Two Pacific-sized disasters: the Samoan tsunami and Typhoon Ketsana

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 30. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:29 (GMT)

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The Pacific spawned another huge natural disaster yesterday, when a magnitude 8.0 - 8.3 earthquake near Samoa generated a tsunami that devastated portions of American Samoa and neighboring islands. While the ocean surface was only displaced about three inches by the force of the earthquake near its epicenter, the rupture occurred near the 10,000 meter-deep Tonga-Kermadec Trench, along a swath 200 - 300 km long. A column of water miles deep and 200 - 300 km long accelerated downward by the force of gravity (or lifted upward by crustal motion) by three inches represents an massive amount of energy released into the ocean. The quake was able to generate a 1.5-foot tsunami on the Hawaiian island of Oahu 2,700 miles away, and a 0.6-foot tsunami on the Oregon coast, over 5,000 miles away.

Portlight.org is considering adopting an American Samoa family to help out in the wake of this huge disaster. They would like some feedback from their contributors on whether to go ahead with this idea, so stop by the Portlight.org blog to join the discussion.

Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana has finally dissipated, but not before bringing record flooding to Vietnam, two days after creating recording flooding and chaos in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Ketsana made landfall Tuesday morning in Vietnam between Hue and Da Nang as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds. The storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain on Vietnam, according to satellite estimates. Some rivers in central Vietnam rose above the record flood heights recorded in an epic 1964 flood. In all, Ketsana has been responsible for 41 deaths in Vietnam and 11 in neighboring Cambodia, with many more missing. At least 350,000 people are homeless in Vietnam, joining the 380,000 left homeless in the Philippines from the storm.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Ketsana approaching Vietnam on Tuesday, September 28, 2009. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

The death toll in the Philippines from Ketsana has stabilized at 246, with another 38 missing. Residents of the islands need to keep a wary eye on Typhoon Parma, which is expected to intensify into a major typhoon and brush the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Saturday and Sunday.

Quietest September in the Atlantic since 1997
Well, it's the end of September, and what is traditionally the busiest month in the Atlantic was unusually quiet. We had only two named storms this September, the first time since 1997 we've had less than three September named storms. There were only 6.75 days in September with a named storm, which ranks as the 4th fewest September named storm days since 1950 (only 1962, 1970, and 1994 had fewer). The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for September ranked as the 6th lowest since 1950. The quiet period is likely to continue for at least another week, as 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. I'll post my first-half-of-October outlook for the Atlantic tomorrow.

Jeff Masters

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851. hydrus
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 14:41 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:
Fifty knots of shear in the GOM...40 knots of shear in the Caribbean...40-50 knots of shear east of the islands...40 knots of shear west of the western Africa coast...

Is there a little shear in the tropics?...lol
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19497
849. Unfriendly
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 14:24 (GMT)
the left hook on parma at the end of the navy map doesn't bode well for Hong Kong... IIRC, the "worst case scenario" for them is a storm clearing the philippines to the north and then heading southwest, strengthening and recurving...
Member Since: 21.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
848. Magicchaos
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 14:21 (GMT)
New Blog
Member Since: 3.04.2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
847. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 14:21 (GMT)
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
846. Magicchaos
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 14:05 (GMT)
invest_RENUMBER_ep912009_ep182009.ren

TD 18-E has formed.

It might be a brief one though.
Member Since: 3.04.2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
845. goddessnoel4u
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 13:48 (GMT)
i guess mother nature is doing fall cleaning

844. Magicchaos
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 13:35 (GMT)
Invest 91E(As of 8:00AM EDT)
18.9N 117.9W
Winds:35 MPH
Movement:WNW at 8 MPH
Pressure:1004 MB

Member Since: 3.04.2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
843. Magicchaos
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 13:23 (GMT)
Unenhanced IR on 91E

Looks likes we might get a brief TC soon in the Eastern Pacific. DMAX within the next hour or so.
Member Since: 3.04.2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
842. BayouBorn1965
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 13:07 (GMT)
Quoting Weather456:
Geeze...



Looks very familiar like on 8/30/2005.
Member Since: 21.07.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 74
841. RitaEvac
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 13:03 (GMT)
Parma looks to be major headlines in the coming days, going from one thing to another over there
Member Since: 14.07.2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
840. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 13:01 (GMT)
I feel for all of those people. Too much at the same time.

Here's a mellow song to ease their suffering...Link
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
839. Orcasystems
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:53 (GMT)
Thousands feared dead after Indonesia quake

Philippines Mobilizes Armed Forces for Second Storm in a Week

Navy forecasters designated Parma as a supertyphoon when its wind speed reached 240 kph. Its winds are forecast to strengthen to 259 kph by 2 p.m. tomorrow, making it a Category 5 storm, the strongest rating.

