09.04.15

Another Busy Summer in the Western Pacific

Posted in Storm Track, Storm History, Storm Facts, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Western Pacific, Tracking the Tropics at 2:57 pm by gmachos

Goni, Kilo, and Soudelor Top Another Big Season of Typhoons

Last night, Hurricaneville reported on Kilo crossing the International Date Line on Tuesday, and becoming another Typhoon for the Western Pacific.  Kilo appears to be on course to be the longest lasting tropical cyclone of 2015 although it will fall far short of the record set by Typhoon John back in 1994.  Kilo is one of many noteworthy typhoons that have traversed the Western Pacific this summer.  Soudelor and Goni are two other storms that left significant impacts in Taiwan and Japan respectively.

Those aforementioned storms are just the tip of the iceberg for this year’s typhoon season in the Western Pacific though.  According to Wikipedia, there have been a total of 24 depressions, 18 named storms, 11 typhoons, and 6 super typhoons.  The Super Typhoons in 2015 include:  Maysak (Chedeng), Noul, Dolphin, Soudelor (Hanna), and Atsani.  In addition, there were four powerful typhoons of Category Four stregth named Higos, Chan-hom (Falcon), Nangka, Goni (Ineng).  The first system formed right after the start of the new year on January 2nd.  A total of 135 deaths and $5.1 billion in damage around the Pacific Rim have been attributed to these storms.  Here are capsules on the more notable storms in the WESTPAC:

Typhoon Higos

Higos was a Category Four typhoon with a peak intensity of 940 millibars, or about 27.76 inches of Hg, and winds of 105 miles per hour.  The storm lasted for just under a week from February 6th to February 12th.  At its peak, Higos became the strongest typhoon recorded during the month of February since 1970.  The storm weakened just as rapidly as it had to become a powerful typhoon.  Higos didn’t impact land.



Typhoon Maysak (Chendeng)

Forming originally to the southwest of the Marshall islands of March 26th, Maysak  lasted nearly two weeks, and had a minimum central pressure of 910 millibars, or 26.87 inches of Hg and maximum 10 minute sustained winds of 120 miles per hour at peak intensity.  One minute maximum sustained winds topped 155 miles per hour.  Maysak moved through portions of Micronesia where it caused extensive damage.  Initial reports indicated that five people had lost their lives in the storm.



Typhoon Noul (Dodong)

Noul was the 2nd Super Typhoon of 2015.  Forming on May 2nd near Micronesia, the storm lasted for approximately 10 days.  At peak intensity, minimum central pressure with Noul was 920 millibars, or 27.17 inches of Hg while 10-minute maximum sustained winds were 125 miles per hour.  The storm underwent some fluctuations in intensity before rapidly deepening in a Super Typhoon on May 10th.  Noul eventually made landfall over Pananapan Point, Santa Ana, Cagayan in the Northeastern tip of Luzon in the Philippines.  The storm began to weaken afterwards.



Typhoon Dolphin

Dolphin was the third Super Typhoon of the season, and the second straight.  Forming southeast of Pohnpei, Dolphin would linger in the Western Pacific basin for two weeks from May 6th to May 20th.  Reaching peak intensity on May 16th, Dolphin’s minimum central pressure dipped to 925 millibars, or 27.32 inches of Hg while its 10 minute maximum sustained winds topped out at 115 miles per hour.  Dolphin sustained Super Typhoon intensity for 30 hours.  Fortunately, the storm recurved well east of Japan and Russia.



Typhoon Chan-hom (Falcon)

Forming in the final days of June near the island of Kosrae, Chan-hom reached Category Four strength on July 9th with 935 millibars, or 27.61 inches of Hg minimum central pressure, and 105 mile per hour 10-minute maximum sustained winds.  The typhoon lasted for about 15 days before weakening after going through an eyewall replacement cycle, and coming ashore southeast of Shanghai in China.  The weakened storm also traveled into the Korean Peninsula before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone.  Chan-hom was responsible for just under a billion dollars in damage in East China while indirectly contributing to the deaths of 4 people and $90,000 in damages in the Philippines.



Typhoon Nangka

Another powerful typhoon that lasted over two weeks in the Western Pacific, Nangka formed on the 2nd day of July.  At peak intensity on July 9th, Nangka with a minimum central pressure of 925 millibars, or 27.32 inches of Hg, ten minute maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, and a one minute maximum sustained wind of 155 miles per hour.  The storm had some fluctuations in intensity from July 9th to July 12th when Nangka reached its secondary peak as a Category Three strength typhoon.  The typhoon then made two landfalls in Japan on July 16th.  The first one was over Muroto, Kochi while the second landfall was hours later over the island of Honshu.



