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.

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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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Quoting 110. TropicalAnalystwx13:
If convective trends continue, I'd expect classification at 3z.

That is what I was watching as well. Looks like the front is due to interact in some fashion. Sorry, I was at work, and worked some more when I got home, otherwise at least I would have come up with a well disputed opinion. Will the front flatten out and cause more rain for Florida? We already have a few singular rainstorms drifting N.E.on the cusp of S. and C. It will take advantage of the cooling night time air and sink as low as the Gulf will allow, But in the morning it will probably not manifest as much of a line and might back up north a bit by 11:00 AM, or get wide. Sound about right?
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Quoting 146. hydrus:
Not sure, but she is definitely a candidate. The gulf was hit quite hard that year. Gloria was the strongest hurricane that year, and received much attention from the media. Gloria was on a dangerous track towards New York. People were on alert because Henri was a threat, but didnt amount to much. Gloria on the other hand caused significant damage. Especially in Mass. I was flying out of Newark,NJ just before the storm hit.

Flooding from Hurricane Gloria, Cape May, New Jersey.
Date 26 September 1985

Satellite image of Gloria nearing New England
Thanks for posting that Hydrus.When 2008 came around it reminded me of 1985.It didn't discriminate that year unlike 2013 where most storms have been in the BOC.Everyone along the coast got affected.
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Quoting 134. Tazmanian:


looks like 96E is starting too go under RI

It has been a steady organizer for the past 24 hours; needs an inner core for rapid intensification. I expect classification at 8pm PDT/11pm EDT given the expanding burst of convection over the center.
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Quoting 144. evilpenguinshan:
If I recall correctly, it was the latest forming Atlantic major on record, as well as the latest US landfall. Not that I personally remember it :)

Not sure, but she is definitely a candidate. The gulf was hit quite hard that year. Gloria was the strongest hurricane of the season, and received much attention from the media. Gloria was on a dangerous track towards New York. People were on alert because Henri was a threat, but didnt amount to much. Gloria on the other hand caused significant damage. Especially in Mass. I was flying out of Newark,NJ just before the storm hit.

Flooding from Hurricane Gloria, Cape May, New Jersey.
Date 26 September 1985

Satellite image of Gloria nearing New England
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96E is almost a TD.

...SPECIAL FEATURES...

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE EMBEDDED WITHIN THE MONSOON TROUGH IS
LOCATED NEAR 13N100W OR A FEW HUNDRED MILES SOUTH OF ACAPULCO
MEXICO. SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS BECOME BETTER
ORGANIZED TODAY WITH SOME BANDING-LIKE FEATURES AND INCREASING
DEEP CONVECTION NEAR THE LOW CENTER. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN CONDUCIVE FOR ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT...
AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM TONIGHT OR ON SUNDAY WHILE
THIS LOW MOVES NORTHWESTWARD AT 5 TO 10 KT. THE LATEST NHC
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK GIVES THIS LOW PRES AREA A HIGH CHANCE
OF DEVELOPING INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
INTERESTS ALONG THE SOUTH-CENTRAL COAST OF MEXICO SHOULD MONITOR
THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...
LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL...WHICH COULD CAUSE FLASH FLOODING AND
MUD SLIDES...IS POSSIBLE OVER SOUTH-CENTRAL MEXICO DURING THE
NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
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If I recall correctly, it was the latest forming Atlantic major on record, as well as the latest US landfall. Not that I personally remember it :)

Quoting 137. hydrus:
Kate was a neat storm. Missed Elena that year while on the Great Lakes, but was around for Kate when she hit the straits..I was impressed by the late November storm, hence my avatar.
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142. VR46L
This on the other hand .... amazing beast

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141. VR46L
Quoting 137. hydrus:
Kate was a neat storm. Missed Elena that year while on the Great Lakes, but was around for Kate when she hit the straits..I was impressed by the late November storm, hence my avatar.


At least that looks like a storm unlike the storms of 2013 atlantic season ,,,, Can't see too many using avis of this years storms !
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For Tennessee folks..:)

SEASONABLY COOL AND DRY AUTUMN WEATHER EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT
SEVERAL DAYS, WITH HIGHS IN THE 60S ON SUNDAY AND UPPER 60S TO LOWER
70S MONDAY. LOWS MONDAY MORNING WILL PROBABLY BE A FEW DEGS WARMER
THAN SUNDAY MORNING LOWS. HOWEVER, SINCE DEW POINT RIDGE AHEAD OF
OUR NEXT COLD FRONT SHOULD REMAIN JUST WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
RIVER THROUGH 12Z MONDAY, AND SKIES SHOULD BE MOSTLY CLEAR OVER
THE MID STATE, BELIEVE MIN TEMPS WILL BE A FEW DEGS COLDER THAN
GFS MOS. EVEN THOUGH PATCHY FROST CAN`T BE RULED OUT, WILL HOLD OFF
MENTIONING SUCH FOR NOW SINCE FORECAST TEMPS ARE MARGINAL.

