Category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan Headed Towards the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:05 PM GMT on November 06, 2013

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Evacuations are underway in the Philippines Islands as extremely dangerous Category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan heads west-northwest at 20 mph towards the islands. Haiyan, which is the Chinese word for a petrel seabird, is referred to as "Yolanda" in the Philippines, and became a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds at 12 UTC (7 am EDT) Wednesday. Haiyan became a Cat 5 at an unusually low latitude (7.9°N), but this is not a record. The most southerly Cat 5 on record was Super Typhoon Louise of 1964 (7.3°N), followed by 2012's Super Typhoon Bopha (7.4°N.) Haiyan is the fourth Category 5 storm in the Western Pacific and fifth on Earth so far in 2013. This is the highest number of Cat 5s since 2009, which had four Cat 5s in the Western Pacific and one in the Eastern Pacific. Since 2000, Earth has averaged 4.4 of these mightiest of tropical cyclones per year. The record for Cat 5s in a year is twelve, set in 1997, when an astonishing ten Cat 5s occurred in the Western Pacific. The Atlantic has not had a Category 5 storm since Hurricane Felix of 2007, making the past six years the longest stretch without a Cat 5 since 1981 - 1987.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Haiyan taken at 1:57 UTC November 6, 2013. The islands at the left are part of the Caroline Islands, which recorded sustained winds of 37 mph, gusting to 47 mph, at 15 UTC November 7, 2013. Image credit: University of Wisconsin CIMSS.

Satellite loops show that Haiyan is a spectacular typhoon with a tiny pinhole eye just 9 miles in diameter. A buoy (station 52087) reported a pressure of 956 mb and sustained WNW winds of 67 mph at 1000 UTC (5 am EDT) Tuesday morning in the southern eyewall of Haiyan. With warm waters that extend to great depth, low wind shear, and excellent upper-level outflow, Haiyan will likely stay at Category 4 or 5 strength until landfall occurs between 03 - 06 UTC Friday in the central Philippine islands of Samar or Leyte. The only brake on Haiyan's strength over the next day might be an eyewall replacement cycle, which will be capable of causing a temporary weakening of perhaps 20 mph in the storm's winds.


Figure 2. Predicted rainfall from the 06Z November 6, 2013 run of the HWRF model, for the 126-hour period ending at 12Z November 11, 2013. A 100-mile wide swath of 8+ inches of rain (medium dark red colors) is predicted to cross the Central Philippines and Northern Vietnam. Image credit: NOAA/NCEP/EMC.

Haiyan a major storm surge threat
The storm surge potential for Haiyan is very concerning, if the typhoon maintains its current forecast track and makes landfall on Leyte Island. This track would push a dangerous storm surge into the funnel-shaped Leyte Gulf, which comes to a point in Tacloban, population 221,000, the capital of the province of Leyte. Much of Tacloban is at elevations less than ten feet, and the experimental storm surge forecasts from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre HyFlux2 model made on November 5 and November 6 have called for a storm surge of 5 - 10 feet (1.6 - 2.9 meters) to hit Tacloban. This model has not been verified for the Philippines, and it is not unreasonable to speculate that the storm surge could be higher along a 20-mile swath of the coast to the north of where the eye hits, if it indeed comes ashore in Leyte. If the eye strikes farther north on Samar Island, this would not generate as high of a storm surge, since there is no triangular-shaped bay there to funnel the waters to a peak. Storm surge forecasts made by the Philippines' Project NOAH at 00 UTC November 6, 2013, are calling for no more than 2 meters (6.6 feet) of surge throughout the Philippines from Haiyan.


Figure 3. Elevation map of Leyte Island (left) and Samar Island (top) in the Philippines. Much of the capital of Leyte, Tacloban, is at an elevation less than 4 meters (13'), red to dark red colors. The predicted path of Haiyan’s eye in the 21 UTC November 6, 2013 Joint Typhoon Warning Center advisory is shown. Image credit: Globalwarmingart.com.

Haiyan the fifth named storm to hit the Philippines in 2013
Haiyan will be the fourth typhoon and fifth named storm to hit the Philippines this year. The others were:

Tropical Storm Rumbia, which hit the island of Samar on June 29 as a tropical storm, killing six.
Typhoon Nari, which hit Luzon on October 11 as a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds, killing five.
Typhoon Utor, which hit Luzon on August 12 as a Category 4 typhoon with 140 mph winds, killing fourteen and causing $25 million in damage.
Typhoon Krosa, which hit northern Luzon on October 31 as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds, killing five and doing $5 million in damage.

The Philippines lie in the most tropical cyclone-prone waters on Earth, and rarely escape a year without experiencing a devastating typhoon. Usually, these storms impact the northern Philippine island of Luzon, but last year, Earth's deadliest weather disaster of 2012 occurred on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, where Super Typhoon Bopha struck as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h), on December 3. Bopha made two additional landfalls in the Philippines, on central Visayas and on Palawan, on December 4. The typhoon left 1901 people dead, mostly on the island of Mindanao, making Bopha the 2nd deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. With damages estimated at $1.7 billion, Bopha was the costliest natural disaster in Philippines history. However, that mark was eclipsed just over four months ago, when torrential rains in the wake of Typhoon Trami inundated the capital of Manila and large areas of Luzon, killing 27 people and causing damages estimated at $2.2 billion by Aon Benfield.


Figure 4. Torrential rains, due, in part, to moisture from Typhoon Trami, fell in the Philippines August 18 - 21, 2013, causing massive flooding on Luzon Island that cost $2.2 billion. Twenty-seven people were killed, and 60% of metro Manila was under water at the peak of the flood. According to EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, this flood would be the most expensive natural disaster in Philippine history. In this photo, pedicabs and makeshift rafts ferry office workers and pedestrians through flood waters that submerged parts of the financial district of Makati on August 20, 2013 in Makati City south of Manila, Philippines. Image credit: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)


Figure 5. Super Typhoon Bopha as seen from the International Space Station on December 2, 2012. At the time, Bopha had top sustained winds of 150 - 155 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Tropical Depression 30 a heavy rainfall threat for Southeast Asia
Tropical Depression 30 is making landfall over southern Vietnam, and will bring heavy rains of 8+ inches to portions of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand over the next few days. The storm is expected to dissipate over Southeast Asia by Thursday.

Jeff Masters

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It's worth noting that the upper level winds to the east of Haiyan have relaxed to where their inward component is less than the forward motion except for in the far northeastern part of the CDO, meaning outflow to that side has improved and Haiyan has become better ventilated.

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Quoting 348. Hurricane1956:
Nobody is paying any attention to the 2 HUGE!! blob's in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico??,very unusual to see this set-up,but it has been there all day long today,strange??,if all of this move East toward South Florida we should have some stormy days in the coming days.
Just a disturbance in the force, no big deal.
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Quoting 346. KoritheMan:

What are you writing about?
You will see, it's a surprise.
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Nobody is paying any attention to the 2 HUGE!! blob's in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico??,very unusual to see this set-up,but it has been there all day long today,strange??,if all of this move East toward South Florida we should have some stormy days in the coming days.
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Quoting 332. FLWeatherFreak91:
In regards to comparing hurricane winds to tornado winds, I'm willing to guess the smaller diameter of a tornado provides more shear/torque which can wreak havoc on a structure more so than the relatively constant wind of a hurricane. You can have a tornado moving 30 mph and the wind will switch around from every direction as it passes in a matter of seconds.


That I do think is part of it as well, that and what the suction impact from tornado winds. Suction winds I would think make it easier for roofs and and doors to go which makes it much easier for the rest of the structure to fail, and allow the force of wind at a given wind speed to be applied to a greater surface area, or at least that's my hypothesis. I contend that I'm not sure of an actual source and so I'm just speculating based on best knowledge of atmospheric physics which is still quite limited.

We have to remember that much of the energy in wind is not applied to surfaces but rather rerouted to flow around them. This is due to the fluid nature of a gas, which is why damage from wind can very so greatly. Some structures receive a much greater applied force, others not as much, the swirling of wind is very chaotic leading to a high variance of outcomes of impact on surfaces exposed to it.


Besides that though, comparing tornado wind damage to hurricane winds is like comparing apples to oranges. They are both fruits, but its hard to really compare the two.

