Another Madagascar cyclone; first typhoon of the season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:31 PM GMT on April 02, 2007

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We don't pay much attention to Madagascar, the impoverished island of 18 million off the southeast coast of Africa. However, that island has seen a remarkable series of devastating tropical cyclones during the current Southern Hemisphere hurricane season, which peaks in March and is now in its waning months. Tropical Cyclone Jaya, a Category 2 storm poised to strike the island on Tuesday, is the sixth tropical cyclone to bring heavy rains to the island since December--the most number of cyclones to affect the island in such a short period of time. The previous storm, Tropical Cyclone Indlala, hit Madagascar on March 15, killing 80 and leaving 105,000 homeless. The torrential rains of Indlala, in addition to setting world rainfall records for a 72-hour period on nearby La Reunion Island, flooded much of northern Madagascar, wiping out large portions of the rice crop. Earlier this year, 45,000 Madagascarans were left homeless by Cyclone Bondo (25 December 2006), Cyclone Clovis (3 January 2007), Cyclone Favio (18 January 2007), and Cyclone Gamede (26 February 2007). In addition, the seasonal rains have been heavier than usual this year, as the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has been further south than normal.

Jaya is a small cyclone, and is not expected to bring more than about six inches of rain to northern Madagascar. However, the island has not recovered from the flooding from the previous five cyclones, and Jaya's rains will cause great hardship. Madagascar has appealed for $242 million in international aid to help put the country back together.


Figure 1. Visible image of Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Jaya at 06:45 UTC February 2, 2007, as it approached Madagascar. Image credit: NASA.

First typhoon of the year
In the Western Pacific, we have our first typhoon of the 2007 typhoon season, Category 1 Kong-rey. This is a fairly typical time to get the first tropical cyclone in the Western Pacific, where the waters are warm enough year-round to support typhoons. Kong-rey is expected to pass through the Mariana Islands north of Guam as a Category 1 storm, and recurve out to sea. Some of the global computer models we use to forecast hurricanes--the GFS, NOGAPS, and ECMWF--did a remarkable job forecasting the formation of this typhoon as early as seven days in advance. Hopefully, this skill will extend to the coming Atlantic hurricane season!

Jeff Masters

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125. lilmax
3:54 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
What's going on with Kong-rey's southwestern eyewall quadrant? All the bad weather's in that area while the rest of the storm isn't so intense.

My personal feeling about '07 hurr. season:
17 Tropical Storms
8 Hurricanes
4 Cat. 3 <

Pretty similar to Dr. Gray's forecast but I still have a feeling that wind shear might be a problem...Not a WAG
124. weatherboykris
3:37 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
It's gonna take a 'cane to stop the drought.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
123. TheCaneWhisperer
3:36 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
We just need some rain down here! Things are really getting bad. The ground water took a huge unexpected dive last week and still falling. There are talks of raising the canal levels at the coast to protect saltwater from contaminating the ground water. If we don't get rain and that protection runs out, who knows what will happen. Links are in my blog to read the reports.
122. weatherboykris
3:30 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
You got anything better,Inyo?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
121. weatherboykris
3:30 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
This March:



March 2004:



Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
120. Inyo
3:30 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
pure speculation!
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 896
119. weatherboykris
3:25 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Looks to me,with the current 500mb height pattern anyway,like a season such as '04 is setting up.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
118. weatherboykris
3:25 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Not good news.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
117. weatherboykris
3:24 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Yep,looks like 4 systems hit peninsular Florida in those years,with several big-storm near misses.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
116. TheCaneWhisperer
3:24 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
From the Report!

There were five hurricane seasons since 1949 with characteristics most similar to what we observe in February-March 2007 and characteristics that we expect to see in August-October 2007. The best analog years that we could find for the 2007 hurricane season are 1952, 1964, 1966, 1995 and 2003. We anticipate that 2007 seasonal hurricane activity will have activity slightly more than what was experienced in the average of these five years. We expect the 2007 hurricane season to be very active.

