Typhoon Xangsane whallops the Philippines; new disturbance approaching Lesser Antilles Islands

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:22 PM GMT on September 27, 2006

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Typhoon Xangsane, potentially the most dangerous tropical cyclone to affect the world this year, is battering the Philippine Islands today with Category 4 winds. Xangsane was a mere tropical storm yesterday, and was expected to hit the Philippines as a tropical storm or weak Category 1 typhoon at worst. Xangsane confounded the experts and put on a remarkable intensification spurt that brought it from tropical storm strength to a Category 4 typhoon in just 24 hours. The intensification was not expected, since the typhoon's circulation hugged the coast for much of this period.


Figure 1. Typhoon Xangsane at landfall in the Philippines. Image credit: Navy Research Lab.

The Philippines are very vulnerable to high death tolls from major typhoons, due to the high terrain that spawns deadly mudslides and floods. Xangsane is forecast to pass over the capital, Manila--the most heavily populated area of the country. These factors, plus the unpreparedness of the population due to the poor forecasts of Xangsane's intensification, make Xangsane a very dangerous storm for the Philippines. The last significant typhoon to affect Manila was 1995's Supertyphoon Angela, which killed 740, left 650,000 homeless, and caused severe damage to the agricultural areas surrounding the capital. Angela was one of 14 tropical storms or typhoons to affect the typhoon-prone Philippines that year.

Wind reports from Legospi and Catanduanes showed sustained winds of 63 mph and 45 mph, respectively so far today, with higher gusts. The winds have not yet picked up at the capital of Manila, where Xangsane is expected to pass Friday as a Category 2 typhoon. Interaction with land should weaken Xangsane on its passage over the Philippine Islands, but the typhoon should intensify once more this weekend into a major typhoon before hitting Vietnam.

New threat approaching Lesser Antilles Islands
A new area of concern has developed this morning near 17N 58W, about 500 miles east of the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands, in association with a tropical wave moving west-northwest at 15 mph. The wave has developed a sharp increase in its heavy thunderstorm activity, and there are signs of a surface circulation in visible satellite imagery. Winds at a buoy at 16N, 58W, just to the south of the disturbance, have gone from northeast to north-northwest in the past few hours, signifying that this disturbance might have a closed circulation. Unfortunately, this morning's QuikSCAT pass missed the disturbance, and we'll have to wait until about 8pm EDT for a new pass. The disturbance will bring showers and gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands Friday morning. The disturbance is under about 10 knots of wind shear, and the shear is expected to remain at 10 knots or below the next few days. This may allow some development, and we will need to keep a close eye on this wave. I imagine it will end up recurving between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast, but it is too early to be confident of this.

We also need to watch the cloud-covered areas of the ocean surrounding the U.S. where cold fronts stall out over the next week. One such area to watch is off the North Carolina Outer Banks today, where a tropical low could develop and scoot quickly northeastward out to sea. The Western Caribbean near the Yucatan Peninsula could see some development early next week, when a strong cold front is expected to push off the East Coast of the U.S. and stall out over this region.

Disturbance 96L near tropical depression strength
The tropical wave (96L) we've been watching, at 26N 52W, about 850 miles east-northeast of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, is near tropical depression strength. Wind shear has dropped from 20 knots yesterday to 15 knots today, which has allowed more heavy thunderstorm activity to build to the east of the center of circulation. The QuikSCAT pass from 5am EDT this morning showed winds of 25-30 knots (30-35 mph) in some of the heavier squalls. The storm is in a moist environment, the ocean beneath is warm, and I do expect that the shear will remain low enough to allow 96L to develop into a tropical depression in the next day or two, as forecast by the Canadian and GFDL models. All of the models predict that 96L will turn north and recurve out to sea, and will not be a threat to any land areas.


Figure 1. Preliminary models tracks for Invest 96L.

I'll have an update Thursday morning, or later today if the new wave approaching the Lesser Antilles islands looks significant.

Jeff Masters

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949. MahFL
2:34 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Do not mention the "West" word !!!!!!
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2905
947. jake436
2:01 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
New blog guys
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 271
946. nash28
1:58 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Don't really know yet. It is gonna have a hell of a time battling the shear around FL.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
945. funeeeg
1:56 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
For every one in the box one can think of as many that were not in the box; Andrew, Jeanne Ivan and Charlie to name but a few. Once can play with stats to prove or disprove anything! For example; all women who have had breast cancer have worn a brassiere, does that make bra's responsible for breast cancer - of course not.
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 218
942. Miamiweather
1:53 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
nash with the model run on 97l what is the maximum intensity of the storm if it does develop
939. nash28
1:50 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Interesting model runs for 97L.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
937. Patrap
1:49 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Jesus..u guys gonna wear out them mail ponys..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125466
934. homegirl
1:39 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
It's been fun, kids need mommy back, talk to ya'll later:)
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
933. quante
1:39 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
October and November.still active and can produce LinkHurricanes

Like Wilma, 2005.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 329
932. Patrap
1:38 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
A retired name we all know..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125466
930. quante
1:36 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
From South Florida, not liking the look or location of 97L.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 329
929. Patrap
1:34 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
October and November.still active and can produce LinkHurricanes
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125466
927. fldude99
1:34 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
i think its safe to start using all that generator gas for the car now
Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 574
925. fldude99
1:29 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
whats the general opinion here..is the northern GOM out of the woods for this season?
Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 574
922. i12BNEi
1:17 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Thelmores

Thank you! :)
919. ciclonson
1:17 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Apparently this Hebert theory only works for major storms, though. We've certainly had plenty of lesser storms that did not pass through either of these boxes - Katrina to name just one.

