Category 5 Super Typhoon Megi hits the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 18. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:23 (GMT)

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Super Typhoon Megi hit northern Luzon Island in the Philippines near 3:30 UTC this morning as a Category 5 Super Typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb, as rated by the Navy Research Lab in Monterey. Megi is the strongest Category 5 tropical cyclone to make landfall in the world since August 21 2007, when Hurricane Dean hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds of 175 mph and central pressure of 905 mb. We were fortunate to get precise measurements of Megi's intensity yesterday morning thanks to the Hurricane Hunters, who were investigating the typhoon in support of the Interaction of Typhoon and Ocean Project (ITOP), which is studying how the ocean responds to typhoon growth and movement in the Western Pacific Ocean. A C-130 hurricane hunter aircraft penetrated into Megi at 10,000 feet, and found an extraordinarily intense storm. At 9:05am EDT on Sunday (13:09 UTC), the aircraft recorded a central pressure in Megi of 890 mb. This is a phenomenally low pressure, ranking Megi (unofficially) as the 16th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Only two Atlantic hurricane have been more intense than Megi--Wilma (2005) at 882 mb, and Gilbert (1988) at 888 mb. As they penetrated Megi's eyewall, the Hurricane Hunters performed the standard practice of maintaining a constant "pressure altitude"--the altitude one would expect to find a 700 mb pressure at in an atmosphere at standard conditions. In order to maintain a constant pressure altitude of 10,000 feet, the aircraft was forced to descend 3,000 feet in altitude as it entered Megi's eye. The aircraft entered the eye at 7,000 feet, so the pressure in Megi's eye was what one would normally find at an altitude 3,000 feet higher in the atmosphere. The aircraft recorded a remarkable increase in temperature of 12°C (22°F) as it crossed from the eyewall into the warm eye of Megi. A 12°C rise in eye temperature is extraordinarily rare in a tropical cyclone. Equally noteworthy were Megi's winds. The Hurricane Hunters measured winds at flight level of 220 mph, which normally translates to a surface wind speed of 198 mph, using the standard 10% reduction. The SFMR surface wind measurement instrument recorded surface winds of 186 mph in regions where heavy rain was not contaminating the measurement, but found surface winds of 199 mph in one region of heavy rain. Now, this measurement is considered contaminated by rain, but at very high wind speeds, the contamination effect is less important than at lower hurricane wind speeds, and it is possible than Megi's surface winds reached sustained speeds of 200 mph. However, data from a dropsonde in the eyewall at the time supported giving Megi just 180 mph sustained winds. This is still a ridiculously strong wind, equivalent to a violent EF-4 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Megi taken by NASA's Terra satellite at 2:25 UTC October 18, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Passage over Luzon Island has weakened Megi to a still-formidable Category 3 typhoon with 125 mph winds, and Megi is pounding the northern portion of the island with torrential rains. We don't have many cities in the Philippines along Megi's path that report weather conditions, so it is difficult to know how strong the storm is. Tuguegarao, to the north of where Megi's eyewall passed, bottomed out at 978 mb pressure, had top sustained winds of 27 mph, and picked up 3.23" of rain thus far from the storm. Megi's rains, which will likely accumulate to more than a foot along a wide swath of northern Luzon (Figure 2), will create dangerous mudslides and life-threatening flash floods. Once Megi crosses Luzon, the storm is expected to re-intensify and hit the Chinese coast between Hainan Island and Hong Kong as a major typhoon on Friday.


Figure 2. Rainfall forecast for the 24 hours ending at 8pm EDT October 18, 2010, based on satellite estimates of Megi's rainfall rate. Rainfall amounts in excess of 12 inches (red colors) were predicted along a wide swath of Luzon Island. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Caribbean disturbance 99L
Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased over the past day over the southwestern Caribbean off the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras in association with a tropical disturbance (Invest 99L). Recent satellite imagery does show this disturbance has some rotation, and wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots, which is low enough to allow some slow development. However, the disturbance is headed west-northwest at 5 - 10 mph, and most of the computer models predict the storm will move over Nicaragua on Tuesday, which would not give 99L enough time over water to develop into a tropical depression. NHC is giving 99L a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday. The storm will bring very heavy rains of 3 - 6" to northern Honduras and northeast Nicaragua over the next two days.