COLD NORTHWEST FLOW PATTERN (REMINISCENT OF WINTER) ESTABLISHES
ITSELF FOR THIS UPCOMING WEEK, ALLOWING ANOTHER REINFORCING BLAST
OF CHILLY AUTUMN AIR ON WEDNESDAY. DEW POINTS REMAIN DRY. HOWEVER,
AS UPPER TROUGH DEEPENS WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE SOME COLD AIR
SHOWERS OR SPRINKLES, ESPECIALLY NORTH AND EAST. MORE FROST, AND
EVEN SOME FREEZING TEMPS ON THE UPPER CUMBERLAND, MAY FOLLOW THIS
FRONTAL PASSAGE THURSDAY MORNING AND AGAIN FRIDAY MORNING. MIGHT
NEED TO START THINKING ABOUT A "FREEZE WATCH" FOR EASTERN AREAS BY
EARLY NEXT WEEK.

.LONG TERM...YET ANOTHER COLD FRONT SWEEPS IN NEXT FRIDAY, AS COLD
AIR PIPELINE CONNECTION WITH CANADA REMAINS OPEN. IN ADDITION,
THIS COULD BRING MORE POSSIBLE FROST (AND PERHAPS FREEZING TEMPS
OVER THE EAST) BY NEXT SATURDAY MORNING.
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Quoting 106. evilpenguinshan:
I am a product of Kate (85) - according to my mother, 13 babies were born at Eglin AFB Hospital that day.





Kate was a neat storm. Missed Elena that year while on the Great Lakes, but was around for Kate when she hit the straits..I was impressed by the late November storm, hence my avatar.
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135. SLU
This is where the fun begins. Morning Francisco. Looks like you had a good night.
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Quoting 110. TropicalAnalystwx13:
If convective trends continue, I'd expect classification at 3z.



looks like 96E is starting too go under RI
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Quoting 112. nrtiwlnvragn:
Second Oarfish in California: The appearance of the oarfish, a ribbon-like, deep sea fish has long been perceived as a warning that seismic activity is on the way.



Rare video of an oarfish alive (good images after the first third of the video). Cool fish!
Wiki: The giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, at up to 17 metres (56 ft) in length.
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Quoting 40. whitewabit:


That's a possibility .. though Francisco is expected to weaken some before hitting .. the further north the cooler the SST's .. though it will still be a storm to reckon with ..

Thank you for your information on the storm.
My main concern, or line of thinking was that the storm regardless of wind strength and intensity, will deposit an enormous amount of rain on the land.
As we saw with the last typhoon to hit Japan the winds were not the killer but the rain was as it brought down a massive amount of mud onto a small village, killing quite a lot of people.
A lot of their land is unstable and steep with most of the country being mountainous. This readily leads to flash flooding and mud slides.
I personally would be more concerned about the rainfall than the wind strength, especially after the recent heavy rains they have received over the last few weeks.
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Its gonna feel Great end of next week here......
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Yellowstone usually erupts, the Super Caldera Volcano once every 600K years.

Its been estimated its been 640K now since the last one.

Published on Sep 5, 2013

A look at Yellowstone National Park and the caldera super volcano beneath it that is pushing up the land and long overdue for what could be a titanic eruption.

The Yellowstone Caldera is the volcanic caldera and supervolcano located in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. The caldera is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, in which the vast majority of the park is contained. The major features of the caldera measure about 34 by 45 miles (55 by 72 km).

The caldera formed during the last of three supereruptions over the past 2.1 million years. First came the Huckleberry Ridge eruption 2.1 million years ago, which created the Island Park Caldera and the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff. Next came the Mesa Falls eruption 1.3 million years ago, which created the Henry's Fork Caldera and the Mesa Falls Tuff.

Finally came the Lava Creek eruption 640,000 years ago, which created the Yellowstone Caldera and the Lava Creek Tuff.

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storms coming towards me..hope i get a shower or 2 out of this IF it holds together..
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96E..........
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96E water vapor image...............
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Quoting 104. CybrTeddy:
I'm going to guess an EWRC, probably down to a high-end Category 4 by now.


It did the same thing yesterday at this time.. only to explode the following morning today.
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96E...........................
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Whether 96E makes landfall or not will depend on how deep it becomes. If it develops quickly into a hurricane, it will likely be pulled ashore by deep troughing over the United States. If not, it will hang low long enough for ridging to develop and force the system west out to sea. Regardless of landfall, outer rainbands will bring several inches of rain and gusty winds to the coastline. Rip currents will be stronger + maybe some minor beach erosion.
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most intensity models bring it to hurricane for 2-3 days..something just to watch....
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Our friend pottery should have gotten some good rain today looking at the satellite loops over T&T
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Quoting 109. DonnieBwkGA:
Weak little swirl north of the Bahamas. It will not ever amount to anything but I'm pointing it out anyway.