Typhoon Soudelor

Forming on July 29th, and lasting some two weeks before dissipating, Soudelor has been the most powerful storm to date in the WEST PAC, strengthening to Super Typhoon status with a pressure that dropped down to 26.58 inches of Hg, or 900 millibars on August 4th, making the storm an equivalent of a Category Five Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Soudelor’s highest 10 minute sustained winds were 130 miles per hour while its one minute sustained wind topped out at 180 miles per hour.  The storm’s path took it through the Philippines, Taiwan, Mariana Islands, Japan, East China, and South Korea.  The storm left behind damage that has been initially estimated at $3.2 billion while causing 38 deaths.  



Typhoon Goni (Ineng)

A fierce storm that was documented going through the southern portion of Japan by iCyclone, Goni first formed to the southeast of Guam on August 13th, and lasted for a dozen days as it first headed westward toward the northern Philippines before turning to the north just to the east of Taiwan, and coming through Southern Japan before going between the rest of Japan and the Korean Peninsula in the Sea of Japan.  

At peak intensity, Goni had a minimum central pressure of 935 millibars, or 27.61 inches of Hg with 10 minute maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.  The storm underwent rapid intensification prior to becoming a Category Four storm the first time.  Then, Goni underwent some fluctuations in strength before reaching Southern Japan as a Category Four storm again.  See video of Goni impacting Southern Japan at iCyclone.com



Typhoon Atsani

Forming around the same time as Goni (actually a day later), Atsani took a path to the north and east before recurving well to the East of Japan.  The storm lasted just under a dozen days and peaked on August 19th with a minimum central pressure of 27.32 inches of Hg or 925 millibars with a 10 minute maximum sustained wind of 115 miles per hour and a one minute maximum sustained wind of 160 miles per hour.  Wind shear and dry air entrainment doomed the storm soon after that.



Typhoon Kilo

Kilo actually originated in the Central Pacific where it peaked as a Category Four Hurricane with 145 mile per hour winds as it trekked past Hawaii.  Moving past the International Date Line on Tuesday, Kilo became a Category One Typhoon with 85 mile per hour winds.  The storm is expected to strengthen to Category Four intensity as it approaches Japan around September 15th.  The storm is expected to become the longest lasting tropical cyclone this year, but fall short of the duration mark set by Typhoon John in 1994.  See more details on Kilo in the blog at http://www.hurricaneville.com/blog/?p=1530.

Normally, the Western Pacific is the most active basin in the tropics with the most intense storms as well, but with the emergence of El Niño, more storms are forming in the Eastern and Central Pacific, and in the case of Kilo, crossing the International Date Line into the Western Pacific as Typhoons.

09.03.15

Kilo Becomes Typhoon in the Pacific

Posted in Storm Track, Storm History, Storm Facts, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Western Pacific, Hurricane Anomalies, Hurricane Records, Tracking the Tropics at 11:55 pm by gmachos

Central Pacific Hurricane Crosses International Date Line

Things continue to be active in the Pacific, especially in the Eastern and Central basins.  We now have four tropical systems from the West Coast of Mexico to beyond the International Date Line.  First, in the Eastern Pacific, the 11th named storm of the season formed as Kevin emerged within the past 24 hours.  Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, Hurricane Kilo, which had been one of three Category Four Hurricanes in the Pacific earlier this week, crossed the International Date Line, and, as a result, became a Typhoon.

Although it is rare, hurricanes that form in the Eastern and Central Pacific have traveled far enough over the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean to cross the International Date Line, and become a typhoon, which is the name given to tropical systems in the Western Pacific.  The most memorable example was Hurricane/Typhoon John in 1994.  The storm began in the Eastern Pacific, and spent some 31 days, an entire month traversing the Pacific Ocean.  While Kilo’s feat is quite impressive, and will probably make it the longest lasting tropical cyclone this year, it will likely fall about a week short of John’s mark.

As of Wednesday, Kilo had weakened to a strong Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with 85 mile per hour winds.  The much cooler waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands in the Central Pacific took the starch out of Kilo, which had been a major hurricane over the weekend.  However, as Kilo heads into the high octane warm waters of the Western Pacific, the storm is forecast to undergo a major rejuvenation, and return to Category Four strength and become a Super Typhoon.  Some model forecasts indicate that Kilo could become a threat to Japan by next weekend according to an article written by the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.

