Cyclone Phailin and more Pacific Typhoons

14 10 2013

As per forecasts discussed in our blog last week, Cyclone Phailin struck the east coast of India over the weekend with winds estimated at near 130 mph.

It brought a strong storm surge along the coast and more than 230 mm (9 inches) of rain was recorded as the cyclone passed.

The cyclone was of a similar strength to one which struck just a little further up the coast in 1999, which claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Excellent forecasts for Phailin, combined with well executed warning and evacuation procedures, meant the loss of life was much less this time around.

Phailin became a tropical storm a little more than three days before landfall, but computer models were able to give far greater warning than this.

Medium range prediction models suggested a higher risk of cyclone formation in the Bay of Bengal a full nine days before Cyclone Phailin struck.

At six days ahead, shorter range models were predicting that the north-eastern coast of India could be under threat, although the timing was not certain at that stage.

Four days ahead, computer models were able to pinpoint the location and timing of landfall to a high degree of accuracy – all before the storm was strong enough to be named.

Cyclone Phailin originated from a disturbance in the far west Pacific basin and was one of a series of tropical storms seen in this region recently.

Stitched image for 0600-0700 HRS on Saturday, 12 October 2013. Phailin is on the left, Nari in the centre, and Wutip on the right. Images from CIMSS http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/

Stitched image for 0600-0700 HRS (GMT) on Saturday, 12 October 2013. Phailin is on the left, Nari in the centre, and Wipha on the right. Images from CIMSS http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/

Nine storms have developed in the west Pacific in the last month, including Typhoons Usagi and Fitow which struck China, Typhoon Wutip which struck Vietnam, and Typhoon Danas which caused heavy rain in South Korea and Japan.

More recently Typhoon Nari crossed the Philippines on Friday and is about to strike Vietnam. Typhoon Wipha may cause disruption in southern Japan and it seems likely another typhoon will develop later this week.

Despite this recent activity, in 2013 the northern hemisphere as a whole has still only had about 60% of the expected activity for this point in the season and regions such at the Atlantic have only seen about 30% of normal activity.

Northern hemisphere activity tends to diminish through November as the southern hemisphere season begins.

Official forecasts of Indian Ocean tropical storms are provided by the Indian Meteorological Department. Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japanese Meteological Agency (JMA).

From Tuesday 15th October a graphical display of Met Office forecast tracks of active tropical storms will be available from our web pages. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.





Stormy days ahead in the Tropics

23 08 2012

Whilst in the UK attention is focused on the weather for the coming Bank Holiday weekend, in the tropics it looks set to be a stormy few days ahead.

Typhoon Tembin  has winds of over 100 mph and is set to make landfall on Taiwan on Friday. It is likely to be slow moving which could result in huge amounts of rain accompanied by flooding in parts of the island. Tembin will be the 11th tropical storm to make landfall over south-east Asia so far this season.

Meanwhile Typhoon Bolaven lies further east in the Pacific Ocean and looks set to head towards land as well. A turn to the north-west is expected, but this will still result in a likely landfall over north-eastern China in several days time.

Across in the Atlantic and Caribbean Tropical Storm Isaac is developing. It has already crossed the Leeward Islands and is set to make landfall over Hispaniola, which comprises the Dominican Republic and Haiti, on Friday. It could be a minimal hurricane by that time, but its greatest impact will again be from heavy rain – up to 500mm  is possible – accompanied by flooding and mudslides. After this time Isaac is expected to track along the length of Cuba and turn towards Florida and possibly into the eastern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend and into next week. The precise track and strength of the storm at this time is uncertain at present.

Further Atlantic tropical storms are possible in the coming week, although there is no indication yet that any of these will threaten land.

For more information on tropical cyclones worldwide visit our web pages or follow @metofficestorms on Twitter.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,641 other followers

%d bloggers like this: