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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Quoting 661. StormTrackerScott:
Yikes!

I would say yikes too. But after this season, I will believe it when I see it. lol
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Quoting 670. BaltimoreBrian:


Where did that storm come from? Can you put up the panels 24, 48, 72 hours earlier please?


Looks like 98L
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 669. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Kyle, no, it's too late for basketball.


It's never too late for basketball.
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Quoting 661. StormTrackerScott:
Yikes!



Where did that storm come from? Can you put up the panels 24, 48, 72 hours earlier please?
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Quoting 662. Bluestorm5:
I reported every single of his posts tonight just to see how it go... ball in your court, mods.

Kyle, no, it's too late for basketball.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32524
Quoting 661. StormTrackerScott:
Yikes!


ooh nice
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Quoting 661. StormTrackerScott:
Yikes!

What the... thats odd
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.
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Quoting 663. Bluestorm5:


*see 336 HR mark*

Yeah, I'm ignoring this...


Lol. I love the FIM models. Seems like one always wants a huge hurricane in the Gulf. It's interesting to look at anyway.
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I am wondering what satellite(s) provide coverage of the Indian Ocean. Can someone provide a link?
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Quoting 661. StormTrackerScott:
Yikes!



*see 336 HR mark*

Yeah, I'm ignoring this...
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I reported every single of his posts tonight just to see how it go... ball in your court, mods.
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Yikes!

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 649. will40:
if you guys would stop feeding IT IT would go home. just saying


It's not that simple...
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Quoting 640. MississippiWx:


Mods,

Serious question here. How does this guy never get banned for monomania? It's obvious his only objective is to troll. I think the perma-ban feature would suit him well.

Sincerely,

The Entire Blog

I've asked before. No response.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32524
Quoting 652. Bluestorm5:


+1 there, bud...
+50 from me.
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Quoting 623. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
02B/MH/P/C5
You got mail.
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Let the guy speak, he means no harm.
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It does on mine the ignore feature works untill someone quotes IT
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Quoting 645. StormTrackerScott:


I know but I get banned for every anti Obama rant. Go figure.


Lol. Well, I've been banned recently, but it has been rightfully done. Really off-topic things, such as this subject, are fair game for mods. As long as we get back on track, they are usually okay with it. However, the incessant posts by SS093 about how everyone is dumb and he's always right never seem to go away.
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Quoting 649. will40:
if you guys would stop feeding IT IT would go home. just saying
except this one never go away.
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Quoting 640. MississippiWx:


Mods,

Serious question here. How does this guy never get banned for monomania? It's obvious his only objective is to troll. I think the perma-ban feature would suit him well.

Sincerely,

The Entire Blog


+1 there, bud...
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Quoting 649. will40:
if you guys would stop feeding IT IT would go home. just saying


He never goes home though.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
if you guys would stop feeding IT IT would go home. just saying
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting 640. MississippiWx:


Mods,

Serious question here. How does this guy never get banned for monomania? It's obvious his only objective is to troll. I think the perma-ban feature would suit him well.

Sincerely,

The Entire Blog
You just stole my brain.
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*sigh*
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Quoting 626. StormTrackerScott:




Who is the troll calling an idiot? I thought KOTG shut his uselessness down a few days ago.
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Quoting 640. MississippiWx:


Mods,

Serious question here. How does this guy never get banned for monomania? It's obvious his only objective is to troll. I think the perma-ban feature would suit him well.

Sincerely,

The Entire Blog


I know but I get banned for every anti Obama rant. Go figure.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 624. Climate175:
Did you really just call hurricane2018 an idiot wow and no one is saying anything to defend hurricane2018 but me wow and your the guy who always come to say things when the Atlantic goes quiet shame on you.


