Category 2 Francisco Brushing Guam, and is a Long-Range Threat to Japan

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:48 PM GMT on October 17, 2013

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Category 2 Typhoon Francisco is steadily intensifying over the warm waters of the Western Pacific about 160 miles southwest of Guam. The typhoon is expected to make its closest approach to Guam on Friday morning (local time), bringing sustained winds of 35 - 45 mph and heavy rain, as the storm heads north-northeast at 9 mph. Long range radar out of Guam and satellite loops show that Francisco is well-organized with an impressive area of heavy thunderstorms and a prominent eye. With warm waters that extend to great depth and low wind shear, continued strengthening is likely, and Francisco is forecast to become a major Category 4 typhoon by Saturday as it turns northwest towards Japan. Both the GFS and European models predict that Francisco will hit Japan on Wednesday or Thursday next week, though there is very high uncertainty in the storm's track that far into the future. Francisco's formation gives the Western Pacific 27 named storms so far in 2013, which is the average number of named storms for an entire year. The last time there were more than 27 tropical storms or typhoons in the Western Pacific was in 2004, when there were 32.


Figure 1. View of Typhoon Francisco from the long range radar out of Guam.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Francisco, taken at approximately 03 UTC on October 16, 2013. At the time, Francisco had top winds of about 85 mph. Image credit: NASA.

18 dead, 40+ missing in Japan after Typhoon Wipha
Typhoon Wipha roared past Japan on Tuesday as a Category 1 typhoon, bringing destructive winds and high rains that triggered flooding being blamed for at least 18 deaths. Most of the deaths occurred on Izu Oshima island, about 75 miles south of Tokyo. An astonishing 33.44" (824 mm) fell in just 23 hours on the island, triggering flash floods and mudslides that killed 17 people and left at least 40 missing. During one incredibly wet 6-hour period, 549.5 mm fell, setting a new 6-hour precipitation record for Japan. The previous record was 502.0 mm at Tarama, Okinawa, on April 28, 1988. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the 24-hour total at Oshima Island was the third highest 24-hour rainfall for Japan on record; the record is 851.5 mm at Yanase (Kochi Prefecture) on 19 July 2011, and 2nd place is the 844 mm that fell at Takeshi (Nara) on 1 August 1982. Wipha is the fourth named storm to hit Japan so far in 2013, and the deadliest typhoon to hit Japan since Typhoon Tokage of October 2004. An average of 2.8 tropical storms or typhoons per year hit Japan during the period 1951 - 2003. Japan's record busiest year was 2004, when ten named storms hit, six of them at Category 1 or higher strength. Jeffrey Hayes has put together a nice summary of Japan's typhoon history.

The Atlantic is quiet
None of the reliable computer models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis is predicting development over the next five days. NHC is giving 10% odds that an area of disturbed weather (Invest 99L) about 200 miles north-northeast of Bermuda headed northeast out to sea, will develop. During the last few days of October and the first week of November, the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days, is predicted to transition into a phase that will bring an increase in upward-moving air over the Atlantic, boosting the odds of tropical storm formation. The most likely area for formation will be in the Western Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

Jeff Masters

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Well at least the Atlantic update is a bit more active than before

Quoting Jeff Masters:
None of the reliable computer models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis is predicting development over the next five days. NHC is giving 10% odds that an area of disturbed weather (Invest 99L) about 200 miles north-northeast of Bermuda headed northeast out to sea, will develop. During the last few days of October and the first week of November, the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days, is predicted to transition into a phase that will bring an increase in upward-moving air over the Atlantic, boosting the odds of tropical storm formation. The most likely area for formation will be in the Western Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.
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Quoting 60. StormTrackerScott:


Teddy no offense but it is likely El-Nino will form in 2014 as the Euro isn't the only model showing it now. Could even be at weak El-Nino levels by March 2014.



Here's what the CPC has to say:

The majority of model forecasts indicate that ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5oC and 0.5oC) will persist into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (Fig. 6). Though the forecast favors near-average conditions, many models predict a gradual increase from slightly cooler than average to warmer conditions as the spring approaches. Overall, the consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast).

Believe me, I'd love a El Nino to see ACE levels return to a normal level, but it's unlikely to happen.
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The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Has Been Eerily Quiet; But Why?
Posted: 10/16/2013 5:55 pm EDT | Updated: 10/17/2013 9:13 am EDT


From Climate Central's Andrew Freedman:

Nearly one year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season has not produced a single land-falling hurricane in the U.S. Instead of having above-average storm activity, as the seasonal hurricane outlooks unanimously called for, the season has been quiet — notable for its inactivity.