Next update
I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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677. Neapolitan
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:50 (GMT)
NEW BLOG
Member Since: 8.11.2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
675. robert88
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:40 (GMT)
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Agreed. GOM is a death trap for anything even thinking about it.


I would of thought this season with such a strong La Nina in place the GOM would have some amazing conditions out there for the 4th quarter. It will be interesting to hear what the experts explanation might be on this over the off season.
Member Since: 22.05.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 907
674. ShenValleyFlyFish
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:37 (GMT)
BBC Typhoon Megi report.
Member Since: 9.09.2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
673. stormpetrol
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:37 (GMT)

Puerto Cabezas, NK (Airport)
Updated: 36 min 12 sec ago

23 °C
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 22 °C
Wind: 7 km/h / 2.1 m/s from the WNW

Pressure: 1011 hPa (Falling)
Visibility: 8.0 kilometers
UV: 2 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 487 m
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 20 m
Member Since: 29.04.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
671. ShenValleyFlyFish
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:36 (GMT)
Vietnam is a very wet place today.
Member Since: 9.09.2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
669. stormpetrol
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:33 (GMT)
San Andres, CO (Airport)
Updated: 8:00 AM COT on October 19, 2010

27 °C
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 24 °C
Wind: 7 km/h / 2.1 m/s from the West

Pressure: 1012 hPa (Rising)
Heat Index: 30 °C
Visibility: 10.0 kilometers
UV: 2 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 487 m
Scattered Clouds 6096 m
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 2 m
Member Since: 29.04.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
667. FSUCOOPman
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:33 (GMT)
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Agreed. GOM is a death trap for anything even thinking about it.


towards the VERY end of that model run (last frame) it almost looks like some lower shear is trying to make it's way into the Gulf across Mexico...
Member Since: 29.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
665. BLee2333
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:31 (GMT)
Morning folks!

Been out for two weeks for surgery and I see very little has changed as far as the atmosphere of the blog goes!

Wish I could have been on board with Paula. I bet this place was hopping!!
Member Since: 6.01.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 217
664. Dakster
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:30 (GMT)
Stillwaiting - I hope you are able to keep your handle through next season to. (You will still be waiting...)
Member Since: 10.03.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9737
663. Orcasystems
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:30 (GMT)
Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: 1.10.2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
662. mcluvincane
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:30 (GMT)
Quoting robert88:
Shear is going to be destructive in the GOM for days to come. Even if 99L makes it into the GOM it gets beheaded like Paula did. Anything between 20 and 25N is doomed. Conditions have not been favorable in the GOM for the majority of the season and looks like it will continue to stay that way through November. Link


Not so bad in a weeks time. Shouldn't b a problem for it with a anti cyclone overhead
Member Since: 2.06.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1338
660. surfmom
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:27 (GMT)
Quoting stillwaiting:
...heard they caught a 4-5 footer that was about 2-3 months ago at big pass...no wet roads in your neckof the woods????,we've had light rain here near the village for the last hour or so...nothing heavy though,***fingers crossd the precip in gom makesit ashore***
Got a fine light mist - glorious to get some moisture - my fruit trees are singing!!! (but they are also begging for MORE - been a long spell between rains) did not hear about that shark catch -- thanks for the information (well sort of - ignorance is not bliss in this case)maybe if we both concentrate, we can get that rain to come on shore!!!! getting ready to run & I love RAINRUNNING - com ON R A I N!!!!!!!
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
658. robert88
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:26 (GMT)
Shear is going to be destructive in the GOM for days to come. Even if 99L makes it into the GOM it gets beheaded like Paula did. Anything between 20 and 25N is doomed. Conditions have not been favorable in the GOM for the majority of the season and looks like it will continue to stay that way through November. Link
Member Since: 22.05.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 907
657. IKE
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:26 (GMT)
AL, 99, 2010101912, , BEST, 0, 165N, 833W

This buoy is at 16.8N and 81.5W....buoy 42057...

