Super Typhoon Parma threatens the Philippines; October hurricane season outlook

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:20 PM GMT on October 01, 2009

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It's been a terrible week for natural disasters in Asia, with the death toll from two huge earthquakes and Typhoon Ketsana continuing to mount. The bad news got worse today with the emergence of Super Typhoon Parma, now poised strike the northern portion of the Philippines' Luzon Island as a Category 4 typhoon with 150 mph winds. Also of concern is Category 3 Typhoon Melor, which has just undergone a period of rapid intensification, and is also approaching super typhoon status. A super typhoon is a storm with 150 mph winds or higher--a strong Category 4. Melor is forecast to pass through the northern Marianas Islands north of Guam and Saipan this weekend, then curve to the north and threaten Japan next week.

Super Typhoon Parma intensified dramatically early this morning, forming a tiny "pinhole" eye (Figure 1) only seen in very intense tropical cyclones. The last Atlantic hurricane to form a pinhole eye was Hurricane Wilma, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of all time. Parma's outer spiral bands are already beginning to spread over the eastern positions of the Philippines, and beginning Friday will likely bring 2 - 4 inches of rain to the regions hard-hit by Typhoon Ketsana, including the capital of Manila. More seriously, the super typhoon may make landfall along the northeastern portion of Luzon Island in the Philippines on Saturday as a Category 4 or 5 typhoon. The uncertainty in the forecast is very high, as steering currents are expected to weaken on Friday, and the presence of Typhoon Melor to the northeast introduces an additional element of uncertainty. It is quite possible that Parma will stall near or just offshore the northern coast of Luzon Saturday through Sunday as a super typhoon, dumping rainfall in excess of a foot over northern Luzon, as forecast by the ECMWF model. Northern Luzon received 2 - 4 inches of rain from Typhoon Ketsana last week, and an additional 12+ inches of rain falling on soils already saturated from Ketsana's rains would likely cause severe flash flooding and major landslides capable of killing hundreds. Another dismal possibility is offered by the NOGAPS model, which forecasts that Parma will cross directly over Luzon north of Manila, bringing heavy rains in excess of six inches to Manila, where more than 16 inches of rain fell Saturday during Typhoon Ketsana. It is also possible that Parma will miss the Philippines, staying far enough offshore that the Philippines will not suffer a major flooding disaster. However, the odds current favor another major typhoon disaster for the Philippines this weekend.


Figure 1. Super Typhoon Parma at 02:25 UTC on 10/01/09. Parma had developed a tiny pinhole eye, and the outer spiral bands were beginning to affect the eastern Philippines. Image credit: NASA.

October hurricane outlook
In the first half of October, Atlantic tropical cyclone activity remains quite high, before a sharp drop occurs around October 15. Since the current active hurricane period began in 1995, the first half of October has given birth to an average of 1.9 named storms, 0.7 hurricanes and 0.4 intense hurricanes. For the entire month of October, these figures are 3.9 named storms, 1.2 hurricanes, and 0.6 intense hurricanes. These numbers are about double the long-term climatological averages for the past 100 years.

The most typical track for October hurricanes is through the Western Caribbean, with recurvature to the north and northwest into the Gulf of Mexico or across Cuba and through the Bahamas. The jet stream becomes more active and moves further south in October, making recurving storms more likely, and eliminating long-track Cape Verdes-type hurricanes from making direct strikes on the U.S. East Coast or Texas. There have only been nine hurricanes that have hit the U.S. East Coast north of Miami in October or later, and only three on the Texas coast. For the U.S., the highest risk areas for an October hurricane strike are between central Louisiana and Southeast Florida. About 71% of the 53 hurricanes that have hit the U.S. after October 1 have struck this region. Here is a breakdown of the number of hurricane strikes by state between 1851 - 2008 occurring October or later:

Texas 3
Louisiana 9
Mississippi 2
Alabama 0
Florida Gulf Coast 25 (7 of these in the Panhandle)
Southeast Florida 3
Georgia 2
South Carolina 3
North Carolina 4
New England 2

There have been no direct strikes by hurricanes on the east coast of Florida north of Miami in October or later. However, the east coast of Florida is still capable of getting damaging hurricane conditions from storms that strike the Gulf Coast of Florida and move eastwards, as Hurricane Wilma of 2005 proved.


Figure 2. Tracks of all hurricanes and tropical storms forming October 1 - 15, 1851 - 2006.

