Super Typhoon Francisco Becomes Earth's 3rd Category 5 Storm of 2013

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:02 PM GMT on October 19, 2013

Mighty Super Typhoon Francisco has intensified to become Earth's third Category 5 storm of 2013. The other two Cat 5s were Cyclone Phailin, which hit India earlier this month at Category 3 or 4 strength, killing 44 and causing at least $1 billion in damage, and Super Typhoon Usagi, which hit China just east of Hong Kong as a Category 2 storm on September 22, killing 50 and causing at least $3.8 billion in damage. Satellite loops show a spectacular, well-organized storm with an impressive area of heavy thunderstorms and a prominent eye. With warm waters that extend to great depth and low wind shear, Francisco is likely to stay at Category 5 strength until an eyewall replacement cycle begins. Francisco is headed northwest towards Japan, and will likely stay at Category 4 or stronger intensity until Tuesday, when the storm will encounter higher wind shear and cooler waters. By the time Franciso makes its closest approach to Japan on Thursday, weakening to Category 2 or lesser strength is likely. In their Saturday morning runs, both the European model and GFS model predicted that Francisco would turn northeastwards on Wednesday, and hit Japan on Thursday. There is very high uncertainty in the storm's track that far into the future, though, since the timing of Francisco's turn the northeast is difficult to predict.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Francisco, taken at approximately 03 UTC on October 19, 2013. At the time, Francisco was a Category 5 storm with top winds of 160 mph. Image credit: NASA.

The Atlantic is quiet
None of the reliable computer models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis is predicting development over the next five days.

Intriguing Tipping Points TV Series Begins Airing Saturday at 9pm EDT
How does one tell the most important story of our time--the emergence of our great Climate Disruption--without boring one's audience to tears, but at the same time, not resorting to over-hyped spinning of the science? “Tipping Points”, a landmark 6-part TV series that begins airing at 9 pm EDT Saturday, October 19 on The Weather Channel, aims to do just that. "Tipping Points" follows a group of preeminent scientists as they venture off the grid to explore the perilous tipping points making our weather systems more extreme and unpredictable. The first episode at 9 pm EDT/8 pm CDT this Saturday will be "Amazon Rainforest Risks". "Tipping Points" host Bernice Notenboom will join Peter Cox, Professor of Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter, on an expedition across the vast Amazon Rainforest to explore the mega droughts and tree deaths occurring that threaten the forest's survival this century.



Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Some of these microwave passes on Francisco have been really bad. I feel like there have been far fewer quality microwave passes with this storm than usual.

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248. SLU
Quoting 230. MiamiHeat305:


i hope it doesn't wake up for those who resigned that would be inconvenient especially if they end up in the path of a storm...


Yeah true. I don't see that happening though. Looks like we've seen out last storm for the year given the pattern.

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Quoting 244. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Yet another potent typhoon on the latest GFS.


I was looking at that disturbance earlier to see if it might amount to much.It seems once Fancisco gets out of the way T.D 27 will have room to intensify and so will this one.This reminds me very much of the 2009 seapn over there.Strong typhoon after strong typhoon.
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Good evening fellow bloggers!

I Took these pics earlier in the week. Quite a bit of rain in the past week.





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.DISCUSSION...FEATURE OF INTEREST IS TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 58W FCST
TO MOVE ACROSS THE AREA MON-MON NIGHT WITH VERY ACTIVE WX. IT
APPEARS WAVE WILL INTERACT FVRBLY WITH UPPER LEVEL TROUGH TO YIELD
NMRS STRONG CONVECTION OVER ERN PR...USVI AND COASTAL WATERS MON
NIGHT.

Not sure I'll get something from that wave but it's interesting.
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Yet another potent typhoon on the latest GFS.


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Quoting 169. txjac:
Supposed to go down to 49F here tonight. Is everyone experiencing fall like temps?


Can't say that we are down here ;-)

Although tonight they are using a term I've never seen before called "heavy rain mist" (hide that from CaribBoy, okay?)

Lindy
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Noles win 51-14 over #3 Clemson, biggest loss Clemson has ever had at home.

If they keep this up all season, I think they deserve a shot at the national title!
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Double hit for Japan?