Comparing tornado wind damage and hurricane wind damage may even be more difficult than that though, lol, and in the end is quite pointless in the first place.
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Quoting 345. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Whew feel like I am writing a dissertation here. I will definitely post this to my blog, eventually.
What are you writing about?
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Whew feel like I am writing a dissertation here. I will definitely post this to my blog, eventually.
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Quoting 343. beell:


Where is local?
Baltimore MD
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343. beell
Quoting 340. Climate175:
My local weatherman said euro said about 1-2" here


Where is local?
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
342. beell
Carolina Hurricanes sign veteran forward Dvorak to one-year contract
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Quoting 334. ncstorm:
18z GFS-snow map




GFS and Euro keep trying to say Dc will be in the heaviest bands...
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Quoting 336. beell:
Way too early to pinpoint snow locations and totals but the charts posted along with forecast soundings place 5-7" of snow in a somewhat narrow band straddling the "critical thickness" lines-with perhaps a foot over the higher terrain of VA.

Some issues with cold enough surface temps syncing up with the best moisture. Snowing but not sticking during onset of the event.

My local weatherman said euro said about 1-2" here
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Quoting 335. washingtonian115:
You might end up being surprised.
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A strict interpretation of the Dvorak technique scale for a cyclone with a T7.5 in the West Pacific equates to maximum sustained winds of 180 mph with a minimum barometric pressure of 879 millibars.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
337. beell
Quoting 335. washingtonian115:


DC gets pooched...again.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
336. beell
Way too early to pinpoint snow locations and totals but the charts posted along with forecast soundings place 5-7" of snow in a somewhat narrow band straddling the "critical thickness" lines-with perhaps a foot over the higher terrain of VA.

Some issues with cold enough surface temps syncing up with the best moisture. Snowing but not sticking during onset of the event.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
Quoting 331. beell:

10/06 12Z GFS Critical Thickness/500-850 mb Average RH-Tuesday, 18Z


10/06 12Z GFS Critical Thickness/500-850 mb Average RH-Wednesday, 06Z


10/06 12Z GFS Critical Thickness/500-850 mb Average RH-Wednesday, 18ZZ
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18z GFS-snow map




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Still think Haiyan is similar to Bopha in terms of track and intensity. Bopha appeared to have been a little farther south, but still. Similar pattern.
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In regards to comparing hurricane winds to tornado winds, I'm willing to guess the smaller diameter of a tornado provides more shear/torque which can wreak havoc on a structure more so than the relatively constant wind of a hurricane. You can have a tornado moving 30 mph and the wind will switch around from every direction as it passes in a matter of seconds.
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331. beell



10/06 12Z GFS Critical Thickness/500-850 mb Average RH-Tuesday, 18Z


10/06 12Z GFS Critical Thickness/500-850 mb Average RH-Wednesday, 06Z


10/06 12Z GFS Critical Thickness/500-850 mb Average RH-Wednesday, 18ZZ
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
Quoting 329. LesBonsTemps:
OK, I see now that this is actually a separate TD from Krosa. Nha Trang, Vietnam is the land point the closest to the TD circle in Post 320 above.

I'm not the best at estimating rainfall, but probably not the worst either being from S. Florida - would guess 6-10" in the last 24 hours.



Yes, a separate one in the abundance of cyclones WPac is providing this year. Thank you for the photos!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6695
OK, I see now that this is actually a separate TD from Krosa. Nha Trang, Vietnam is the land point the closest to the TD circle in Post 320 above.

I'm not the best at estimating rainfall, but probably not the worst either being from S. Florida - would guess 6-10" in the last 24 hours.
Member Since: August 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 158
Good night everyone with this video from today, showing the first (albeit late this year) snow on top of a mountain in Saxonia (Eastern Germany). At lower levels we will have to be content with lots of rain for quite a while, advected by ongoing drifts from the west.

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6695
Quoting 323. LesBonsTemps:
 photo IMG_4401_zps1afe2cb9.jpg


 photo IMG_4402_zpse34026ed.jpg


Here's that road (Hung Vuong) in Nha Trang now that the water has subsided to the depth of about a foot; first looking north, then looking south. No foot traffic but a few vehicles now venturing out. Probably another hour or two until it's walkable - maybe longer, as it has begun raining hard again.main


THANS for the live updates from your side of the world... Take care.
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Whatever the cause of the weakening of cloud tops in the southern eyewall a bit ago was, it's been resolved.

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Using the EF Tornado scale for Hurricane comparison is ridiculous at best.

ALWAYS.
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324. beell
Quoting 316. 1900hurricane:

That was a good read. The pressure gradient must have been sharp indeed to get waves that high and sink that many ships with that limited of a maritime fetch.


The low bombed out at 969 mb over Erie, PA. The particular track of the low allowed mostly northerly/northeasterly winds to make use of every bit of fetch available.

