Category 2 Typhoon Rammasun
hit the Philippines’ capital city of Manila
, where 12 million people live, near 6 pm EDT Tuesday night (22 UTC). The center of the typhoon passed within 40 miles of the city, and had top winds rated at 105 mph by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) at the time. This makes Rammasun one of the most powerful typhoons ever to directly affect Manila; according to NOAA's historical hurricane web page
, the strongest typhoon ever to make a direct hit on Manila was Typhoon Angela of 1995, which was a strong Cat 1 or weak Cat 2 when it passed over the city (sustained winds of 90 - 105 mph, according to JTWC's annual report). Fortunately, Rammasun’s eyewall collapsed as it approached Manila, and top winds at the Manila airport
reached only 20 mph. However, Rammasun is being blamed
for twelve deaths elsewhere in the Philippines. The typhoon came ashore in the Philippines in the Bicol Region of Luzon Island near 5 am EDT on Tuesday, as a Category 3 storm with sustained winds near 125 mph. Rammasun was the first typhoon to strike the Philippines since devastating Category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, which left over 7,300 people dead or missing. Rammasun's eye passed just north of Samar Island where Haiyan initially made landfall, and brought sustained winds of 40 mph to Haiyan's ground zero, the city of Guiuan
. The high winds blew down many of the tents of the people whose homes were destroyed in Tacloban after Super Typhoon Haiyan, but Rammasun’s winds and flooding were not extreme there, and most of the people who evacuated to temporary shelters during the typhoon have now returned.Figure 1.
In this MODIS image from 02:40 UTC July 16, 2014, Category 1 Typhoon Rammasun is looking very disorganized after passing through the Philippine Islands. Image credit: NASA.Figure 2.
Tracks of all typhoons to pass within 75 miles of the Philippines’ capital city of Manila, according to NOAA's historical hurricane web page
. The strongest typhoon ever to make a direct hit on Manila was Typhoon Angela of 1995, which was a strong Cat 1 or weak Cat 2 when it passed over the city (sustained winds of 90 - 105 mph, according to JTWC's annual report).
Rammasun will have the opportunity to re-strengthen over the South China Sea before making a second landfall in China near Hainan Island on Friday. Given the typhoon’s current state of disorganization, it will take at least a day for it to take advantage of moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots and very warm water temperatures and regain Category 2 strength. I don’t think the storm has time to reach Category 3 strength, as the official JTWC forecast is calling for. Our two top track models, the GFS and European, predict a landfall in China between 03 - 9 UTC on Friday. Rammasun, which has a different name, "Glenda", in the Philippines, is the Siamese word for thunder god. ATLANTIC REMAINS QUIET - FOR NOW
The tropical Atlantic Basin remains rather quiet, as relatively dry air dominates the CARIB eastward to the west African Coast. One reasonably discernible Tropical Wave located from near 8N / 31W to 14N / 29W is west bound at about 20Kt. The 850mb Vorticity analysis shows some modest tendency for ‘spinning’ with isolated convection associated with this disturbance. However, the tropical wave appears to be inter-twined with the ITCZ which is likely enhancing what little convection there is.
All of the more reliable global models, along with some of the more experimental forecast tools that rely on the MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) and CCKW (Convectively Coupled Kelvin Waves) are not forecasting any tropical cyclone spin-ups during the next 10-14 days, and none is expected. (I’ll have bit more information on how CCKW may influence Tropical Cyclone formation and deepening this weekend.)
Fig. 3 There are only a couple easily discernible Tropical Waves – with only the one in the far eastern Atlantic of even minimal interest.
Fig. 4 There is a significant Vorticity Max associated with the wave in the far eastern Atlantic, but it is tracking due west at a very low latitude, and has almost no chance of enhancing the probability that this wave will develop as it tracks westward.
Fig. 5 For much of the summer, wind shear in the CARIB has been very high, but the shear has begun to ease a bit over the past day or two, and there are indications this shear will continue to fall off during the next 1-2 weeks.Welcome Steve Gregory back!
Today's post was written with the help of meteorologist Steve Gregory
, who recently retired as a weather expert for the commodities industry. Steve is also a hurricane expert, and made over 200 posts
as a wunderground blogger during the epic hurricane season of 2005. Steve will make several posts in my blog during the coming week, as I will be taking some vacation.
Jeff Masters and Steve Gregory