The tropical season doesn’t officially end until November 30, but it would take a barrage of late-season storms to bring the season up to average levels, let alone above average, something that forecasters say is unlikely.

“It’s not only quiet, but it’s got the potential to be near record quiet for the Atlantic Basin,” Chris Landsea, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said.

So far, there have been just 11 named storms, two of which have been hurricanes, and none that have been major hurricanes.

While pre-season outlooks rarely, if ever, have pinpoint accuracy, they don’t usually miss by such a large margin. In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projected that there would likely be between 13 and 20 named storms (with sustained winds of at least 39 mph). Of those storms, NOAA projected that between seven and 11 would achieve hurricane status (winds of at least 74 mph); and that three or four would become major hurricanes of category 3, 4 or 5 (winds of at least 111 mph).

By one measure, 2013 so far ranks as the 7th quietest season in the past 70 years. That measure uses an index known as Accumulated Cyclone Energy, which incorporates how many storms formed, how long they lasted, and how strong they became. If no additional storms were to form before the end of the season, 2013 would be the 4th quietest.

There has not been a major hurricane in either the North Atlantic Basin or the eastern Pacific this year, something that hasn’t happened since 1968, according to Philip Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher and seasonal forecaster at Colorado State University.

Subsidence and the Sahara

The scant number of storms is surprising given some of the favorable conditions that exist that would normally fuel tropical cyclones. The ocean waters throughout the North Atlantic are warmer than average, the trade winds are lighter, and there is no El Niño event in the Pacific to ramp up high altitude winds that can tear nascent storms apart.

Forecasters say that three main features loom large for the inactivity: large areas of sinking air, frequent plumes of dry, dusty air coming off the Sahara Desert, and above-average wind shear. None of those features were part of their initial calculations in making seasonal projections. Researchers are now looking into whether they can be predicted in advance like other variables, such as El Niño and La Niña events.

more.....
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Quoting 60. StormTrackerScott:


Teddy no offense but it is likely El-Nino will form in 2014 as the Euro isn't the only model showing it now. Could even be at weak El-Nino levels by March 2014.




fall pictures!!
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Eyewall replacement cycle in store for Francisco in the next few days? Sure looks like it, with the way the eye is getting smaller so fast...

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Quoting 57. CybrTeddy:


The ECMWF has been predicting an El Nino since the onset of the 2012 hurricane season. It has, every time, failed to materialize. Unless the PDO switches, an El Nino isn't likely to happen in 2014. I'd bet though that the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will struggle significantly with stable air however, more so than this season. ACE has been incredibly poor this season in all basins, although it appears the WPAC is definitely trying to make up for that in the last few weeks.


Teddy no offense but it is likely El-Nino will form in 2014 as the Euro isn't the only model showing it now. Could even be at weak El-Nino levels by March 2014.

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jeesh.. sitting down to check on the blog.. debating putting up a meme with Elf say, "Francisco, that's fun to say...Francisco!" I'm eating my first attempt at cheesy southwestern style grits and must say I am impressed.. with a over-easy egg on top of course... anyway all this to say, Good morning everyone, instigators and less well-informed as to blog functionality included!
Current US Severe Map is quite mellow so far today
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Quoting 21. 1900hurricane:

Ehh, I'm not completely sold on El Nino yet, but we'll see (although I would love to see an El Nino winter here in Texas due to the rain patterns that usually occur). Some models are showing a warmer bias with time, but not enough to confidently declare an upcoming El Nino.



And while El Ninos do often adversely affect the Atlantic Hurricane season, there is still a chance we could end up with a year like 1969 or 2004, both of which occurred in an El Nino year.


The ECMWF has been predicting an El Nino since the onset of the 2012 hurricane season. It has, every time, failed to materialize. Unless the PDO switches, an El Nino isn't likely to happen in 2014. I'd bet though that the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will struggle significantly with stable air however, more so than this season. ACE has been incredibly poor this season in all basins, although it appears the WPAC is definitely trying to make up for that in the last few weeks.
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Quoting 50. ITCZmike:

pretty tight consensus early on but then they really split hairs down the road in the longer range forecast..
yes we'll see what happens..at least something to watch now.
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Quoting 12. capelookout:
Doc...was wondering how much does AGW have to do with the strong Typhoons hitting Japan. This is pretty unprecedented. They always said there would be stronger bigger more destructive storms worldwide with a rapidly warming world........


Less activity without an major storms in the Atlantic Basin this year. Less tornadic activity than normal across the U.S. this year.
Does GW support this? No one knows at this point.