The video in the Resource Center section shows this fairly well. The wind graphics begin AOA the 1:50 mark.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
 photo IMG_4401_zps1afe2cb9.jpg


 photo IMG_4402_zpse34026ed.jpg


Here's that road (Hung Vuong) in Nha Trang now that the water has subsided to the depth of about a foot; first looking north, then looking south. No foot traffic but a few vehicles now venturing out. Probably another hour or two until it's walkable - maybe longer, as it has begun raining hard again.main
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Quoting 319. Jedkins01:


Nope, Andrew was the equivalent of an EF3 tornado along with Charley. Wilma was equivalent of an EF4 at peak power.

Here is the scale as follows:
mph km/h m/s
EF0 65%u201385 104%u2013137 29%u201337

EF1 86%u2013110 138%u2013177 38%u201349

EF2 111%u2013135 178%u2013217 50%u201360

EF3 136%u2013165 218%u2013266 61%u201373

EF4 166%u2013200 267%u2013322 74%u201390

EF5 >200 >322 >90


Although it is tough to compare straight line winds of a hurricane which is like thunderstorm winds to that of a tornado which produces suction wind force.

My experience is that tornado winds of similar wind equivalent do more damage. However, that may really only be in terms of time duration, since the duration of hurricane winds make up for that. Even a fast moving system like Charley with a tiny eye produces an exceedingly longer duration of violent winds than a tornado.

Given this, Charley and Andrew did inflict what I would call EF3 tornado equivalent damage in their areas of peak power. However, their duration was longer, and thus tornado winds of similar velocity are typically more destructive given their short duration of often just 20 to 30 seconds upon which their damage is inflicted.

I read somewhere around the time the EF scale was being implemented that tornadic winds have a fairly large upward component, much larger than say tropical cyclone winds, and it was theorized that this upward component allows them to have greater damage potential. Unfortunately, this was a while ago and I don't remember where I read this, but I would love to go back and see if I can find it again.
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Quoting 303. Civicane49:
Yikes


The visible width of this storm is now greater than the width/length of the Philippine islands!
This is going to be one Narsty thing over the next couple of days.
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Quoting 318. LesBonsTemps:
a href=" photo IMG_4401_zps1f309775.jpg" target="_blank">

Following up on earlier post - Let's see if this works.


Well done, and a really wet kiss from 30W!

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6695
Quoting 250. FunnelVortex:


Yeah, a Cat 5 (like Andrew) is the equivalent of an EF-2 tornado, but stretched out for a lot longer.


Nope, Andrew was the equivalent of an EF3 tornado along with Charley. Wilma was equivalent of an EF4 at peak power.

Here is the scale as follows:
mph km/h m/s
EF0 65%u201385 104%u2013137 29%u201337

EF1 86%u2013110 138%u2013177 38%u201349

EF2 111%u2013135 178%u2013217 50%u201360

EF3 136%u2013165 218%u2013266 61%u201373

EF4 166%u2013200 267%u2013322 74%u201390

EF5 >200 >322 >90


Although it is tough to compare straight line winds of a hurricane which is like thunderstorm winds to that of a tornado which produces suction wind force.

My experience is that tornado winds of similar wind equivalent do more damage. However, that may really only be in terms of time duration, since the duration of hurricane winds make up for that. Even a fast moving system like Charley with a tiny eye produces an exceedingly longer duration of violent winds than a tornado.

Given this, Charley and Andrew did inflict what I would call EF3 tornado equivalent damage in their areas of peak power. However, their duration was longer, and thus tornado winds of similar velocity are typically more destructive given their short duration of often just 20 to 30 seconds upon which their damage is inflicted.
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a href=" photo IMG_4401_zps1f309775.jpg" target="_blank">

Following up on earlier post - Let's see if this works.
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Quoting 313. Climate175:
Also my local weatherman just said we could see a Rain/Snow line with the system.
NWS forecast for me is sayin' for Wed. the 13th Rain/Snow Showers. So the NWS, maybe, they agree with this...?
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Quoting 306. beell:
NOAA's Centennial Anniversary-Great Lakes Storm of November 1913


In November of 1913 the Great Lakes were struck by a massive storm system combining whiteout blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds. The storm lasted for four days, during which the region endured 90 mile per hour winds and waves reaching 35 feet in height. With only basic technology available, shipping communication and weather prediction systems were not prepared for a storm of such devastating force. When the skies finally cleared, the Great Lakes had seen a dozen major shipwrecks, an estimated 250 lives lost, and more than $5 million in damages (the equivalent of more than $117 million today).