5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): ESE ( 110 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 9.7 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 13.6 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 3.0 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 6 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 4.6 sec
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.90 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.06 in ( Rising )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 78.8 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 83.3 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 74.5 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 82.2 °F
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
651. GeoffreyWPB
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:21 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
649. weatherguy03
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:20 (GMT)
Tropical Update Oct. 19th. 2010
Member Since: 5.07.2005 Posts: 589 Comments: 29691
647. stillwaiting
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:19 (GMT)
Quoting surfmom:
From your lips to the rainmakers ears -- rather crispy on my side of the SKBridge Stillwaiting - FYI when I was out catching the bit of Paula's swell that made it to SWFL - the bad finned one was noticed - the spot where you fish & I surf.... have you seen any??? Seems like they remembered the menu from last year this time.....kinda weird Bulls in SWFL
...heard they caught a 4-5 footer that was about 2-3 months ago at big pass...no wet roads in your neckof the woods????,we've had light rain here near the village for the last hour or so...nothing heavy though,***fingers crossd the precip in gom makesit ashore***
Member Since: 5.10.2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
641. aspectre
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:10 (GMT)
Invest 99L
17Oct 12pmGMT - 12.3n79.5w - 20knots - 1009mb - ATCF*11.5n78.2w*12.0n79.2w
17Oct 06pmGMT - 12.8n80.4w - 20knots - 1009mb - ATCF*11.6n78.5w*12.3n79.9w*12.5n80.1w
18Oct 12amGMT - 13.3n81.0w - 20knots - 1010mb - *12.6n80.6w*13.1n81.0w*13.4n81.1w*13.4n81.0w
18Oct 06amGMT - 13.7n81.4w - 20knots - 1010mb - ATCF*14.0n81.8w*14.3n81.8w*13.8n81.5w
18Oct 12pmGMT - 14.1n81.8w - 25knots - 1010mb - ATCF*15.1n82.5w*15.0n82.4w*14.1n81.9w
18Oct 06pmGMT - 14.6n82.3w - 25knots - 1010mb - ATCF*15.7n83.2w*14.5n82.2w
19Oct 12amGMT - 15.1n82.7w - 25knots - 1009mb - ATCF*15.0n82.6w
19Oct 06amGMT - 15.7n83.0w - 25knots - 1008mb - ATCF
19Oct 12pmGMT - 16.5n83.3w - 25knots - 1008mb - ATCF
* Before NHC reevaluated&revised the ATCF numbers

Copy&paste 12.3n79.5w, 12.8n80.4w, 13.3n81.0w, 13.7n81.4w, 14.1n81.8w-14.6n82.3w, 14.6n82.3w-15.1n82.7w, 15.1n82.7w-15.7n83.0w, 15.7n83.0w-16.5n83.3w, ctm into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 24^hours
Member Since: 21.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
640. greentortuloni
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:10 (GMT)
By the way, I remember back in the good 'ole days, there was always this type of banter on here. There were a lot of Empresses of the Weather. Some of them turned out to be real, some never showed their hole cards and you had to assume they were bluffing.