With GW or climate change you need to look at trends over time. You can't just say "strong typhoon hitting Japan" is evidence supporting or not supporting GW.
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you know its funny..many support this global warming..and If it is true, yes we will have some rising of the oceans, yes we could get some rising inland temps and..certain crops that once grew fine in some area's..might not grow so well in the hotter climate...................but.....there are also many who agree with global cooling..and IF a new ice age begins...we can kiss our civilization as we know it today..goodbye,,there are graphs on how far down north america the ice sheets would eventually come..almost into alabama....now where...are all those folks who live in this country going to flee to?...the few southern states left..could not possibly grow enough food to feed the extra many millions..perhaps even the few southern states left..couldnt grow the crops they do now with the much colder temps.............yeah AGW might be here now..but looming is a much greater threat...and that looming threat IS in the normal cycle on earth.
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Sorry ric...didn't mean to say that. Went over my head.


never a problem...life is easy
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Quoting 26. SFLWeatherman:
StormTrackerScott

I'm inland so i can get up to 5 to 10 degrees colder then the coast!


That is weird even in our cooler locations at night outside of orlando failed to dip below 70. Need to watch next week when the MJO moves in for Tropical Developement in the NW Caribbean. Pretty strong signal this time infact the strongest since early June when Andrea formed.

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There is no evidence currently that AGW is contributing to stronger Typhoons, Cyclones, Hurricanes etc.

Also, Dr. Masters has serious demands upon his time as of late.

I suggest you wu mail him your question as he will usually respond in time.



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Matter resolved while I typed. Good ending.
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Francisco is becoming a monster.


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.6 / 957.4mb/104.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.6 5.9 6.2

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Quoting 36. 1900hurricane:

Two typhoons hitting Japan a week apart is far from unprecedented. The precedent is probably 2004, which saw 10 tropical cyclones strike Japan.
Japan and the Philippines get whacked on an almost regular basis. Throw in all those earthquakes and volcanos along with the typhoons, and it seems like a dangerous place to live.
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cap get a grip.....i said your question was relevant and on point....i also said i hoped doc would reply to your question as he does not reply to all....as for the middle part...that was a smack at my friends on here chastising your question......so calm own and swig some coffee with me this morning....


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GIS data: .shp
ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT THU OCT 17 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 200 MILES
NORTH-NORTHEAST OF BERMUDA IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS
AND THUNDERSTORMS. THE LOW IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NORTHEASTWARD NEAR OR
ALONG A FRONTAL BOUNDARY OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS...AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS REMAIN UNFAVORABLE
FOR SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...
OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5
DAYS.

FIVE-DAY FORMATION PROBABILITIES ARE EXPERIMENTAL IN 2013. COMMENTS
ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FORECASTS CAN BE PROVIDED AT...

HTTP://WWW.NWS.NOAA.GOV/SURVEY/NWS-SURVEY.PHP?COD E=ETWO

FORECASTER BEVEN

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Quoting 12. capelookout:
Doc...was wondering how much does AGW have to do with the strong Typhoons hitting Japan. This is pretty unprecedented. They always said there would be stronger bigger more destructive storms worldwide with a rapidly warming world........

Two typhoons hitting Japan a week apart is far from unprecedented. The precedent is probably 2004, which saw 10 tropical cyclones strike Japan.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11668
Doc...was wondering how much does AGW have to do with the strong Typhoons hitting Japan. This is pretty unprecedented. They always said there would be stronger bigger more destructive storms worldwide with a rapidly warming world.......




sorry cape...it's a legitimate question...relevant..so you know damn well it won't work here :-)
enjoy your day and hopefully the good doc will respond!

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well we DO have an atlantic storm..heading to europe..........
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Francisco on radar
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StormTrackerScott

I'm inland so i can get up to 5 to 10 degrees colder then the coast!
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The GFS shows repeated cold outbreaks for the eastern half of the U.S...Link
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@ #18.

That is untrue as well. Link

Let's end this before too many people get all bent out of shape today.
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Quoting 9. Andrebrooks:
El-Niño that's why.

Ehh, I'm not completely sold on El Nino yet, but we'll see (although I would love to see an El Nino winter here in Texas due to the rain patterns that usually occur). Some models are showing a warmer bias with time, but not enough to confidently declare an upcoming El Nino.



And while El Ninos do often adversely affect the Atlantic Hurricane season, there is still a chance we could end up with a year like 1969 or 2004, both of which occurred in an El Nino year.
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Nice batch of showers are coming through. Looks like there could be some pretty gusty winds, especially with the embedded squall line.
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Francisco is impressive, and will be more so as the days go by..This looks like winter big time...
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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.