There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation over the next seven days. However, the last few runs of the 16-day GFS model forecast for wind shear have been predicting a decline in wind shear over the Caribbean after October 12, so there may be a greater chance of tropical storm formation as we head into mid-October. Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are certainly warm enough to support a major hurricane anywhere in the tropical Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico, and are more than 1°C above average (Figure 3).


Figure 3. Departure of Sea Surface Temperature from average for October 1, 2009. SSTs were about 1°C above average over the tropical Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Note the very warm anomalies over the East Pacific off the coast of South America, the signature of an El Niño event. Image credit: NOAA/SSD.

Wind shear
Wind shear has been much above average over the tropical Atlantic over the past month, which is typical for an El Niño year, though part of this shear is due to the above-average number of upper-level troughs of low pressure over the Atlantic this hurricane season. El Niño conditions in the Eastern Pacific have remained essentially unchanged over past few weeks, and are expected to intensify in the coming months, so we can expect a continuation of above-average wind shear over the Atlantic for the remainder of hurricane season. Wunderblogger Weather456 has posted a nice October hurricane outlook that goes into a bit more detail than I've done here for those interested.

The forecast
The last Atlantic hurricane season that was this quiet was the strong El Niño year of 1997. That year, we got two weak 45-mph tropical storms in October to finish out the season. I predict that for this season, we will also finish out the year with two more named storms, with one of these reaching hurricane strength. The most likely land areas such a storm might affect are along the Western Caribbean, Gulf Coast of Florida, and the Bahamas. The most likely time these storms may form is the period October 13 - November 7.

Jeff Masters

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613. Orcasystems
3:06 PM GMT on October 06, 2009
Quoting presslord:
Good news! We have reconnected with an organization (with which we have worked in the past)...Caritas (www.caritas.org)...they have a strong presence in American Samoa and are better positioned than we are to provide immmediate aid there...I recommend them highly...our focus will be to fill whatever medical equipment and clinical supply needs arise...this is a more long term need...and a better fit for Portlight considering the distance involved...

:)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
612. hydrus
3:08 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting IKE:


I hear ya. Nothing out there. I think most have given up on the Atlantic in 2009.
I think Mother Nature has two more storms before the seasons out.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
609. IKE
3:02 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
608. TampaSpin
2:56 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting StormW:


I respect yours too. However, I have to disagree with you, Eric and Todd...based on the criteria...again by definition, a subtropical system is a combination of Tropical and extratropical characteristics. I wish all the guy's with degrees would get off that "frontal" kick. If you go by the definition, it doesn't matter if it has frontal characterisitcs. That would be representative of a MLC, or extratropical cyclone. And doesn't the definition say, a combination of both (being barotropic and baroclinic)? That's what we had. And I looked at the information as the center passed ashore, and over the buoy we presented on here. An extratropical low DOES NOT present the characteristics of wind speed ramping up as the center approaches, and having the wind speed drop to near nill, and having the pressure bottom out on the graph at the same time the wind speed drops as the center passes over (just like a hurricane or TS). Second, as the center passed, I had analyzed temps and dewpoints, in which they BOTH rose as the center passed ove a certain station, with temps rising 6-7F at that point, and other surrounding stations did not...just where the center was located.


StormW,
Good morning everyone! BY YOUR definitiion, what is the difference (to help me understand) between a SubTropical system and a XtraTropical.
My understanding is its SubTropical first and tries to become Tropical and ExtraTropical is after its already been Tropical.....i may have it wrong and probably do....LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
607. hurricane23
2:53 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
I urge anyone interested in individual tropical cyclones stats and climatology across the atlantic to purchase a copy of the new revised edition of Tropical of the North Atlantic Ocean 1851-2006 includeds 2007-2008 track maps.About half way through my copy.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
606. Tazmanian
2:53 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
1st cold snap for the USA more on my blog for info
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
604. BahaHurican
2:49 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Morning everybody.

Just woke up (late day for me) to a heavy downpour with winds gusting up to abt 30 mph.

This is the recent IR view of The Bahamas from NASA....

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
603. Tazmanian
2:45 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting lawntonlookers:


Taz. The shuttle got back to KSC on 9/21/09 around noon. By the way, check out Bliz blog as you won for the frost in Bradford, PA.




thnks and i this took a look a bliz blog and saw that i won
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
602. lawntonlookers
2:36 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting Tazmanian:
did that space shuted evere make it back to FL??? if so when???