Such storms are capable of causing catastrophic damage and can blow roofs off residential and industrial buildings, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The Navys five-day forecast indicates Parma will cross Luzon and head toward Taiwan, where more than 600 people were killed in August when Typhoon Morakot blew across the island.

To the east of Parma, Tropical Storm Melor strengthened to a typhoon with winds of 194 kph, according to the Navy center.

Melor was 809 kilometers east of the U.S. territory of Guam at 2 p.m. Manila time today, the typhoon center said. The storm was moving west-northwest at 17 kph.

The storms winds are forecast to strengthen to 213 kph within 24 hours. The Navys forecast track shows it crossing the island chain of Saipan north of Guam and heading toward the southern islands of Japan during the next five days.
Member Since: 1.10.2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
838. NEwxguy
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:53 (GMT)
Amazing what is going on over in the Pacific,Mother Earth is really dumping on those poor people over there.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
837. tornadofan
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:51 (GMT)
Quoting reeldrlaura:
GREAT STORY/LINK COTILLION!!!!!


I second that comment.
Member Since: 5.04.2007 Posts: 83 Comments: 12345
836. reeldrlaura
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:45 (GMT)
GREAT STORY/LINK COTILLION!!!!!
Member Since: 31.07.2005 Posts: 93 Comments: 6007
835. Cotillion
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:39 (GMT)
Link

A cool story... regardless of your opinion on climate change.
Member Since: 23.08.2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
834. nrtiwlnvragn
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:24 (GMT)
MONTHLY TROPICAL WEATHER SUMMARY


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

SEPTEMBER WAS A RATHER QUIET MONTH WITH ONLY TWO NAMED STORMS...ONE
OF WHICH REACHED MAJOR HURRICANE INTENSITY. THE LONG-TERM
AVERAGE FOR SEPTEMBER IS FOUR NAMED STORMS...TWO HURRICANES...
AND ONE MAJOR HURRICANE. IN TERMS OF ACCUMULATED CYCLONE ENERGY...
ACE...WHICH MEASURES THE COMBINED STRENGTH AND DURATION OF TROPICAL
STORMS AND HURRICANES...SEPTEMBER ACE WAS ONLY 22 PERCENT OF THE
LONG-TERM MEAN...THE LOWEST VALUE SINCE 1994...AND THE SIXTH LOWEST
SINCE 1944.

REPORTS ON INDIVIDUAL CYCLONES...WHEN COMPLETED...ARE AT THE WEB
SITE OF THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER...USE LOWER CASE LETTERS...
HTTP://WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV/2009ATLAN.SHTML

SUMMARY TABLE

NAME DATES MAX WIND (MPH)
-------------------------------------------------
TD ONE 28-29 MAY 35
TS ANA 11-16 AUG 40
MH BILL 15-24 AUG 135
TS CLAUDETTE 16-18 AUG 50
TS DANNY 26-29 AUG 60
TS ERIKA 1- 4 SEP 60
MH FRED 7-12 SEP 120
TD EIGHT 25-26 SEP 35

Member Since: 23.09.2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10458
833. Orcasystems
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:11 (GMT)
456 you have mail :)


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


See comments section for the Comedy
Member Since: 1.10.2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
832. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 12:02 (GMT)
Looks like the cold front moving into the SE USA tomorrow and Saturday will stall out in the northern GOM. Then move back north as a warm front, returning warm and humid air to the lower SE USA early and mid next week.

Possible stronger cold-front may head into the SE USA the end of next week. That front is questionable as to how far south it makes it, at this time.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
831. stoormfury
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:54 (GMT)
ELONGATED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE EAST OF THE WINWARD ISLANDS

Link
Member Since: 22.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552
830. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:41 (GMT)
And nothing continues with only 60 more days....17 hours...19 minutes left......

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT THU OCT 1 2009

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

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

$$
FORECASTER BROWN
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
829. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:39 (GMT)
Fifty knots of shear in the GOM...40 knots of shear in the Caribbean...40-50 knots of shear east of the islands...40 knots of shear west of the western Africa coast...

Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
827. Chicklit
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:15 (GMT)
Reuters

Alertnet.org Predicting Cat 5 at Landfall:
"Typhoon Parma is forecast to strike the Philippines as a super typhoon at about 00:00 GMT on 3 October. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near 16.9 N, 123.1 E. Parma is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 259 km/h (161 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher."

Full Moon is the 4th.
Wonder if Dr. Masters has anything on storm surge in this area.
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11034
826. Chicklit
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:06 (GMT)

Melor
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11034
825. Chicklit
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:04 (GMT)

Parma
ut oh
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11034
824. Cavin Rawlins
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 11:00 (GMT)
BBL and thanks

Outlook for the remainder of hurricane season
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
822. aquak9
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 10:20 (GMT)
5.1 near Olancha, Ca

No depth? can't find a fault near it. Already reviewed by seismologists, kinda scared me when I looked at the USGS map and saw the big red square over south Cally.