Anyway, this site has been a internet favorite of mine for a long time, so lets just let it replenish itself and carry on.
Member Since: 5.06.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
639. weatherlover94
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:09 (GMT)
looks like Megi is getting her strength back or more
Member Since: 8.09.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1820
638. twhcracker
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:08 (GMT)
well i just want to say so far I have been completely and totally 100 percent correct in my totally amateur ignernt forecast for the season... when people said it was gonna be like 2005 I said yes, and for us here in the panhandle that means lots of storms whizzing past us while we languish beneath an oppressive High sinking further and further into hopeless drought. because thats what happened to us in 2005.
Member Since: 30.07.2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 1448
637. divdog
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:08 (GMT)
Wonder if it is safe to come out from under the covers. Has that nasty person left yet . I hope so.
Member Since: 22.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
636. weatherlover94
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:07 (GMT)
Quoting hydrus:
I am sure tropics have a couple more strong storms. It will be interesting to see what 99L does. Really strange weather out there.


defiantly we cant be surprised if nature pulls a fast one on us and really strengthens this thing on us.....if any one remembers when Wilma was on track to hit s Florida when it came off the ucitan it had winds of 100 mph and they said it may weaken further before hitting Florida...at one point it may have only been a cat 1 when it hit but the next day Oct 24 they said wilma continues to strengthen and the shear that perhaps would come in did not and its strengthening as it charges for south Florida
Member Since: 8.09.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1820
635. Neapolitan
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:06 (GMT)
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Now, as for the National Hurricane Center...They have done an excellent job this year, nailed basically ever storm. Paula was an exception, I mean, who is going to know that this storm that we thought was just an Invest, was a moderate Tropical Storm? I believe they wanted to wait for recon to be sure, and they did. I would say they made a good move with Paula, continuing their streak of good forecasting.


Excellent summary, and I almost completely agree with your take on Paula.

+10^1,000
Member Since: 8.11.2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
633. Chicklit
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:04 (GMT)
Hi Morning,
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
632. divdog
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:04 (GMT)
One bad apple does not ruin the bunch. And we know who the apple is in this situation.
Member Since: 22.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
631. surfmom
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:04 (GMT)
Quoting stillwaiting:
morning wunder-kids!!!,went outside my door today and this funny wet stuff was falling from the sky????,lol.....i live in swfl and its been atleats 3 weeks,hope the precip over the gom builds and moves ashore drenching us,probably just wishful thinking...
From your lips to the rainmakers ears -- rather crispy on my side of the SKBridge Stillwaiting - FYI when I was out catching the bit of Paula's swell that made it to SWFL - the bad finned one was noticed - the spot where you fish & I surf.... have you seen any??? Seems like they remembered the menu from last year this time.....kinda weird Bulls in SWFL
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
630. ShenValleyFlyFish
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:03 (GMT)
Quoting FLstormwarning:


Your comment is an embarrassment! For one this ain't no boy and yes I hhave extensive knowledge of weather which I care not to sare on the blog.
Obviously
Member Since: 9.09.2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
629. kmanislander
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:03 (GMT)
The potential for a stall is fairly high with this type of upper level flow.

Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
627. TropicalAnalystwx13
19. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:01 (GMT)
Satellite Imagery shows a significantly better organized invest this morning compared to last morning. Spiral bands are visible in the Southeast corner especially, and it looks like the development of some beginning on the western side. An ASCAT pass from this morning reveals that there is no well-defined circulation, which would limit the formation into a tropical cyclone (TD, TS, etc) today.

However, the system continues to become better organized, with winds of 30 mph, and a pressure of 1008 millibars. I wouldn't say that this is a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm, but it is definitely approaching the status faster than ever before. With favorable conditions in front of 99L, it is likely we will see a Tropical Depression out of this before Thursday, and a Tropical Storm out of this by Friday. This may be a little too conservative.

Now, as for the National Hurricane Center...They have done an excellent job this year, nailed basically ever storm. Paula was an exception, I mean, who is going to know that this storm that we thought was just an Invest, was a moderate Tropical Storm? I believe they wanted to wait for recon to be sure, and they did. I would say they made a good move with Paula, continuing their streak of good forecasting.


Figure 1. Visible Satellite Imagery of Invest 99L.
Member Since: 6.07.2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30268

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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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