I would keep an eye on SW Caribbean, might not amount to much either , but this is the time of year to look there for development.
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113. VR46L
Quoting 109. DonnieBwkGA:
Weak little swirl north of the Bahamas. It will not ever amount to anything but I'm pointing it out anyway.



Ah the front will get it

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If convective trends continue, I'd expect classification at 3z.

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nice fire in the firepit today
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Bad weather and cyclone related news from Madagaskar:

Madagascar: floods and locust swarms threaten to leave residents hungry
RIN, part of the Guardian development network
theguardian.com, Friday 18 October 2013 13.00 BST

Erratic weather and a locust plague take a severe toll on rice and maize harvests, leaving up to 4 million people short of food.

... Erratic weather and a locust plague have taken a toll on Madagascar's rice and maize harvests this year, leaving up to 4 million people – 28% of households – in rural areas short of food, according to a report produced by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). A further 9.6 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.

The crop and food security assessment mission, conducted in June and July by the WFP and FAO, attributed the poor agricultural season to a combination of factors. These included flooding caused by cyclone Haruna this year, followed by a period of poor rains.

This is what happened in Ankazomanga. "Our fields were flooded in February when cyclone Haruna came. Since then, there has been no more rain," Faravavy says. "We used to harvest 15 carts full of manioc. This year, we barely filled up one." She points to a small pile of manioc roots drying on her roof. "There. That's it. That's all we harvested this year." ...


-----------------------------------

With that good night as I'm going to count the sheep I've met today (beautiful weather!) during my vacation walks in the countryside northeast of Frankfurt. ...


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I am a product of Kate (85) - according to my mother, 13 babies were born at Eglin AFB Hospital that day.



Quoting 101. barbamz:
Umm, low pressure induced births ... All the best to those babies; maybe some will be named Francisco?

VIDEO: GMH Reports No Weather Releated Injuries, But 18 Women Gave Birth as Typhoon Blew By
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 15:32 Written by Betsy Brown Friday, 18 October 2013 16:39

Guam - 18 babies were born at Guam Memorial Hospital as Typhoon Francisco brought a lower barometric pressure over the island. ...


Quoting 103. Naga5000:


Two of my best friends were born during Hurricane David in 1979 in South Florida, roughly 13 hours apart.
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Typhoon 26W FRANSISCO

UW-CIMSS Automated Satellite-Based
Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT)
Version 8.1.5
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Estimation Algorithm

Current Intensity Analysis



UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.5
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 19 OCT 2013 Time : 190000 UTC
Lat : 17:30:48 N Lon : 138:13:23 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.7 / 921.2mb/132.2kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.6 6.5 6.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 15 km

Center Temp : +7.4C Cloud Region Temp : -77.1C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : WEST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 137km
- Environmental MSLP : 1002mb

Satellite Name : MTSAT2
Satellite Viewing Angle : 21.9 degrees


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I'm going to guess an EWRC, probably down to a high-end Category 4 by now.
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Quoting 101. barbamz:
Umm, low pressure induced births ... All the best to those babies; maybe some will be named Francisco?

VIDEO: GMH Reports No Weather Releated Injuries, But 18 Women Gave Birth as Typhoon Blew By
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 15:32 Written by Betsy Brown Friday, 18 October 2013 16:39

Guam - 18 babies were born at Guam Memorial Hospital as Typhoon Francisco brought a lower barometric pressure over the island. ...


Two of my best friends were born during Hurricane David in 1979 in South Florida, roughly 13 hours apart.
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Quoting 100. nwobilderburg:

Has there ever been an 8 on the Dvorak scale
ya but real rare
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Umm, low pressure induced births ... All the best to those babies; maybe some will be named Francisco?

VIDEO: GMH Reports No Weather Releated Injuries, But 18 Women Gave Birth as Typhoon Blew By
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 15:32 Written by Betsy Brown Friday, 18 October 2013 16:39

Guam - 18 babies were born at Guam Memorial Hospital as Typhoon Francisco brought a lower barometric pressure over the island. ...
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Quoting 95. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


TXPQ29 KNES 191508
TCSWNP

A. 26W (FRANCISCO)

B. 19/1432Z

C. 17.3N

D. 138.6E

E. ONE/MTSAT

F. T7.0/7.0/S0.0/24HRS

G. IR/EIR/SWIR/SSMIS/WINDSAT/AMSU

H. REMARKS...13C (WMG) EYE EMBEDDED WELL INTO WHITE FOR EYE NO. OF
6.5. PLUS 1.0 EYE ADJ. FOR RING OF CMG FOR TOTAL DT OF 7.0. MET IS STEADY
TREND FOR 7.0. PT IS 7.0. FT IS BASED ON DT.

I. ADDL POSITIONS

19/0837Z 16.9N 139.4E SSMIS
19/0849Z 16.9N 139.3E WINDSAT
19/1210Z 17.1N 138.9E AMSU


...GALLINA

Has there ever been an 8 on the Dvorak scale
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Falling'

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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