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Quoting 231. CaribBoy:


Don't worry, it won't.
lol i actually agree
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51-7
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How far do hurricane force winds extend from the center of Francisco?4 It appears to have enlarged during the EWRC.
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BIG NEWS HERE!!Bot 7th: Red Sox 5, Tigers 2 game 6 10/19/2013
Shane Victorino's grand slam atop the Green Monster turned the game around for the Red Sox in the seventh inning
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TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVENTEEN-E DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP172013
800 PM PDT SAT OCT 19 2013

DEEP CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED
SOUTH OF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED THIS EVENING. RECENT MICROWAVE AND INFRARED
SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS AN INCREASE IN BANDING AROUND THE CENTER.
BASED ON A DVORAK T-NUMBER OF 2.0 FROM TAFB...ADVISORIES ARE BEING
INITIATED ON A TROPICAL DEPRESSION WITH AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF
30 KT. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS CONSISTING OF WARM WATER...
A MOIST LOW- TO MID-LEVEL ATMOSPHERE...AND LOW VERTICAL WIND
SHEAR....SHOULD SUPPORT STRENGTHENING DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. NEARLY ALL OF THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE BRINGS THE CYCLONE
TO HURRICANE STRENGTH WITHIN 2 TO 3 DAYS...AND SO DOES THE NHC
FORECAST. AFTER THAT TIME...INTERACTION WITH LAND AND SOME DRIER
MID-LEVEL AIR TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE CYCLONE COULD CAUSE SOME
WEAKENING. THE INTENSITY FORECAST AT DAYS FOUR AND FIVE IS
HIGHLY UNCERTAIN AS IT IS CONTINGENT UPON HOW MUCH THE CYCLONE
INTERACTS WITH LAND.

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING NORTHWESTWARD OR 325 DEGREES AT 7 KT.
A SHORTWAVE TROUGH MOVING ACROSS NORTHERN MEXICO IS EXPECTED TO
MAINTAIN ENOUGH OF A WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE TO ALLOW FOR THE
CYCLONE TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. BEYOND THAT TIME...THERE IS A HIGHER THAN NORMAL AMOUNT OF
UNCERTAINTY IN THE TRACK FORECAST. THE GFDL AND HWRF SHOW THE
SYSTEM TURNING NORTHWARD...THEN NORTHEAST AND MAKING LANDFALL ALONG
THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO. THE REMAINDER OF THE GUIDANCE...
INCLUDING THE GFS AND ECMWF MODELS...INDICATE THAT THE TROUGH OVER
THE EASTERN U.S. WILL SLIDE EASTWARD WITH A RIDGE BUILDING OVER THE
WEST-CENTRAL UNITED STATES. THIS WOULD CAUSE THE CYCLONE TO TURN
BACK WESTWARD LATER IN THE PERIOD. THE NHC TRACK BRINGS THE
CYCLONE VERY NEAR THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO IN ABOUT 3 DAYS...
THEN SHOWS IT TURNING WESTWARD OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE GFS AND
ECMWF SOLUTIONS.

BASED ON THIS FORECAST...THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A
TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR A PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO.
A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR A PORTION OF THE COAST ON
SUNDAY. HEAVY RAINFALL FROM THIS SYSTEM WILL LIKELY SPREAD
NORTHWARD INTO SOUTH-CENTRAL MEXICO DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS...AND THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS
AND MUD SLIDES.
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Quoting 230. MiamiHeat305:


i hope it doesn't wake up for those who resigned that would be inconvenient especially if they end up in the path of a storm...


Don't worry, it won't.
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Quoting 228. SLU:


Yeah most people have resigned to the fact that 2013 is a complete failure.



i hope it doesn't wake up for those who resigned that would be inconvenient especially if they end up in the path of a storm...
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Francisco could run into higher shear in the days ahead .. right now the conditions are ideal it appears ..



img

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228. SLU
Quoting 213. washingtonian115:
I think just about everyone has.The party is over for the Atlantic but for other parts of the world it's continuing on.Especially the W-Pac.


Yeah most people have resigned to the fact that 2013 is a complete failure.

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41 - 7
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26W/MH/F/C4
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 219. clwstmchasr:


Looking great!!!



I'm extremely impressed, I had a feeling we were underestimated in this game, but I didn't think we would be up 34 to 7 in the 3rd quarter!

I was expecting something like 20 to 17 at half, or 14 to 14 with the noles winning by a small amount.

However, its domination so far, domination of the number 3 team, and Clemson isn't having a bad day either, we are just outplaying them so far.