Nicknamed the “White Hurricane” and the ‘Freshwater Fury” the 1913 storm remains the most devastating natural disaster to ever strike the Great Lakes. One hundred years later, NOAA commemorates the Storm of 1913 not only for the pivotal role it plays in the history of the Great Lakes but also for its enduring influence. Modern systems of shipping communication, weather prediction, and storm preparedness have all been fundamentally shaped by the events of November 1913.



That was a good read. The pressure gradient must have been sharp indeed to get waves that high and sink that many ships with that limited of a maritime fetch.
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Quoting 304. MAweatherboy1:
Big storm off the East Coast in 7-8 days on the 18z GFS, there would definitely be some snow if this verified, but I have a hard time believing it for now.

Good Article on said storm, centered on New England, specifically CT.
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Quoting 309. LesBonsTemps:
(No luck with the photo - will see if I can learn the technology for uploading)

If it's your own photo, you may upload it on WU:

http://wiki.wunderground.com/index.php/WunderPhot os_-_Uploading

I think it will be especially welcomed from an eye witness in a faraway country!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 62 Comments: 6695
Also my local weatherman just said we could see a Rain/Snow line with the system.
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Quoting 310. washingtonian115:
I'm not believing the lies the models are spewing either.
Jim Cantore just said this could be a interesting event for DC, Baltimore, Philly next Wed
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311. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


Kind of a novice at this, but hopefully this is a picture of a flooded alley in Nha Trang, Vietnam just before sunrise this morning, courtesy of TD remaining from Krosa.

The alley leads on to a flooded roadway, which can't really be seen, but is running horizontally near the center of the photo. Water depth in the main roadway is about two feet. At one foot vehicles and bicycles and waders can get through, but not at the current depth.

Rain has stopped and water should subside over the course of the morning.


30W (Wilma) is actually near that part of Vietnam right now..
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Quoting 304. MAweatherboy1:
Big storm off the East Coast in 7-8 days on the 18z GFS, there would definitely be some snow if this verified, but I have a hard time believing it for now.

I'm not believing the lies the models are spewing either.
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Kind of a novice at this, but hopefully this is a picture of a flooded alley in Nha Trang, Vietnam just before sunrise this morning, courtesy of TD remaining from Krosa.

The alley leads on to a flooded roadway, which can't really be seen, but is running horizontally near the center of the photo. Water depth in the main roadway is about two feet. At one foot vehicles and bicycles and waders can get through, but not at the current depth.

Rain has stopped and water should subside over the course of the morning.

(No luck with the photo - will see if I can learn the technology for uploading)
Member Since: August 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 158
After seeing the huge typhoons that have been forming on the other side of the world, I am very happy for our "bust" season on this side of the world. Prayers for all of those in the way of Haiyan. Scary!
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307. VR46L
*GULP*

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306. beell
NOAA's Centennial Anniversary-Great Lakes Storm of November 1913


In November of 1913 the Great Lakes were struck by a massive storm system combining whiteout blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds. The storm lasted for four days, during which the region endured 90 mile per hour winds and waves reaching 35 feet in height. With only basic technology available, shipping communication and weather prediction systems were not prepared for a storm of such devastating force. When the skies finally cleared, the Great Lakes had seen a dozen major shipwrecks, an estimated 250 lives lost, and more than $5 million in damages (the equivalent of more than $117 million today).

Nicknamed the “White Hurricane” and the ‘Freshwater Fury” the 1913 storm remains the most devastating natural disaster to ever strike the Great Lakes. One hundred years later, NOAA commemorates the Storm of 1913 not only for the pivotal role it plays in the history of the Great Lakes but also for its enduring influence. Modern systems of shipping communication, weather prediction, and storm preparedness have all been fundamentally shaped by the events of November 1913.


Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
I wonder how Palau is doing right now... Prayers to them
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Big storm off the East Coast in 7-8 days on the 18z GFS, there would definitely be some snow if this verified, but I have a hard time believing it for now.

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Yikes

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302. VR46L
Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

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The reintroduction of the darkest grays on the eastern side of the CDO has caused the ADT's Raw T-Numbers to climb for the first time since the convective pattern began to deteriorate at the beginning of eyewall replacement.



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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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