On Tuesday, satellite imagery depicted the western half of Kilo in the Western Pacific, and classified as a typhoon on September 2nd while the eastern half was still on September 1st and a hurricane.  Looking at the future of Kilo, the GFS produced a scenario where Kilo will pass through Japan into the North Pacific by September 15th, and then move into Alaska, where it become a powerful extratropical system that will create a dip in the jet stream, and push eastward into the continental United States.  The Western Pacific has been active as well as the Eastern and Central Pacific this year as a result of the El Nino.

The WESTPAC has seen more than its fare share of typhoons including Souledor recently, which created havoc in Taiwan including tornadoes.  Meanwhile, Typhoon Goni lashed portions of Japan with fierce winds.  Sometimes, these typhoons recurve much like hurricanes that come up the East Coast of the United States.  As they recurve, they gain new life as an extratropical system that can pull down the jet stream and much colder air from the arctic and Alaska.  There were a couple of occasions this past winter when typhoons in the West Pacific recurved into the North Pacific, and spawned a “polar vortex” episode for the Continental United States.

08.31.15

Active 2015 for Central Pacific

Posted in Storm History, Storm Facts, Central Pacific, Hurricane Records, Tracking the Tropics at 6:17 pm by gmachos

Kilo and Ignacio Just the Latest Storms in a Rare Busy Season

After a busy season in 2014 for the Central Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands, the Central Pacific has had even more storms, and there is still time remaining in the season.  To date, there has been 8 named storms that have emerged in the Central Pacific including three that crossed into the area from the Eastern Pacific:  Guillermo, Hilda, and Ignacio.

Ignacio and Kilo are currently spinning near the Hawaiian Islands.  Both storms along with Hurricane Jimena in the Eastern Pacific have done something that has never happened before in recorded history.  All three storms reached Category Four strength.  It is the first time ever that three Cat Four storms were in existence in the Pacific at the same time.  All three have looked impressive on satellite.

Of the eight storms that have emerged in the Central Pacific, five have become hurricanes, and three have reached major hurricane strength:  Hilda, Kilo, and Ignacio.  Jimena could make it 9 storms, 6 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes if it can hold up its intensity.  Much of this increased activity is attributed to a strong El Nino episode in the Pacific.  This current episode of ENSO is very close to matching the El Nino of 1997, which also produced a lot of storms in the Eastern and Central Pacific.

The 2015 Central Pacific Hurricane Season has been the most active since 2005.  The numbers posted so far have even surpassed the mark set in 2009 of seven named storms.  The last three seasons have combined to produce 19 named storms:  6 in 2013, 5 in 2014, and 8 so far in 2015.  Fortunately for Hawaii, none of these storms had a big impact other than some rain and heavy surf for the islands.  Cooler sea surface temperatures in that part of the world help protect the Hawaiian Island chain.  The last major hurricane to impact Hawaii was in 1992 with Hurricane Iniki, which slammed into the island of Kauai on September 12th as a Category Four Hurricane.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Season runs from June to November.  On the average, there are between 4 and 5 tropical cyclones per year in the CPAC.  The number of storms in a particular season range from 0 in 1979 to 11 in 1992 and 1994.  From 1971 to 2008, there were 163 tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific:  59 tropical depressions, 58 hurricanes, and 46 tropical storms.   There have only been three seasons with double digit tropical cyclones in the CPAC:  1982 (El Nino year), 1992, and 1994.  The most active month in the Central Pacific is August, which from 1971 to 2013 had 74 tropical cyclones.  July had 45 during that span, September had 37, and October had 17.

09.05.14

Still Looking at El Niño Developing in Fall and Early Winter

Posted in GWC News, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Tracking the Tropics, Model Forecasts at 10:34 am by gmachos

Forecasts Indicate a 65 Percent Chance of Weak Episode Developing

An El Niño event is coming.  Many have wondered when it is coming, but despite the delay, an ENSO episode is on the way.  Although forecasts from earlier this year calling for a strong one have diminished, there is still a very good chance of one occurring by the end of this year, or early next year.  According to NOAA’s El Niño portal, the National Weather Service suggests that there is still a 65 percent chance of an ENSO episode developing in the fall or the early winter.  Expectations of intensity have been reduced though to just a weak episode.

Right now, the ENSO alert status on the Climate Prediction Center web site is at El Niño Watch, which is “issued when conditions are favorable for the development of El Niño conditions within the next six months.”  The El Niño and Southern Oscillation is a global weather pattern shift that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific become higher than normal, and gradually migrate across the Pacific Ocean.  The effects of this weather shift is felt all around the globe.  Some of these effects may have positive or negative impacts depending upon where you live.