Mostly nobody out there.
Member Since: 13.08.2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25485
821. InTheCone
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 10:17 (GMT)
At 5:00 p.m PhST, Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) located at 12.5ºN 129.1ºE or 440 kms east of Catarman, Northern Samar has 10 minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (105 kts) with gusts up to 230 km/h (125 kts).

WOW!! That is BAD! God hhelp all the people over there.
Member Since: 1.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1979
820. 789
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 10:17 (GMT)
Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning all

Outlook for the remainder of hurricane season
thanks!
Member Since: 18.07.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 262
819. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 10:09 (GMT)
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

Typhoon "PEPENG" continues to gain more strength as it moves towards Northern Luzon.

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #5
=======================
At 5:00 p.m PhST, Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) located at 12.5ºN 129.1ºE or 440 kms east of Catarman, Northern Samar has 10 minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (105 kts) with gusts up to 230 km/h (125 kts).

Signal Warnings
==================

Signal Warning #1 (30-60 kph winds)

Luzon Region
1.Camarines Norte
2.Camarines Sur
3.Catanduanes
4.Albay
5.Quezon
6.Polilio Island
7.Aurora

Additional Information
===========================
Residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under signal #1 are advised to take all the necessary precautionary measures against possible flashfloods and landslides.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 P.M. today.
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43639
818. MisterJohnny
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 10:03 (GMT)
Thanks for the update, 456!
817. InTheCone
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 10:01 (GMT)
Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning all

Outlook for the remainder of hurricane season


Thanks 456, that is a fantastic read!
Member Since: 1.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1979
816. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 09:56 (GMT)
Low of 57.7 at my house, this morning.

For What It's Worth
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
815. Cavin Rawlins
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 09:43 (GMT)
Good Morning all

Outlook for the remainder of hurricane season
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
814. MisterJohnny
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 09:35 (GMT)
Good Morning everyone
813. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 09:15 (GMT)
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
812. IKE
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 08:18 (GMT)
Indonesia quake toll
soars past 400


Link
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
811. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 07:14 (GMT)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #17
TYPHOON MELOR (T0918)
6:00 AM JST October 1 2009
================================

Subject: Category Three Typhoon Near Truks(Chuuk)

At 6:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Melor (955 hPa) located at 13.9N 152.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving west-northwest at 7 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T5.0

Storm-Force Winds
=================
60 NM from the center

Gale-Force Winds
===============
150 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.0N 150.6E - 90 kts (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 16.8N 146.9E - 90 kts (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 18.7N 142.0E - 90 kts (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43639
810. victoriahurricane
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 07:10 (GMT)
Quoting tornadodude:


there were two, look closely


He's right actually. They revised the 5.9 down to a 5.5
Member Since: 16.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 544
809. tornadodude
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 07:03 (GMT)
Quoting btwntx08:

i just look at it said 5.5


there were two, look closely
Member Since: 28.06.2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
808. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 06:59 (GMT)
** WTPQ20 BABJ 010600 ***
SUBJECTIVE FORECAST
TY MELOR 0918 (0918) INITIAL TIME 010600 UTC
00HR 13.9N 152.4E 965HPA 38M/S (75 knots)
30KTS 220KM
50KTS 80KM
P12HR WNW 15KM/H
P+24HR 14.8N 150.3E 940HPA 50M/S (100 kts)
P+48HR 16.0N 146.7E 925HPA 55M/S (110 kts)
P+72HR 17.4N 142.6E 915HPA 60M/S (120 kts)
P+96HR 18.3N 139.2E 910HPA 60M/S= (120 kts)

---
Outlook looks bad.. with a capital "B"
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43639
805. tornadodude
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 06:39 (GMT)
Another in Samoa, man this thing has been active
Member Since: 28.06.2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
804. tornadodude
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 06:35 (GMT)
Quoting victoriahurricane:
This eQuake alert is really handy.


I like it a lot, Tonga just had 4.8
Member Since: 28.06.2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
803. victoriahurricane
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 06:34 (GMT)
This eQuake alert is really handy.
Member Since: 16.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 544
802. tornadodude
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 06:30 (GMT)
Samoa just had a 5.9
Member Since: 28.06.2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
801. BahaHurican
1. lokakuuta 2009 klo 06:15 (GMT)
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

possible low level circulation on that T-wave
might be a player down the road if the caribbean can find some better shear condition
what you guys think
Link
We've been looking at that. Mostly still wait & see, though.

Quoting xcool:


oh matt looking at snow ;)
And in the WY central basin, too, not just over the Winds and Bighorns....

Quoting tornadodude:


Tonga has had a few small ones within the last couple of hours. the latest being a 4.8
Looks like Tonga is having something volcanic... they are watching but no warnings yet. Given the extent of seismic activity along the WPac edge this week, anything could happen there....
Member Since: 25.10.2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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