115. weatherboykris
3:21 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Really?I haven't checked out the analog years.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
114. TheCaneWhisperer
3:21 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
It will be interesting to see if this forcast is more accurate using the new system outlined in the report. And those analog years outlined leave little to be desired for those of us living in Florida.
113. weatherboykris
3:18 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Since 2001,their April forecast has been off by an average of 4.5 storms,and they usually underestimate storm numbers.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
112. weatherboykris
3:16 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
By April there is some accuracy.Not much,but some.
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111. refill
3:14 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
April 3 Dr. Gray Forecast 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season

17 Storms
9 Hurricanes
5 Intense Hurricanes
Link
110. homegirl
3:12 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Dr. Gray's updated forecast:Link
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
109. norfolknob
3:12 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Seen to remember Dr Masters saying at the end of last season that there was no usable level of accuracy in any predictions made before August. But that everyone should keep trying. Wise words from the Doc I think. In the meantime, here in Belize, we watch and pray - this little country does not need a hurricane...who does. And poor Madagascar...
108. MissBennet
2:53 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Does anyone know when the U.K. report for April will be out?

107. weatherboykris
2:52 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
75% chance of a major hurricane landfall this year in the U.S. .From Gray.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
106. JeffM
2:34 PM GMT on April 03, 2007


FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should be "very active," with 17 named storms, a top storms forecaster said Tuesday.

Those named storms are expected to include five intense or major hurricanes, according to forecaster William Gray's team at Colorado State University. Gray said there is a 74 percent probability of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. coast.

The team's forecasts are based global oceanic and atmospheric conditions.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 143
105. 882MB
2:01 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Thanks SKYEPONY, just was trying to see a LOW PRESSURE AREA that might bring us RAIN HERE IN FLORIDA WHERE WE NEEDED AROUND 144 HOURS TO 192 HOURS, SHOWN IN THE GFS MODEL!
Member Since: September 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 428
104. Thunderstorm2
1:58 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Kong-rey has got a very rugged eye

kong-rey
kong-rey

While Jaya is disorginized cause of contact with land

jaya
jaya
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
103. Patrap
1:57 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Thursday's Workshop Schedule at the NHC conference Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129760
102. homegirl
1:53 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
hey thel, i can wait to see one of your famous stick drawings this year!!

I am also waiting for Dr. Gray's report.
H23 gave us a glimpse yesterday, friends in high places:)
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
101. Skyepony (Mod)
1:47 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
882~ try this link
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 222 Comments: 39353
100. thelmores
1:39 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
i take "EVERY" forecast for the upcoming season, and throw them them out!!!

I can say with reasonable certainty, the activity of the season is still a guesstimate at best!!

I will feel more comfortable examining conditions and trends in 2-3 months..... then i think we can better make an "educated" guess......

till then, I would "refrain" from making predictions......

bottom line, at present, we are "on the fence" as to how the season will go......

i'd wait a couple months in hopes of "hedging" your bets! ;)
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
99. 882MB
1:38 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Hey everybody, I cant get FLAWEATHER.COM its not letting me through. Im trying to see the CMC,NOGAPS,UKMET MODELS!
Member Since: September 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 428
98. stormhank
1:31 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
what time will dr grays updated forecast be out today?
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
97. Skyepony (Mod)
1:10 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
Jaya hit land. Still kicking 90kts using 1 min average.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 222 Comments: 39353
96. Bonedog
12:09 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
I have the most foolproof forcast for the upcoming hurricane season......

It will be light during the day and dark at night with a 50/50 chance or rain or sun each day :)

Happy Wishcasting Everyone
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
95. Patrap
12:07 PM GMT on April 03, 2007
More From The Times-Picayune | Subscribe To The Times-Picayune
Corps to bolster floodwall
Sand near sheet piles in 17th Street Canal

Tuesday, April 03, 2007
By Sheila Grissett

The Army Corps of Engineers will build rock and clay structures along the east bank of the 17th Street Canal to bolster 450 feet of floodwall on both sides of Veterans Memorial Boulevard, where new testing confirms that steel sheet piles anchoring the wall are closer to underground sand layers than allowed in safety standards adopted since Hurricane Katrina.

The construction, which is expected to raise dirt levees on both the water and the protected sides of the wall by as much as six feet in some spots, is designed to ensure that the floodwall doesn't breach during a tropical event that adds as much as six feet of surge in the canal, Army Corps of Engineers officials said Monday.

New geotechnical testing showed that the tips -- or bottoms -- of sheet pile walls in the 450-foot section are within two feet of unstable stratas of sand that run under the levees, and a decision was made to reinforce that stretch, said Col. Richard Wagenaar, commander of the corps' New Orleans district.






"This is a lesson learned from Katrina," Wagenaar said. "Our geotech sampling located a sand stratum that's within five feet of the tip of the sheet pile, and that's like an alarm that goes off. It's an area of concern, and we're taking proactive measures."

More restrictive safety standards adopted since Katrina, in which numerous breaches were responsible for flooding most of New Orleans and parts of East Jefferson, require that sheet pile tips be at least five feet away from sand.

The new restrictions were set to ensure that the floodwalls remain stable at the six-foot "safe water level" adopted by a corps-led forensic task force last year. If tropical storm surge raised the canal level above six feet, floodgates at Lake Pontchartrain would be closed. Wagenaar said the six-foot safe water elevation will be maintained during this hurricane season, which begins June 1.

Wagenaar said the discovery of sand within two feet of tips of the sheet piling, most of which is buried to only 14.5 feet in the "area of concern," won't restrict the amount of water allowed to be pumped into the canal.

District chief engineer Walter Baumy said the results of seepage and stability analyses indicated that even without reinforcement, the floodwall in that region wouldn't fail -- even with six feet of surge against it.

"What we're doing is actually adding insurance," he said.

The problem is most acute north of Veterans, where 350 feet of floodwall must be reinforced. In this area, he said, there is no more than 2 to 2.5 feet of earthen levee on the water side of the floodwallTo raise that levee section to 8 feet, Baumy said, a stone base will first be constructed in the canal, flush against the floodwall. The stone base will be about 50 feet wide beneath the water, but will gradually narrow to about 30 feet above the still water surface of the canal. The stone will also cover what small amount of earthen levee exists in this area, and the larger compacted-clay levee will be added atop the stone.

South of Veterans, where about 100 feet of floodwall is involved, Baumy said tests indicate that there is about 6.3 feet of earthen levee.

"We only need it to be six feet there to satisfy the design criteria, which it does, but we'll go ahead and raise it to eight feet," he said.






Some of the breaches during Katrina occurred when water traveled through sand and underneath the sheet piling, causing the floodwall and sheet pile base to deflect, or lean, away from the canals and toward the neighborhoods.

This deflection caused cracks to form all the way down to the sheet pile tips and gave water a fast seepage route that quickly caused the walls to breach.

"We don't expect a crack to form in this area because of the steps we're taking, but if that did happen, we've sealed the area in clay so that water can't get into the crack," Baumy said.

Baumy said detailed testing of the 17th Street Canal is now all but complete, and he doesn't expect to find any more problems.

The London Avenue Canal, with a safe water level of four feet, is still being tested, and no detailed work has been done at the Orleans Canal, which engineers have said was better constructed and has a water restriction of 8 feet
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129760
94. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:04 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
As of 6:00am UTC, CYCLONE Tropical Jaya (14R) had 10 min sustained winds of 75 knots with wind gusts up to 105 knots, and was reported moving west-northwest at 9 knots.

The system was located 870 km northwest of the coast of Reunion.

CI: T5.0

Linked to a mid tropospheric dry air intrusion and to a slight increase of the east-northeastly vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Jaya has clearly disorganized, Undergoing a mid-level high cell on the Mozambican Channel it has recurved west-northwest.

The weakening is rather quick and the system is expected to make landfall in three hours (0900UTC) in the vincitiy of Sambava (Malagasy) at the minimal stage of tropical cyclone.

Heavy rainfall and strong winds are foreseen between Sainte Maria and Fanambana during the next 12 to 24 hours. Jaya should come back over sea at a tropical depression stage within the next night south of Nosy-be.

In a first time, the potential for an intensification would be poor but it should undergo an area of better environment within 48 hours in the Mozambican Channel.

Tropical Cyclone Jaya Outlook
========================
12 Hrs. Overland
24 Hrs. 30 knots Tropical Depression
48 Hrs. 40 knots Tempête Tropicale Moderée
72 Hrs. 50 knots Forte Tempête Tropicale
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46906
93. Caffinehog
3:57 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
skyepony... Mimic looks like the central convection is dying down a bit... probably an eyewall replacement cycle. This is a blessing for Madagascar.
Member Since: June 5, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 40
92. Tazmanian
3:51 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
you are way off there will be no 5 name storm this year there will be any where from 17 to 21 name storms this year
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91. Caffinehog
3:48 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Here's my prediction:

There will be at least 5 hurricaines in the north atlantic this year, and most of them will go out to sea. At least three tropical systems will impact the US.

I also predict that floods, drought, and fires will affect different areas of the US this year, and there will be at least one more big tornado outbreak this year.

I also predict that a lot of people will blame it all on global warming.



... and that ain't a WAG!!!!!!
Member Since: June 5, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 40
90. Skyepony (Mod)
3:35 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Most recent Mimic. Jogged just south of west now, a direct hit on Antahala again, would be no suprise. This is the trend I see for the rest of '07, last year it was Australia & the Phillipines. Most likely somewhere in the N hemisphere will be smacked repeatadly.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 222 Comments: 39353
89. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:40 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
07 season new york city hit with cat 5 storm roars in off the atlantic maybe by mid august or there after but before september also noam on a whole shall have to endure a heat wave like never seen before possible 30 days of 100 degree temp starting in mid july right to mid august then storms will come not early late nuttin till then remember 06 it was a bore 07 will lull them to sleep as to catch them off guard then bang one after another till the end of sept.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55970
88. HIEXPRESS
2:10 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Posted By: lilmax at 9:45 PM EDT on April 02
Here's the 1,000,000$ question...will Florida have a Cat. 5?

You mean the $100,000,000,000 question?
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
87. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1:59 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Here is what Reunion has to say during their 12am UTC tropical cyclone advisory
===============================================

CYCLONE Tropical Jaya (14R) has 10 min sustained winds of 85 knots with wind gusts up to 120 knots, moving west at 10 knots.

The system is located 765 km northwest of the coast of Reunion.

CI: T5.5

During the past few hours, the warm core structure has been disorganized and the convection has been eroded in the northeastern sector. Due to a mid tropospheric dry air intrusion and to a slight increase of the northerly vertical wind shear.. Jaya currently shows a slight weakening tendency as it keeps on tracking westward towards the Malgasy coastline.

The Tropical Cyclone is expected to make landfall in the vicinity of Antalaha within the next 6 to 12 hours. Heavy rains and strong winds are foreseen over northeastern Madagascar between Sainte Marie and Fanambana during the next 24 hours.

The remnants of Jaya may track over waters again in the Mozambique Channel in 2 days, but the potential for re-intensification currently is POOR.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46906
86. Skyepony (Mod)
1:46 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Jaya is pretty incredible on MIMIC at the moment. It has tracked slightly N of west as it is approaching Madagascar.

Antahala (map) may get the worst again.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 222 Comments: 39353
85. lilmax
1:45 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Here's the 1,000,000$ question...will Florida have a Cat. 5? I think there's a slim chance.
84. Tazmanian
1:26 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
there is no way this year is going to be like 06 no way and you said 95% wish is way to high
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
83. Chicklit
1:22 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Taz: You said 0-5% will NOT BE LIKE that means there is at least a 95% chance it WILL BE LIKE '06.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
81. Tazmanian
1:18 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Posted By: Chicklit at 9:14 PM EDT on April 02, 2007.

What is the chance of '07 being like '06 hurricane season when so many storms were blown back east when they came near the US coast?


0 to 5% at the most 2007 will not be like the year we had in 06 sorry that is like a evere now and then thing
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
80. Chicklit
1:14 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
What is the chance of '07 being like '06 hurricane season when so many storms were blown back east when they came near the US coast?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
79. stormwatcher247
12:46 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
Is anyone chatting tonight?
78. stormwatcher247
12:41 AM GMT on April 03, 2007
I agree, all this early stuff is FWAG
77. DG136
9:54 PM GMT on April 02, 2007
These "forecasts" are nothing more than WAG (wild ___ guesses)

Here's last year's woefully incorrect early April forecast:

2006 Hurricane WAG - way off

And here is June 2005's WAG: (at least Dr M waited until June to bring this up)

2005 Hurricane WAG _esp comment about every 90,000 years at end! (ok, the above normal was on, but not as busy as 2004 was off)

-StormMan

He said for those who live in Florida, and was refering to the chances of getting hit with 4 hurricane back to back, 3 of them major hurricanes, etc. Florida saw 3 hurricanes in 2005, Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma. Dennis and Wilma were both major hurricanes, but when Katrina hit south florida, it was a minimal hurricane. So his WAG wasnt so bad for 2005 as it was 2006.
76. hurricane23
9:47 PM GMT on April 02, 2007
Not so farther
south, especially Florida, where I think '04 and '05 were ringing in a
return to the '40s.
The bottom line is this is a much more bullish
forecast idea for threats to the energy of the U.S. than last year and
also one where last year may be looked at as a breather.


1940's were incredibly active for southeast florida in particular.

Lets go threw a few track seasons back in the 40's.

1945 season

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1948 season

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1941 season

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75. ClearH2OFla
9:36 PM GMT on April 02, 2007
h23 sorry so long to get back working right now thank you for the info

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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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