There is still a lot of time left in the game though, so I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch.
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TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVENTEEN-E DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP172013
800 PM PDT SAT OCT 19 2013

DEEP CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED
SOUTH OF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED THIS EVENING. RECENT MICROWAVE AND INFRARED
SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS AN INCREASE IN BANDING AROUND THE CENTER.
BASED ON A DVORAK T-NUMBER OF 2.0 FROM TAFB...ADVISORIES ARE BEING
INITIATED ON A TROPICAL DEPRESSION WITH AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF
30 KT. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS CONSISTING OF WARM WATER...
A MOIST LOW- TO MID-LEVEL ATMOSPHERE...AND LOW VERTICAL WIND
SHEAR....SHOULD SUPPORT STRENGTHENING DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. NEARLY ALL OF THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE BRINGS THE CYCLONE
TO HURRICANE STRENGTH WITHIN 2 TO 3 DAYS...AND SO DOES THE NHC
FORECAST. AFTER THAT TIME...INTERACTION WITH LAND AND SOME DRIER
MID-LEVEL AIR TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE CYCLONE COULD CAUSE SOME
WEAKENING. THE INTENSITY FORECAST AT DAYS FOUR AND FIVE IS
HIGHLY UNCERTAIN AS IT IS CONTINGENT UPON HOW MUCH THE CYCLONE
INTERACTS WITH LAND.

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING NORTHWESTWARD OR 325 DEGREES AT 7 KT.
A SHORTWAVE TROUGH MOVING ACROSS NORTHERN MEXICO IS EXPECTED TO
MAINTAIN ENOUGH OF A WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE TO ALLOW FOR THE
CYCLONE TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. BEYOND THAT TIME...THERE IS A HIGHER THAN NORMAL AMOUNT OF
UNCERTAINTY IN THE TRACK FORECAST. THE GFDL AND HWRF SHOW THE
SYSTEM TURNING NORTHWARD...THEN NORTHEAST AND MAKING LANDFALL ALONG
THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO. THE REMAINDER OF THE GUIDANCE...
INCLUDING THE GFS AND ECMWF MODELS...INDICATE THAT THE TROUGH OVER
THE EASTERN U.S. WILL SLIDE EASTWARD WITH A RIDGE BUILDING OVER THE
WEST-CENTRAL UNITED STATES. THIS WOULD CAUSE THE CYCLONE TO TURN
BACK WESTWARD LATER IN THE PERIOD. THE NHC TRACK BRINGS THE
CYCLONE VERY NEAR THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO IN ABOUT 3 DAYS...
THEN SHOWS IT TURNING WESTWARD OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE GFS AND
ECMWF SOLUTIONS.

BASED ON THIS FORECAST...THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A
TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR A PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF MEXICO.
A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR A PORTION OF THE COAST ON
SUNDAY. HEAVY RAINFALL FROM THIS SYSTEM WILL LIKELY SPREAD
NORTHWARD INTO SOUTH-CENTRAL MEXICO DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS...AND THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS
AND MUD SLIDES.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 20/0300Z 14.0N 100.5W 30 KT 35 MPH
12H 20/1200Z 14.5N 101.0W 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 21/0000Z 15.2N 101.6W 50 KT 60 MPH
36H 21/1200Z 15.8N 101.9W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 22/0000Z 16.1N 101.9W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 23/0000Z 16.7N 101.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
96H 24/0000Z 17.1N 101.9W 60 KT 70 MPH
120H 25/0000Z 17.0N 103.7W 60 KT 70 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BROWN
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
222. flsky
Watched "Tipping Points" just now and it was quite informative and well-done. I think those folks who label themselves skeptics would do themselves a service to watch the upcoming episodes. They will be able to see the science in action and be better informed within their arguments.
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BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVENTEEN-E ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP172013
800 PM PDT SAT OCT 19 2013

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS SOUTH OF ACAPULCO...
...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN AND MOVE SLOWLY TOWARD THE COAST...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...14.0N 100.5W
ABOUT 205 MI...330 KM S OF ACAPULCO MEXICO
ABOUT 265 MI...430 KM SSE OF ZIHUATANEJO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 8 MPH...13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:


24h rainfall... heart-breaking.
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Quoting 209. 1900hurricane:
27W is having some shear issues due to Francisco's outflow. Probably developed a little to close for its own good.



Yeah. It looks like it is getting sucked into it. Yeeesh for Japan!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 210. whitewabit:
Fransisco enlarging during its EWRC .. new eye wall clearly visible now .. should clear out the center over the next several hours ..