Taz. The shuttle got back to KSC on 9/21/09 around noon. By the way, check out Bliz blog as you won for the frost in Bradford, PA.
Member Since: March 22, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570
601. hurricane23
2:36 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
tpc's working hypothesis is that the low was what you would call a frontal hybrid... Enough organized convection to supply energy to the system and for them to sit up and take notice, but too frontal to meet even the most lenient definition of subtropical or tropical cyclone. I'll agree though the system looked better on radar than some systems they previously named. Also,the central pressure was lower than forecast by the large-scale models, which suggests to me the system was getting some energy from the convection. However as mentioned in my previous post concerning this system,they weigh too much in the other direction.

Ive spoken several times over the phone with todd and eric on this system and they concur with my views on this being a frontal hybrid type system. Everyone is entiled to there own opinions so i fully respect your views there stormw.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
600. HIEXPRESS
2:24 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting StormW:
That system that hit New Jersey (Grace?) was in fact subtropical. Period.


Yep. We watched it.
1286. MiamiHurricanes09 10:35 PM EDT on September 06, 2009

Quoting HIEXPRESS:
Wilmington Radar
QS off Carolina

Yes, that area is being monitored closely, but if anything were to form it will be subtropical or extratropical...Track wise it will just scrape along the US eastern seaboard bringing some rain to the coastal cities.

1344. HIEXPRESS 11:10 PM EDT on September 06, 2009
Yes, it's the front & it's early enough in the season that I don't have to worry about anything that should develop in that area retrograding.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
599. rwdobson
2:22 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
@577...they are expecting TS-force winds with the storm over the central US...

... High Wind Warning in effect until 3 PM MDT /4 PM CDT/ this
afternoon...
... Freeze warning remains in effect from midnight MDT /1 am CDT/
tonight to 9 am MDT /10 am CDT/ Saturday...

The National Weather Service in Rapid City has issued a High Wind
Warning... which is in effect until 3 PM MDT /4 PM CDT/ this
afternoon. The Wind Advisory is no longer in effect. A freeze
warning remains in effect from midnight MDT /1 am CDT/ tonight to
9 am MDT /10 am CDT/ Saturday.

Strong northwest winds will continue through this afternoon with
sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph expected.

Temperatures will drop below freezing after midnight.
Temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s are expected through
early Saturday morning.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A High Wind Warning means 40 mph winds... or gusts over 60 mph...
are expected or occurring.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
598. Tazmanian
2:19 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
did that space shuted evere make it back to FL??? if so when???
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
595. MisterJohnny
2:07 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Good Morning Senior Chief !
593. divdog
1:56 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting P451:


On second thought, is that yellow circle around the highly sheared mess? And not the healthy looking area behind it? I believe it is!

I'm sorry but this season has been a joke as far as those in charge of invests and the upgrading of systems.

RIDICULOUS!





are you quoting yourself ???
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
592. nrtiwlnvragn
1:51 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
2009 Ig Nobel prizes


The aim of the awards is to honour achievements that "first make people laugh and then make them think".
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
591. caneswatch
1:48 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
'Morning folks. Happy Friday. Hope this makes you laugh...

Worst Football Play Ever



It did. Watched it yesterday and I was thinking "Why in the he-double L would that. It's still a live ball!"
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
590. hurricane23
1:32 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
As far as the possible sts of the eastcoast some argue was a sub-tropical cyclone at that time Water vapor imagery showed the system was clearly tangled up in an upper-level low which argues at best for subtropical cyclone status. In addition, the surface data showed significant amounts of cold air of three sides of the low, with dewpoints in the 50's in many areas.the low had become entangled in a northwest-southeast baroclinic zone two or three days earlier, these dew points suggest that it had not freed itself from the zone, and that baroclinic dynamics were also playing a role. This is what you call a frontal hybrid which is something you will not get advisories on from tpc.

Radar presentation was nice though.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
589. IKE
1:30 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting NEwxguy:
Part of our local forecast mentions the system near the Bahamas

MEANWHILE HYBRID LOW
PRESSURE DEVELOPING NEAR THE BAHAMAS WILL TRACK NORTHEAST ACROSS THE
OFFSHORE WATERS SE OF THE REGION AND EAST OF THE FRONT. IT NOW
APPEARS ITS WRAP AROUND MOISTURE WILL BE DIRECTED ACROSS EXTREME
EASTERN PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO
SUNDAY MORNING.