918. ricderr
1:16 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Obviously I misread my winds.
Guys, when rand is reading his winds, please stand upwind. Ricderr
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 667 Comments: 20091
917. weatherguy03
1:14 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Yes, trough over the Eastern U.S will continue to amplify towards the weekend and move into the Western Atlantic. Will push 97L towards the NW eventually.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 589 Comments: 29691
916. thelmores
1:14 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
" BOX #1 (since 1950)
1950 Baker--Alabama....1950 Dog--out to sea....1951 Charlie--Yucatan/Mexico....1952 Baker-- out to sea....1953 Carol--Nova scotia....1954 ALice--Leeward isl out to sea....1955 Connie--N Carolina....1955 Ione--N Carolina....1956 Betsy--N Antilles, PR,Bahamas....1958 Fifi--out to sea....1958 Ilsa--out to sea....1960 DonnaN Antilles,Bahamas,Fla,east seaboard....1963 Edith--windward isl,PR,Hispaniola....1964 Cleo--N Antilles,Hispaniola,Haiti,Cuba,Fla....1966 Faith--N Antilles....1966 Inez--N Antilles,Hispaniola,Haiti,Cuba,Bahamas,Fla,Yucatan,Mex....1967Beulah--Hispaniola,Yucata,S Texas....1975 Eloise--Hispaniola,Fla panhandle....1979 David--Antilles,Hispaniola,Haiti,Fla,Ga,Sc....1984 Klaus--out to sea....1985 Gloria--NE U.S....1989 dean--Bermuda,Newfoundland....1989 Hugo--N Antilles,PR,SC....1990 Klaus-- out to sea....1995 Luis--N Antilles,New foundland....1995 Marilyn--N antilles,VI.PR....1996 Bertha--N antilles,VI,PR,N carolina....1996 Fran--N Carolina....1996 Hortense--PR,Nova scotia....1997 Erika--out to sea....1998 Georges--N antilles,VI,PR,Hispaniola,Haiti,Cuba,Keys,mississippi....1999 Jose--N antilles,VI....1999 Lenny--N antilles....2000 Debby--n antilles,VI,Hispaniola....2004 FrancesBahamas,Treasure coast,Fla....




BOX #2 (since 1950)
1951 Item Cayman isl,Cuba....1952 FoxCaymans,Cuba,Bahamas....1961 HattieBelize....1981 KatrinaCuba,Bahamas....1988 GilbertYucatan,mexico....1995 RoxanneYucatan....1998 MitchHonduras....2001 irisBelize....2001 MichelleCuba,Bahamas....2004 Charley W cuba,Fla....2005 EmilyYucatan,Mexico....2005 WilmaYucatan,S Fla.... "
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
914. weatherboyfsu
1:14 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Good Morning everyone.........

Looks like we may have a new depression developing near the northern leeward islands.....Looks like its taking off....And, how terrible is the damage to the phillipines....looks like they are getting their katrina this year.....
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
912. homegirl
1:12 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
It won't be able to touch the SE US, look at that shear!! Thank goodness:)
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
911. thelmores
1:12 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
" Hebert has 2 boxes, both are between 20 and 15 degrees North. Box 1 is between 60 and 65 degrees West and Box 2 is between 80 and 85 degrees North.
According to Hebert, all of the major storms that have struck Florida passed through one of those boxes. Andrew was the only exception."


" This image shows the two Hebert boxes. If Floridians want an indication of a possible hit they need to keep an eye on any hurricane that passes through these boxes. Nearly every major Hurricane that hit S Florida since 1900 passed through these boxes. When major Hurricanes miss these boxes,they virtually always miss South Florida. If a major Hurricane moves into these boxes South Florida really needs to watch out. These boxes approx 335 miles x 335 miles includes the Virgin Islands but not Puerto Rico. The pattern has proven accurate for 9 out of 10 storms storms that developed & hit Dade,Broward & Palm Bch Counties. The following is a list showing Hurricanes that passed through these Boxes,starting with Box #1."

maybe this helps a little! :)

Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
910. weatherguy03
1:12 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Early run models:



In honor of Randrewl the BAMM is moving WEST!!..LOL
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 589 Comments: 29691
909. homegirl
1:11 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Hey 03, so even though the convection has been moving west, this will go N because it's association with the trough?
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
908. ricderr
1:11 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
f
Guys, this is Paul Hebert, creator of the hebert box theory. ricderr
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 667 Comments: 20091
906. ricderr
1:08 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Good point Randrewl.
it does my heart good to see the boys playing nice today...good job
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 667 Comments: 20091
903. weatherguy03
1:07 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
You can see that 97L is an extention of TD #9, its on the same trough axis.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 589 Comments: 29691
902. weatherguy03
1:06 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Good point Randrewl. 97L should be steered by the same trough that is steering TD #9. Shear will also be a factor as it moves WNW then NW. If it develops, maybe a threat to Bermuda??
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 589 Comments: 29691
900. thelmores
1:05 PM GMT on September 28, 2006


is that a "doughnut" i see? LOL

Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
899. i12BNEi
1:03 PM GMT on September 28, 2006
Morning all!
Where can I find info on this "Herbert Box",I never heard of it before.

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.