think so .. but I don't see any signs of it starting ..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I don’t have pet peeves — I have major psychotic hatreds!
-George Carlin
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14640
Quoting 290. Neapolitan:
Yeah, I'd imagine many of those here who act that way are the same self-entitled types who use their cell phones during big screen movies, bring 30 items through the supermarket express lane, and never tip wait staff because "they already earn a paycheck". That is, rude, uncouth, and devoid of any sense of proper etiquette. But we can always hope they grow up at some point. Either that, or just go elsewhere...


You must be a disgruntled old guy. Geesh! Seems you have a lot of bad experiences when going out in public. I guess you are one of those disgruntled old people that complain about everything. As Ron White would say "public" Link
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2382
Quoting 295. nwobilderburg:
2013OCT10 200000 7.4 910.7 152.0 7.4 7.4 7.4 NO LIMIT OFF OFF


If this is true, it's already the strongest storm ever in the basin... not to mention that the wind speed translates to 175mph / 280kmh - even if it's 1 min-sustained, it's a MONSTER of a storm... and if keeps this up, it might well shatter a few records.

Here's to hoping that the damage and casualties are as little/few as possible - unfortunately, the pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling in place, and in my opinion, what the IMD is doing in terms of reporting and underestimating should be considered a CRIMINAL offence :/ Any thoughts?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Being from Honduras and living in here I can say with all honest that Mitch killed at least 8000 people in here + the many that were never found alive.Which were around 3000 or 4000 we will never know the exact number because many villages were washed completely away.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4088
Down to 910mb and up to 152 knots on the RSMC ADT site

The eyewall seems to be so intense that its contracting to a critical point that will almost guarantee an EWRC something within the next 24 hours.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
298. VR46L
Quoting 297. greencat1993:
Hey ladies and gentlemen first time here finally..


Welcome to the blog !!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey ladies and gentlemen first time here finally..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 290. Neapolitan:
Yeah, I'd imagine many of those here who act that way are the same self-entitled types who use their cell phones during big screen movies, bring 30 items through the supermarket express lane, and never tip wait staff because "they already earn a paycheck". That is, rude, uncouth, and devoid of any sense of proper etiquette...
Pull out in front of you, then turn a block or two later & no one was behind you, go out of turn at 4 way stops...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2013OCT10 200000 7.4 910.7 152.0 7.4 7.4 7.4 NO LIMIT OFF OFF
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 287. skycycle:
Well I'm sure it will get updated eventually, I'm also very active on WP, just no on tropical articles...

By the way, take a look at this:

List of the most intense tropical cyclones

If Phailin is at 929mb, it means it's already the 7th strongest cyclone ever recorded in that basin... and I saw some data a few posts earlier that had 913mb readings? That would bring it close to the all-time record holder, the 912mb 1999 Orisha cyclone...

Don't wanna doomcast, but this has an extremely ominous look and could turn out be a historic disaster for the region :/

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (where the 929mb/125kt readings come from) is not the official warning agency for the North Indian Ocean...that responsibility is given to the India Meteorological Department. And unfortunately, the IMD is severely underestimating the strength of Phailan. So officially -- but probably not accurately -- Philain is a 966mb cyclone.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
Quoting 271. PedleyCA:


Oh Please, It was 50.9 here. lol
You beat us this morning, only made 53. Had 40s earlier this week, but S winds started yesterday and brought more moisture into the atmosphere. Made 80 today, forecast 78. Tomorrow supposed to be 80, may break that. Hope to be in left field bleachers next to Dodger's pen enjoying wonderful early fall weather.
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Quoting 287. skycycle:
Well I'm sure it will get updated eventually, I'm also very active on WP, just no on tropical articles...

By the way, take a look at this:

List of the most intense tropical cyclones

If Phailin is at 929mb, it means it's already the 7th strongest cyclone ever recorded in that basin... and I saw some data a few posts earlier that had 913mb readings? That would bring it close to the all-time record holder, the 912mb 1999 Orisha cyclone...

Don't wanna doomcast, but this has an extremely ominous look and could turn out be a historic disaster for the region :/


Advanced Dvorak Technique (v8.1.4)
2013OCT10 193000 7.3 913.6 MSLP 149.0 VORTMAX
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Quoting 242. MrMixon:
Dr. Masters has shown a willingness to update his blog with new information provided by his readers if such information can be sourced and confirmed. But sheesh, when I was young I learned that when you're in someone else's "house" you show a little decorum.