6Z NAM blows that up into a significant system.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
588. NEwxguy
1:27 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Part of our local forecast mentions the system near the Bahamas

MEANWHILE HYBRID LOW
PRESSURE DEVELOPING NEAR THE BAHAMAS WILL TRACK NORTHEAST ACROSS THE
OFFSHORE WATERS SE OF THE REGION AND EAST OF THE FRONT. IT NOW
APPEARS ITS WRAP AROUND MOISTURE WILL BE DIRECTED ACROSS EXTREME
EASTERN PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO
SUNDAY MORNING.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
587. Orcasystems
1:24 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Philippines Declares ‘State of Calamity’ as Typhoon Approaches
Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The Philippines declared a national “state of calamity” as Typhoon Parma headed for Luzon, where recovery efforts continue six days after Tropical Storm Ketsana devastated Manila and its surroundings, leaving 293 people dead......
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
585. Orcasystems
1:13 PM GMT on October 02, 2009

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Special Notice
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
584. hurricane23
1:12 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
NRL Monterey do not control the criteria for starting an invest area. This is done by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) for the rest of the planet. It is their call, and any analysist can start an invest area. The reasoning does not always follow the same criteria, and there really isn't a science to starting a invest area, it is up to the Center.

The operational agencies select systems to be invests for various reasons:

1- has potential for genesis

2-want to view system with a full suite of remote sensing products that can only be found on there TC web page

3-they start a system by running model guidance at the same time to get a feel for what the forecasts are early on and thus better understand the trend on model fields


Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
582. hurricane23
1:03 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
The caribbean could become a bit less on the hostile side in the coming days based on the GFS. Not a fan of long-range forcast but it holds some hope if your looking for some late season action close to home.

look at the 240 thru 336 hr periods.Ideal conditions if they verify.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
581. IKE
1:01 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Anyone here get the Pensacola paper today?


I see where Don Priest passed away.

He was a good announcer at WCOA in Pensacola. He broadcast the Pensacola Pirates JUCO basketball games on WCOA when I was going to college at Gulf Coast Community College and broadcasting their games on the college FM station.

He worked at WCOA a long-time.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
580. hurricane23
12:57 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Somewhat ragged satellite appearance on both typhoons this morning...It appears both have peaked in intensity.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
579. DookiePBC
12:52 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Mikatnight...

You must live real close to me. I went out for a late jog last night and ended up getting soaked by that rainstorm. Had no idea it was even supposed to rain.
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
576. PensacolaDoug
12:32 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Anyone here get the Pensacola paper today?
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 570
574. biff4ugo
12:19 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
North Central FL has had 3 glorious days of clear skies and cool mornings... YES!
AND it is Friday.
The bad news is that the clear skies have put all the radar backscatter on disco ball mode. I'm still rejoicing that the lakes are back up.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 115 Comments: 1579
573. IKE
12:16 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting leftovers:
not sure if the atlantic basin needs it but this blog needs a cyclone


I hear ya. Nothing out there. I think most have given up on the Atlantic in 2009.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
571. mikatnight
12:10 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
There's a bunch of folks on the other side of the world that aren't doing so well. Reminds me of a song that pleaded for help like no other I can recall. Bangla Desh from the concert for Bangla Desh. (Link is to utube video - I don't know how to post 'em yet, have to get Ike or someone to show me one of these days).
You can substitute Indonesia or Somalia, it's all bad.

It starts out:

"My friend came to me, with sadness in his eyes
He told me that he wanted help
Before his country dies

Although I couldn't feel the pain, I knew I had to try
Now I'm asking all of you
To help us save some lives..."
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
570. IKE
11:56 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting mikatnight:


Yeah, I'll be workin' it out til about 5pm (I do it 'cause she loves me - yeah, yeah, yeah)


LOL...

Maybe it'll cool off for good before too much longer, then you can throw a big log on the fire.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
569. pearlandaggie
11:52 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
'Morning folks. Happy Friday. Hope this makes you laugh...

Worst Football Play Ever
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
568. mikatnight
11:49 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting IKE:


Yo bud....Twist and Shout Friday.


Yeah, I'll be workin' it out til about 5pm (I do it 'cause she loves me - yeah, yeah, yeah)
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
567. mikatnight
11:45 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
Starting out a beautiful morning here. Slightly cooler temps (75 now), summer's winding down...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
566. IKE
11:45 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting mikatnight:
Good morning Ike. Friday at last...


Yo bud....Twist and Shout Friday.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
565. mikatnight
11:42 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
Good morning Ike. Friday at last...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
564. mikatnight
11:39 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
563. IKE
11:36 AM GMT on October 02, 2009
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT FRI OCT 2 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 650 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
IS MOVING WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 TO 15 MPH. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM HAVE DIMINISHED...AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS
ARE CURRENTLY NOT CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE
...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER ROBERTS/BRENNAN
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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.