We report and move on per the blog community standards.
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Quoting 635. SuperStorm093:
Atlantic goes? LOL the atlantic is DEAD SEASON IS OVER, oh wait let me guess, you guys will NOW say november will be active lol
Lol are you talking to yourself?
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Quoting 638. StormTrackerScott:


LOL! Sorry man. Love ya Keep!
ME to KEEP! Lov ya kid, but can you please ban me for my wrongful actions
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98L getting more compact

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 635. SuperStorm093:
Atlantic goes? LOL the atlantic is DEAD SEASON IS OVER, oh wait let me guess, you guys will NOW say november will be active lol


Mods,

Serious question here. How does this guy never get banned for monomania? It's obvious his only objective is to troll. I think the perma-ban feature would suit him well.

Sincerely,

The Entire Blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 634. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
comment got flagged by the comm check back before making a comment

and I just got here from a little nap give me a break will ya


LOL! Sorry man. Love ya Keep!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Cant wait to get this ban folks.
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Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 630. StormTrackerScott:


No bans for this guy on here! I swear the mods only ban post that are against the Obama adminstration. Watch I will get a ban but this guy won't. What a joke on here at times with the mods.
comment got flagged by the comm check back before making a comment

and I just got here from a little nap give me a break will ya
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting 631. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
comm removed his comment and me well I can do something else
Ok Thank you
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Quoting 612. TropicalAnalystwx13:
I've never seen a cyclone so intense keep its spiral banding. Usually they trade it in for a monstrous central dense overcast.

Speechless so beautiful.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4455
Quoting 624. Climate175:
Did you really just call hurricane2018 an idiot wow and no one is saying anything to defend hurricane2018 but me wow and your the guy who always come to say things when the Atlantic goes quiet shame on you.
comm removed his comment and me well I can do something else
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting 624. Climate175:
Did you really just call hurricane2018 an idiot wow and no one is saying anything to defend hurricane2018 but me wow and your the guy who always come to say things when the Atlantic goes quiet shame on you.


Thank you
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Around 3 inches... It just won't stop :/

... The Flood Warning remains in effect until midnight EDT for urban
areas and small streams in York... Lancaster and Adams counties...

At 1022 PM EDT... heavy rain continued to fall over most of the
warning area. While there are small breaks in the rain... the rain is
re-generating over the same spots along the Maryland border and
flowing up across the whole area.

Spotters continue to reports rainfall amounts in excess of 3
inches... with some nearing 4 inches at 10 PM. Additional rainfall
amounts are very uncertain at this point... but some spots will
likely receive at least another inch of rain by midnight. The
warning may need to be extended.

Locations in the warning include but are not limited to... Hallam
township York County... York... Red Lion... Delta... Gettysburg...
Hanover... Lancaster... Manheim... Columbia and Marietta.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the
roadway. Most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around dont
drown!

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause elevated levels on
small creeks and streams... and ponding of water in urban areas...
highways... streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage
areas and low lying spots.

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the
dangers of floods and flash floods.

Please report flooding to the National Weather Service in State
College through twitter or facebook.


Lat... Lon 3995 7747 3999 7740 4003 7719 4015 7703
4016 7691 4020 7693 4022 7690 4022 7684
4018 7676 4012 7672 4019 7660 4025 7630
4031 7615 4014 7587 4011 7594 4004 7594
3992 7600 3987 7599 3973 7610 3972 7746


Forecaster: dangelo
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Quoting 613. hurricanes2018:

modeles moving west here!!


Future Lorenzo was born a low-rider, and he will not go fish.
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Quoting 623. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
02B/MH/P/C5
Whoa! Before now I never realized how big this thing really is.
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Quoting 621. SuperStorm093
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3845
Quoting 623. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
02B/MH/P/C5


Man that hurricane is huge!!! Atlantic storms are usually so pathetic and anemic in comparison
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6423
Quoting 621. SuperStorm093:
And the idiot award goes to this guy, congrats, please step up and claim your prize.
Did you really just call hurricane2018 an idiot wow and no one is saying anything to defend hurricane2018 but me wow and your the guy who always come to say things when the Atlantic goes quiet shame on you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
02B/MH/P/C5
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847

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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.