For example, an El Niño episode could result in increased rainfall in California, which would be a welcome sight.  Currently, California is experiencing one of its worst droughts in history.  So significant rainfall would be very beneficial.  However, with this year’s El Niño forecasted to be weak, there may be a limit to how much rain California would get.  ENSO also has an impact on the Indian Monsoon weather pattern, but it is a bit more complicated.  The Indian Monsoon is not rainfall, but a large scale weather pattern that affects the subcontinent.  It occurs between June and September, and is responsible for the majority of India’s yearly rainfall.  For the most part, El Niño generally suppresses monsoonal rainfall.

Other impacts across the United States includes drier conditions in the Ohio Valley, less than normal rainfall across Hawaii from late fall to early spring, and somewhat drier conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies.  Another key impact is on the tropics.  Warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific usually mean more activity in the Eastern, Central, and Western Pacific basins.  So far this year, there has been quite a bit of activity in the EPAC with 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes including 3 Category Four storms and one Category Five system.  The Central Pacific has seen four storms in the area of Hawaii, and the Western Pacific has experienced a number of powerful typhoons.

Meanwhile, activity in the Tropical Atlantic has been lacking.  There have only been 5 tropical depressions, 4 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes so far in 2014, and we are five days away from the statistical peak of the season.  However, the lack of activity in the Atlantic is not because of ENSO.  Instead, it is because of dry air over a vast portion of the Atlantic Basin.  Normally, when an El Niño occurs, it creates hostile upper level wind conditions in the Atlantic, which prevents tremendous thunderstorms from developing, which is a critical ingredient for tropical storm and hurricane formation.

07.28.13

Flossie Flies Toward Hawaii

Posted in Storm Track, Storm Preparation, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Storm Warning, Storm Safety, Tracking the Tropics at 10:50 am by gmachos

Storm Aims to be First Since 2007 to Affect Island Chain

With the dissipation of Dorian in the Atlantic, the focus has shifted to the Pacific where a storm is still churning.  No longer under the watchful eye of the NHC, Tropical Storm Flossie is being monitored by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.  The storm is still a strong tropical storm with winds remaining at 65 miles per hour.  Minimum Central Pressure is 996 millibars, or 29.41 inches of Hg.  Flossie is moving at a fairly good pace at 20 miles per hour to the West.

As of the 2:00 AM Hawaii Standard Time advisory, Flossie was located some 600 miles to the east of Hilo on the big island, or 790 miles East of Honolulu.  The storm had been moving a bit more northwesterly on Saturday, but took more of a turn to the west.  Sea surface temperatures in the area of the storm are running a bit cool at about 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  At that water temperature, Flossie should be able to maintain itself for the time being, but not strengthen.  Sea surface temperatures in the immediate area of the islands warms up to 26 degrees Celsius or just below 79 degrees.

Flossie is expected to begin affecting the big island of Hawaii on Monday morning, and progress westward into Maui county later in the day according to the CPHC.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for coastal waters east of the Kaiwi Channel.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Kauai Channel, and the leeward and windward waters of Oahu.  The storm has the potential to bring thunderstorms producing heavy rains and flooding on the islands.  Flossie began as a depression in the Eastern Pacific back on the evening of July 24th.

Over the next two days, Flossie gradually strengthened to become a very strong tropical storm with winds approaching hurricane force at 70 miles per hour early Saturday morning PDT.  Over the past 24 hours though it has weakened a bit, and that trend is expected to continue as it moves through relatively cooler water.  Flossie is the sixth named storm to form in the Eastern Pacific, which began its season back on May 15th.  Of those six named storms, four of them have gone on to become hurricanes.  Flossie is the first storm to threaten Hawaii since 2007 when another Flossie approached the islands. 

06.29.12

Hurricaneville’s Tracking The Tropics–June 29, 2012

Posted in Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Tracking the Tropics at 11:52 pm by gmachos

The June 29, 2012 edition of Hurricaneville’s Tracking The Tropics report covers activity in the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Central Pacifc. Topics discussed include three disturbances being monitored in the Atlantic for development, and featured articles in the Hurricaneville Blogosphere.

08.19.11

Eastern Pacific Storms On The Wane

Posted in Storm Track, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific at 2:09 pm by gmachos

Fernanda And Greg Giving Way To Cooler Waters

As activity continues to try to ramp up in the Atlantic Basin, things are much different in the Eastern Pacific.  The two storms that had been getting plenty of scrutiny earlier this week have begun to weaken.  Tropical Storm Fernanda was barely that as it moved into the Central Pacific early Friday morning while Greg weakened to a Tropical Storm. 