Well, I do see a definite circle around the eye now. It seems to be quite a ways from the eye though. I would have to get out my slide ruler, wax paper, and globe for an exact measurement, but I would low ball guesstimate at least 20 miles from core since the storm is so huge.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 208. AussieStorm:


Weather conditions are forecasted to worsen over the next week before another strong south westerly change comes through. The Commissioner of the Rural Fire Services gave a major new conference with the prospect of major evacuations. Four areas of NSW are under total fire bans, not just for 24 hours but indefinite.

Our very own Prime Minister Tony Abbot has joined his Davidson RFS team to battle the bushfires up in the Blue Mountains.


I hope everything ends okay there. Sending my thoughts to those brave men fighting down there in AUS. I have a huge respect for all those guys fighting those horrible fires.

Fire Fighters Prayer

"When I'm called to duty god
wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age

Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate

Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out

I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and
protect his property

And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife"




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Quoting 210. whitewabit:
Fransisco enlarging during its EWRC .. new eye wall clearly visible now .. should clear out the center over the next several hours ..



Fransisco is an absolute monster of a cyclone, the surface wind flow looks strong even at at a 200 mi+ radius from the center on satellite.
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Quoting 209. 1900hurricane:
27W is having some shear issues due to Francisco's outflow. Probably developed a little to close for its own good.



T.D 27 should have taken notes from Gustav-Hanna situation and the Earl-Fiona situation.You know I find it mighty Ironic that in all three of these situations with the current one being Fransico and T.D 27 the male counter parts have had the upper hand.That's a way to show sexism nature...>.>
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 207. Dakster:
I've reached my tipping point with the 2013 Hurricane season...
I think just about everyone has.The party is over for the Atlantic but for other parts of the world it's continuing on.Especially the W-Pac.
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WP262013 - Typhoon (>=96 kt) FRANCISCO

2 km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

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I am loving the 60's! I know its going to get colder the end of this week and I don't care because I don't normally mind the cold, but I really love the weather right now. Highs in the mid-low 60's. Its great
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Fransisco enlarging during its EWRC .. new eye wall clearly visible now .. should clear out the center over the next several hours ..

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27W is having some shear issues due to Francisco's outflow. Probably developed a little to close for its own good.



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Quoting Ameister12:

Terrifying stuff there, Aussie. Stay safe, man!


Weather conditions are forecasted to worsen over the next week before another strong south westerly change comes through. The Commissioner of the Rural Fire Services gave a major new conference with the prospect of major evacuations. Four areas of NSW are under total fire bans, not just for 24 hours but indefinite.

Our very own Prime Minister Tony Abbot has joined his Davidson RFS team to battle the bushfires up in the Blue Mountains.

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I've reached my tipping point with the 2013 Hurricane season...
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Quoting 202. PedleyCA:
Quoting 190. Tropicsweatherpr:

edited for space:


Do we get to count the 2 Central Pacific storms as EPAC


EPAC will have the #17 as those two don't count. That list is at Unisys site
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Quoting 203. beell:


wow, i didn't realize he wrote that. cool.


he didn't write the story just about it ..
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Quoting 193. Tigerosee:


Ahh, no pirates here. Further S Black Beard was known to roam--areas around Southport and Bald Head Island.

Guess I better go back to just 'reading' since this is OT .
Discussing place names and barrier islands is not disallowed in the context because they were created by weather. You are not very knowledgeable about the pirating past of your coast I see. Pirates did not announce their place of residence to the tax revenuer. They often picked out of the way places to live/hide. They also lived in places that no longer exist because of weather or the army corps of engineers.
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203. beell
Quoting 192. Neapolitan:
Don't forget to tune into The Weather Channel now to see the first episode of Tipping Points, the climate change series of which Dr. Masters wrote...


wow, i didn't realize he wrote that. cool.
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Quoting 190. Tropicsweatherpr:

edited for space:


Do we get to count the 2 Central Pacific storms as EPAC
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Quoting 196. ncstorm:
Have a good night everyone..

I'm very happy that the core of the cold is moving ever so slowly to the Mid-Atlantic region.Very exciting news indeed for us coldies!.
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Quoting 199. AussieStorm:
In the line of FIRE.



"Into The Fire"


Terrifying stuff there, Aussie. Stay safe, man!
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In the line of FIRE.



"Into The Fire"

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather