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Category 2 Usagi Hits China; Hong Kong Misses the Storm's Worst

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:50 PM GMT on September 22, 2013

Typhoon Usagi made landfall near Shanwei, China, about 90 miles east-northeast of Hong Kong, near 6 pm local time (6 am EDT) on Sunday. At landfall, Usagi--the Japanese word for rabbit--was a powerful Category 2 typhoon with top sustained winds of 110 mph. Shanwei recorded a sea level pressure of about 941 mb at landfall. As of noon EDT, the top winds recorded at the Hong Hong Airport were sustained at 40 mph, with gusts to 53 mph. Hong Kong's Cheung Chau Island recorded sustained winds of 54 mph, gusting to 76 mph. Since the typhoon made landfall well to the east of the city, Hong Kong was on the weaker (left) side of the storm, and missed Usagi's strongest winds and most significant storm surge. Hong Kong had a 0.7 meter (2.3') storm surge at the Kwai Chung measurement site. Shantou, located on the strong (right) side of the storm, experienced sustained winds of 49 mph, gusting to 67 mph. Two people were killed by a falling tree in China near Usagi's landfall location, and the typhoon is also being blamed for two deaths in the Philippines and nine injuries in Taiwan. Satellite images show that Usagi is weakening quickly as it moves inland, and the storm should dissipate over China by Tuesday morning.


Figure 1. Radar image of Usagi as it approached landfall showed that the typhoon had multiple concentric eyewalls. Image credit: weather.com.cn.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Usagi, taken at approximately 02:30 UTC on September 22, 2013. At the time, Usagi was a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Usagi Links
Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a new post, Hong Kong's typhoon history.

Landfall radar loops from three radars, put together by Brian McNoldy

Southeast China radar

#usagi at Twitter

Webcams in Hong Kong

The University of Wisconsin CIMSS Satellite Blog has a nice animation showing the trochoidal (wobbling) forward motion characteristic of intense tropical cyclones.

Vulnerability assessment of storm surges in the coastal area of Guangdong Province, a 2011 journal article by Li and Li.


Video 1. Typhoon chaser James Reynolds caught video of some impressive surf from Typhoon Usagi impacting Hong Kong on September 22, 2013. His Twitter feed is here.

Quiet in the Atlantic
In the Gulf of Mexico, the tail end of a cold front off the coast of Texas has developed an area of concentrated heavy thunderstorms. This disturbance has some modest spin to it, thanks to absorbing Invest 95L on Saturday. However, wind shear is high, 20 - 30 knots, and I don't expect this disturbance will develop. The disturbance is expected to bring 2 - 3" of rain to Florida later this week, and the Army Corps of Engineers has re-opened the flood gates on Lake Okeechobee to dump water out of the lake, in anticipation of the heavy rains. None the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming five days.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

From the Miami NWS...


HYDROLOGY...
THE LATEST MODELS ARE STILL SHOWING THE POTENTIAL OF HEAVY
RAINFALL TODAY INTO THIS EVENING OVER SOUTH FLORIDA WITH ANY
STORMS THAT DO DEVELOP...DUE TO THE PWAT VALUES RUNNING IN THE 2.2
TO 2.4 INCH RANGE OVER THE AREA. HOWEVER...THE MODELS ARE NOW
SHOWING THAT THE VERY HEAVY RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL BE OVER CENTRAL
FLORIDA WHERE THE WEAK SURFACE LOW MOVES ALONG THE STATIONARY
FRONT...AND SOUTH FLORIDA SHOULD ONLY SEE ABOUT 1 TO 3 INCHES OF
TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS. HOWEVER...IF ANY STORMS DUE TRAIN OVER
THE SAME LOCATION THE RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL BE MUCH HIGHER THAN
FORECASTED. SO WILL CONTINUE THE HEAVY RAINFALL WORDING IN THE
FORECAST FOR TODAY INTO THIS EVENING.

AT THIS TIME...A FLOOD WATCH WILL NOT BE ISSUED FOR METRO COLLIER
COUNTY DUE TO THE LOWER RAINFALL AMOUNTS EXPECTED OVER THIS AREA.
HOWEVER...WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE RAINFALL AMOUNTS FROM
ANY STORMS THAT DO MOVE THROUGH AND THE LATEST RAINFALL AMOUNTS
FROM THE MODELS.
Well,one reliable model (00z ECMWF) has at least something in MDR at 240 hours.