Once a strong Category One Hurricane with winds of 85 miles per hour, Greg has weakened to a strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour along with a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars, or 29.26 inches of Hg.  Peak wind gusts are estimated to be 75 miles per hour as the storm moves off to the west at 9 miles per hour.  

Located some 455 miles to the Southwest of the tip of Baja California, Greg has tropical storm force winds extending some 85 miles from the center.  The storm once had hurricane force winds reaching some 25 miles from the center.  As of the 8:00 PM PDT discussion on Friday morning, Tropical Storm Greg moved into more cooler waters, and began the weakening process.

Currently in 25 degrees Celsius sea surface temperatures, Greg will be moving into even more cooler water, and weaken to a depression by Saturday, and a remnant low on Sunday.  Meanwhile, Fernanda is still churning away in the Central Pacific.  However, it is winding down in the cooler waters in the CPAC as expected.  

Located some 780 miles to the East-Southeast of South Point, Hawaii, or 970 miles to the East-Southeast of Honolulu, Fernanda only had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 1002 millibars or 29.59 inches of Hg as it moved West at 12 miles per hour according to the 5:00 AM HST Advisory from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

09.07.09

Dujuan Weakens To Depression In Western Pacific

Posted in Central Pacific, Western Pacific at 3:29 pm by gmachos

While things have picked up in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic, they are waning in the Western Pacific. Over the past few days, the site has been reporting on Tropical Storm Dujuan. On Saturday, there were indications that Dujuan would become a typhoon, and possibly affect Japan. However, on Sunday the forecast didn’t have Dujuan strengthening to anything more than a storm, and this morning, it has weakened to a depression.

According to the latest information from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Dujuan now only has winds of 30 knots, or 35 miles per hour with gusts reaching 40 knots, or 45 miles per hour. The cone of uncertainty takes Japan completely out of the picture as Dujuan is projected to move far to the south of the main island. The intensity forecast calls for Dujuan to remain at this intensity for the next 48 hours, or so, and then strengthen to have 45 knot, or 50 mile per hour winds by 72 hours. This increase in intensity is expected from a transition into an extratropical cyclone.

Looking at the latest infrared satellite imagery of the depression, it is easy to see that the center of circulation is pretty much exposed at this point. Much of the convection associated with the system is on the southern and western side of it. As Dujuan tracks to the Northeast, it will begin to encounter greater amounts of wind shear, which will assist in making it lose its tropical characteristics. Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, conditions continue to be relatively tranquil over the Hawaiian Islands as shower and thunderstorm activity passes to the south of the 50th state.

According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, no tropical formation is expected through early Wednesday morning. So far this season, there have been 6 depressions, 5 storms, and 2 hurricanes in this basin. Four of the tropical cyclones that have traversed this region originated in the Eastern Pacific.

09.06.09

Dujuan Likely To Remain A Storm And Stay Offshore

Posted in Central Pacific, Western Pacific at 2:16 pm by gmachos

Right now the only real serious activity at the moment throughout the tropics is Tropical Storm Dujuan. As of 2 AM EDT, the storm was located in the Western Pacific some 720 miles to the South-Southwest of Tokyo, Japan. Dujuan was packing winds of 55 miles per hour, and indications are that it will remain a storm after showing signs of becoming a typhoon on Saturday.

Looking at the latest info from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s web site, the storm has weakened to have winds of 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. The storm has moved to within 580 miles of Tokyo, and it is moving to the North-Northeast at 10 miles per hour. Maximum wave heights with Dujuan are still topping off at 25 feet.

The cone of uncertainty has shifted to the right a bit with the left fringe staying offshore near the Tokyo outskirts within 48 hours. The warning graphic also indicates no significant change in strength throughout the forecast period. Winds are only expected to increase to 50 knots, or 60 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 knots, or minimal hurricane force over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Looking at the latest infrared satellite imagery, you can see the system has fair outflow, and good convection along with banding. However, the Northeast quadrant appears to be weak, and the center is somewhat exposed there. The forecast discussion indicates that along with the lack of deep convection over the past 12 hours or so. Water vapor imagery indicates an upper level trough is entrenched over Japan, and is providing strong westerly winds to the North of Dujuan.

Consequently, the forecast track of the storm continues to head to the Northeast and accelerate with time. In addition, the poor organization of the system coupled with the strong westerly flow will prevent Dujuan from getting much stronger. Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, conditions near Hawaii are quite tranquil despite the presence of some early morning clouds. The bulk of the convection is staying to the south and west of the island chain.