Kids these days...
Yeah, I'd imagine many of those here who act that way are the same self-entitled types who use their cell phones during big screen movies, bring 30 items through the supermarket express lane, and never tip wait staff because "they already earn a paycheck". That is, rude, uncouth, and devoid of any sense of proper etiquette. But we can always hope they grow up at some point. Either that, or just go elsewhere...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

Scott Carpenter, astronaut-aquanaut, dies, was second American in orbit
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Quoting 283. MrMixon:



Ha! We haven't even gotten to 50.9 in Nederland yet today (currently 49.5). The low was 32.5 last night.

Anybody got that beat? ;-)
down to 46 last night

right now

Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Thursday 10 October 2013
Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:30.2 inches
Tendency:falling
Visibility:15 miles
Temperature:65.5°F
Dewpoint:47.1°F
Humidity:51%
Wind:E 9 mph
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Well I'm sure it will get updated eventually, I'm also very active on WP, just no on tropical articles...

By the way, take a look at this:

List of the most intense tropical cyclones

If Phailin is at 929mb, it means it's already the 7th strongest cyclone ever recorded in that basin... and I saw some data a few posts earlier that had 913mb readings? That would bring it close to the all-time record holder, the 912mb 1999 Orisha cyclone...

Don't wanna doomcast, but this has an extremely ominous look and could turn out be a historic disaster for the region :/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


850mb much deeper now.
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Quoting 281. PalmBeachWeather:
Love it


A tropical storm would be more beneficial than detrimental in my area.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6011
Quoting 272. skycycle:
If the pressure is really down to 929mb and winds are 125kts, with Dvorak at 7.0, then can someone update the wiki article, or do we have to wait for an official report on these numbers?

2013 North Indian Ocean cyclone season


TropicalAnalystwx13 would be the one to pose that question to, he does a lot of work with tropical wiki articles. If he's not on currently, you can shoot him a wu-mail.
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Quoting 238. PalmBeachWeather:
Brrrr.. Had a low of 74 here this morning

Quoting 271. PedleyCA:


Oh Please, It was 50.9 here. lol


Ha! We haven't even gotten to 50.9 in Nederland yet today (currently 49.5). The low was 32.5 last night.

Anybody got that beat? ;-)
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Quoting 276. Stormchaser2007:
Extremely intense eyewall

Absolutely incredible. Without a doubt at least 135-140kts.
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Quoting 278. CaribBoy:


It's very painful to see another one going OUT TO SEA :(
Love it
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Quoting 240. HeinrichFrogswatter:


Get a dictionary clown

verb

verb: murder; 3rd person present: murders; past tense: murdered; past participle: murdered; gerund or present participle: murdering

1. kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation


Murder does not require premediation... premediation is just one type of murder. Someone can murder without any thought at all. Happens frequently.

Besides whats the point... seems there are better uses for this blog than pursuing this line of thought... as I have now.

back to the weather please.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
279. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
If the pressure is really down to 929mb and winds are 125kts, with Dvorak at 7.0, then can someone update the wiki article, or do we have to wait for an official report on these numbers?

2013 North Indian Ocean cyclone season


The IMD pressure is official for this part of the wikipedia. There is no exceptions.

966 hPa will stay for now on that page.
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Quoting 273. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Well naked is better than nothing, might even bring you a straw shower. :P


It's very painful to see another one going OUT TO SEA :(
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6011
In addition, if it really is down to 929mb and 125kts, it is now approaching Cyclone Gonu in terms of intensity - that was the LAST category 5 storm in the basin

Cyclone Gonu

June 1 - June 7, 2007

Highest winds / 3-minute sustained:

235 km/h (145 mph)

1-minute sustained:

270 km/h (165 mph)

Lowest pressure: 920 mbar (hPa); 27.17 inHg
Fatalities: 78 total, 37 missing
Damage: $4.4 billion (2007 USD)
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Extremely intense eyewall

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Time MSLP/Vmax Fnl Adj Ini Cnstrnt Wkng Rpd Cntr Mean Scene EstRMW MW Storm Location Fix
2013OCT10 193000 7.3 913.6 149.0 7.3 7.4 7.4 NO LIMIT OFF OFF 4.04 -79.77 EYE 16 IR 81.0 15.65 -89.25 COMBO
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Quoting 268. CaribBoy:
The euro is still pretty close to me.... but as a naked swirl...
Well naked is better than nothing, might even bring you a straw shower. :P
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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.