503. SLU
Looks like the CMC took a shot of Texas tea last night. Absolutely no support for that solution yet.

7-day for tampa bay area..................
Hurricane Season is dead




While the tropics may be quiet for everyone, the front with the moisture from Manuel enhancing it managed to once again expose that I have a leak in my roof :(. Noticed some moisture when Andrea came through earlier this year but had to get up in the attic with buckets at 1 am for this one. Luckily rain chances are slim for the next week so time to get a roofer out here and figure out what is going on.

Hopefully we just lost a shingle or two from the big Raleigh tornado a few years back that rolled through the neighborhood and its nothing major. Definitely dont want to hear "sorry you need a new roof".

Happy Monday!
SLU the models look rather excited over tropical activity in the catl. By the way tomorrow will be 50yrs hurricane Edith struck St Lucia.

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

.THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
DEEP MOISTURE WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA TODAY AHEAD OF A WEAK
FRONTAL BOUNDARY APPROACHING FROM THE NORTHWEST. PERIODIC MID-
LEVEL IMPULSES WILL MOVE ACROSS THE AREA FROM THE WEST PROVIDING
ADDITIONAL LIFT IN THE ATMOSPHERE. WHILE SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS
SHOWERS WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA FROM THE WEST LATER TODAY...RATHER
WARM TEMPERATURES ALOFT AND CONSIDERABLE CLOUDINESS WILL LIMIT THE
OCCURRENCE OF LIGHTNING STORMS SOMEWHAT. THE BEST CHANCE FOR
STORMS SHOULD ALONG THE COAST SOUTH OF THE CAPE THIS AFTERNOON AS
THE EAST COAST SEA BREEZE IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP WITH MINIMAL
INLAND PUSH. THE PRIMARY THREAT WILL BE OCCASIONAL CLOUD TO GROUND
LIGHTNING...GUSTY WINDS AND LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN.

.FLOOD IMPACT...
A FEW LOCATIONS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA PRIMARILY ORANGE
COUNTY SOUTHWARD MAY SEE ONE OR MORE ROUNDS OF HEAVY RAIN THIS
AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. THIS COULD LEAD TO RAINFALL AMOUNTS
OF TWO OR THREE INCHES...CAUSING PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS
AND MINOR FLOODING OF POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.

well for me, looking at the deaths in china this morning, I am glad our hurricane season is a fizzle..those deaths could be US deaths and destruction huh..yeah nice to track, horrible to endure if it comes to your house.
Quintuplets turn 16. Wow. It seems like yesterday.

Nothing happening here if banned. :-P
Lots of heavy rain across FL this week. some of the totals could be much higher in some areas as PWAT's are expected to increase to 2.5" plus.

Quoting 503. SLU:
Looks like the CMC took a shot of Texas tea last night. Absolutely no support for that solution yet.



Why do unreliable models like the CMC and FIM even exist?
Quoting 503. SLU:
Looks like the CMC took a shot of Texas tea last night. Absolutely no support for that solution yet.



The GFS is backing it up.

514. 7544
looks like we may have a blob watch today in the gulf west of fl .
All of this moisture in the SE Gulf is about to merge with the stalled front across N FL.

On another note Dolphins are 3 & 0 for the first time since Dan Marino was quarterback. I was really surprised the Dolphins won yesterday as the Falcons are one of the best teams in the league.
Quoting 505. FunnelVortex:
Hurricane Season is dead




Blob trackers from Florida still alive.
Quoting 515. StormTrackerScott:
All of this moisture in the SE Gulf is about to merge with the stalled front across N FL.



Big blob heading for Florida.
Good Morning All..
Got a whopping .7 from forecasted 2-4" this weekend..
This has got to be the most un-predictable year in recent memory..
Definitely not over but got me going Hmmm alot..

Nino regions 1 thru 3 are continuing to warm. Becoming obivous that a weak El-Nino maybe forming just in time for Winter to arrive.

Little spin of storms moving toward coast of Texas
Hurricane season peak month for Florida is october


Quoting 505. FunnelVortex:
Hurricane Season is dead




Hurricane season may be winding down, but flu season is just getting warmed up...

Quoting 516. StormTrackerScott:
On another note Dolphins are 3 & 0 for the first time since Dan Marino was quarterback. I was really surprised the Dolphins won yesterday as the Falcons are one of the best teams in the league.


The Falcons aren't one of the best teams in the league if the Dolphins beat them LOL!

Good morning everyone, Tropics are again quiet.
3 AND 1 after next monday night.Viking lost to cleveland ouch.
Africa must have GW too :-O
Quoting 505. FunnelVortex:
Hurricane Season is dead






You do realize that it is only September 23rd?
Quoting 516. StormTrackerScott:
On another note Dolphins are 3 & 0 for the first time since Dan Marino was quarterback. I was really surprised the Dolphins won yesterday as the Falcons are one of the best teams in the league.


Hey Scott.. :)
I like the Dophins..
But who have they really spanked?
Colts..by 4..
Browns..by 13..
Falcons..by 4..
They are going into a bye week and will next play the Saints on Monday night Sept. 30..
Granted a Win is a Win..
So hats off to them..
There are mostly divisional games coming up..
Week 4..
I have my favorite this year but they still have to prove their divisional prowess..
Can't go to the "party"
Lest you win your division first..

Weather-wise Looks like you may get what missed me this weekend.. :)

530. MahFL
Looks like the shear on the NW Gulf blob is pretty much zero now.
Good Morning. Not much going on in the tropics. Just waiting for Dr. Masters Blog later for the compulsory "Thanks Dr"................
HURRICANE season is dead now tropical storm may form,nothing else.
Quoting 516. StormTrackerScott:
On another note Dolphins are 3 & 0 for the first time since Dan Marino was quarterback. I was really surprised the Dolphins won yesterday as the Falcons are one of the best teams in the league.


Incorrect !!!! Marino retired in '99 and Dolphins started out the 2002 season at 3 and 0..
Quoting 531. weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning. Not much going on in the tropics. Just waiting for Dr. Masters Blog later for the compulsory "Thanks Dr"................


Morning weathermanwannabe.. :)
I'm still waiting for the Hurricaine Gilbert post he spoke of a few blogs back..
His posts have been entirely relevant but am looking forward to that particular post myself..
Only area i see that is worth watching in the atlantic basin.:
Quoting 534. pcola57:


Morning weathermanwannabe.. :)
I'm still waiting for the Hurricaine Gilbert post he spoke of a few blogs back..
His posts have been entirely relevant but am looking forward to that particular post myself..


The Gilbert post is finally done, I'm just waiting to post when I clear out a backlog of other posts I want to make this week...

Jeff Masters
Quoting 536. JeffMasters:


The Gilbert post is finally done, I'm just waiting to post when I clear out a backlog of other posts I want to make this week...

Jeff Masters


Thanks for that Dr. Masters..
I am anxious to read it.. :)
I think my prediction was too high... I still need 1 major and 5 tropical storms to make it. :P
SST in the atlantic is slowly cooling off, but it still looks like it could fuel a storm if shear went down..

Quoting 538. pcola57:


Thanks for that Dr. Masters..
I am anxious to read it.. :)


Dr M is pretty good writer. His Hugo adventure keeps me on edge of seat everytime.
Quoting 541. K8eCane:


Dr M is pretty good writer. His Hugo adventure keeps me on edge of seat everytime.


Hey K8ecane..
Totally agree..
His posts are coherent and chock full of Links and varifiable references..
He is tops in my "credibility" catagory.. :)
Here comes the waves that the models are picking up
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 519. pcola57:
Good Morning All..
Got a whopping .7 from forecasted 2-4" this weekend..
This has got to be the most un-predictable year in recent memory..
Definitely not over but got me going Hmmm alot..



Yeah that system petered out unexpectedly, no one got the rain they expected. Two memorable words for this concluding 2013 hurricane season: DRY AIR.
Watch this "blob" off the coast of west Florida for some development once it reaches the Atlantic.
Quoting 502. Tropicsweatherpr:
Well,one reliable model (00z ECMWF) has at least something in MDR at 240 hours.



Still dreaming