Durian: worst tropical cyclone of 2006

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:49 PM GMT on December 04, 2006

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The death toll in the Philippine Islands from Typhoon Durian (called Typhoon Reming in the Philippines) now stands at 1226 dead or missing, according to Philippine disaster officials, and is certain to go higher as rescue workers continue to recover bodies from mudslides that buried at least eight villages at the foot of Mayon Volcano. Durian is now the third most deadly tropical cyclone to strike the Philippines since 1946, according to a list maintained at typhoon2000.ph. The worst storm, Tropical Storm Thelma, killed 5,100-8,000 people in 1991 when torrential rains caused flash floods on over-logged hills surrounding Ormoc City in Leyte. A river flowing through the city burst its banks, and drowned over 1/4 of the residents. The second most deadly was Typhoon Ike of September 1, 1984, which killed 1300-3000 due to flooding and mudslides from torrential rains. Like Durian, Ike was a 145-mph Category 4 typhoon at landfall, but Thelma never even made it to typhoon status. The Philippines have also suffered calamitous mudslides and flooding from heavy rains associated with La Niņa events, as occurred in February 2006 when 3000 people died on Leyte Island. The worst flooding disaster ever to affect the Philippines that I could find record of was the typhoon of November 6, 1885, which killed 10,000 when a huge storm surge roared ashore on the Tiburon Peninsula. Durian has surpassed Tropical Storm Bilis as the deadliest tropical cyclone to affect the globe in 2006. Bilis killed 662 people in July, primarily due to severe flooding in China.


Figure 1. Rainfall estimates from NASA's TRMM satellite on November 29, 2006, as Typhoon Durian approached the Philippines. Durian brought 8-12 inches of rain along its path.

The region Durian hit has been visited by at least one other typhoon of similar intensity. On November 25, 1987, Typhoon Nina hit the Mayon Volcano region as a category 5 super typhoon. A pressure of 909.5 mb was measured at Legaspi, the lowest pressure ever recorded in the Philippines. Mudslides and flash floods roaring down the Mayon Volcano killed 600-1100 people.

The damage caused by Durian has been extreme. Nearly 300,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. Damage to agriculture has been exceptionally heavy, as well. Total damage estimates are at $643 million, making Durian by far the most costly typhoon in Philippine history. The previous most costly typhoons did damage in the $100-$200 million dollar range.

Durian sideswiped southern Vietnam Monday as a weak Category 1 typhoon, but its winds were strong enough to kill 49 people there, and damage or destroyed 58,000 homes. Durian is expected to become a rare ocean-to-ocean tropical cyclone when it crosses the Malay Peninsula Wednesday and enters the Indian Ocean in the Bay of Bengal. Dry air is expected to keep the storm below typhoon strength for the remainder of its life.

I'll update this blog Wednesday afternoon, when the new head of the National Hurricane Center will be announced.

Jeff Masters

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383. Veracity
7:37 AM GMT on December 06, 2006
Oops, excuse me - wrong blog!! I thought this was the serious weather blog (swift retreat > > > > > > > > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
350. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:18 AM GMT on December 06, 2006
Storm ID: 24W.INVEST (Former Durian)

Joint Typhoon Warning Center
An area of convection near 9.9šN 98.5šE or 360 nm east- southeast of Andaman Islands. Imagery shows an improved cosolidation and well defined low level circulation center. Analysis shows the area is within improving environment with low vertical wind sheer.

Maximum sustained winds are 20 to 25 knots with a center pressure of 1004mb. Potential development to form into a tropical cyclone is fair.

=======================

Storm ID: 93W INVEST

Japan Meteorological Agency

low pressure area
4.0šN 148.0šE -- < 20 knots 1008 hPa

Joint Typhoon Warning Center
Area of convection near 9.0šN 142.3šE or 300 nm south-southwest of Guam. Imagery shows an improve cosolidation of low level circulation center. The analysis shows the disturbance center is within favorable environment with low vertical sheer.

Maximum sustained winds of 15 to 20 knots and a center pressure 1004 mb. Potential development to form into a tropical cyclone has been upgraded to fair.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46177
345. Skyepony (Mod)
5:54 AM GMT on December 06, 2006
Randrewl..lol..one of these days. When you gonna find me a peer approved article in the last 5 years against it? Ya know something not funded by an energy company... How about any country's stance against it & there, nothing rewritten by one of Bush's aids with no scientific background. Even Iraq & Iran admit it, that's like Phillip Morris saying...well guess that does cause cancer.

Buster~ she's not gonna fund no tunnel, the problem was solved in Lowes with the right light bulb, hot water heater blanket, outdoor solar lighting, frequent air filter changes, energy starr appliances...ya know the little things we could do that would save us 20% on our electric bill & take 20% off what our house ends up releasing in CO2. Short of planting trees everything you can do easily in your life to reduce CO2 saves you money & increases the resale value of your home. That's why they like Randrewl in the dark. But really Buster your ruining the topic for us. Peoples minds were once changed here often, your tanting the subject. Your even talking about weakening a TD today. Some trees can't reproduce without a cane. It's nature, you stop them & you stop the heat transfer from ocean to atmosphere & beyond. So then the oceans only get warmer since you've trapped the heat there. That doesn't stop melting of ice. There's things you can put in the currents that make electricity quite well. Countries (mostly island nations) that don't have easy acsess or alliances with oil use them.

& what I stated there was all true...Oprah.com careful don't let Al Gore bore ya to death. I had to laugh at the beginning of his movie..it couldn't have opened in a slower more put ya to sleep tone, while watching a gentle river.

& I ain't always right on these storms just on a streak lately (in this basin)...or I should stop looking at models & discussions, not sure which, probibly the streak.

Divergance at the top has increased but so has convergance at the bottom. So probibly not complete death by mountains but without a new center reforming on the otherside avoiding the land mess, can't say 100% sure. ~ Now I've gone too long to get in a blog update. Tommarrow ya'll.
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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.