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 694. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Francisco is crossing the blue:


That might do it.
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Quoting 692. StormTrackerScott:
Halloween temps near 90 in Orlando based on 0Z GFS.
Well I would think one or two things is going to happen, you're either going to get ridging which would favor tropical development down in the Western Caribbean or your going to get troughing along the East Coast that would bring cool and unsettled weather. I'm leaning to the former happening, based on MJO wave propagation and consistency with the GFS showing lowering pressures by the end of the month. Too early to tell how strong a system would be originating from the Caribbean and where exactly it would go.
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Quoting 695. AussieStorm:


New South Wales is under a State of Emergency

Sydney is the capital of NSW.

The state of emergency is because of the bushfires burning west of Sydney and on the Central Coast.
Yeah I just saw that on our local news here in Orlando. You stay safe Aussie
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
State of emergency for New South Wales west of Sydney.


New South Wales is under a State of Emergency

Sydney is the capital of NSW.

The state of emergency is because of the bushfires burning west of Sydney and on the Central Coast.
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Francisco is crossing the blue:

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State of emergency for New South Wales west of Sydney.
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Halloween temps near 90 in Orlando based on 0Z GFS.
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Quoting 688. KoritheMan:


"Convective dissonance"? :)

Possibly something I made up, but perhaps the bands are wrapped up in such a way that the low-level moisture flux is not able to make it to the eyewall, thus resulting in less vigorous eyewall updrafts and therefore producing warmer convection?
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Quoting 682. AussieStorm:


Don't you mean Hurricane Season 2014????

You are currently in Hurricane Season 2013.
Nah... I mean I don't want no November storms appearing out of nowhere... happens every now and then. 2014 is soon enough to start again.
Quoting 686. StormTrackerScott:
Still near 80 here at coast at 12:30am here at Bethune Beach. One of the warmest mid to late October here since 2009
We've 81 at our airport... amazing to be that warm in the last decade of October...
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From my local NWS:

"PATCHY FOG CANNOT BE
RULED OUT ENTIRELY UNDER PARTIAL CLEARING AND LIGHT INLAND
WIND...BUT NOT WIDESPREAD NOR PROBLEMATIC FOR MOST EARLY MORNING
COMMUTES. THE PARTIAL CLEARING WILL ALLOW AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
VIEWING OF THE ORIONID METEORS LATE TONIGHT BUT BRING A JACKET AND
PREFERABLY A LAWN-CHAIR TO PREVENT A SORE-NECK."
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Quoting 687. 1900hurricane:
I would love to know what is going on with Francisco. Convective dissonance between eyewall and bands?



"Convective dissonance"? :)
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I would love to know what is going on with Francisco. Convective dissonance between eyewall and bands?

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Still near 80 here at coast at 12:30am here at Bethune Beach. One of the warmest mid to late October here since 2009
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Quoting 663. KoritheMan:
Finally a decent hurricane to forecast that's not in the western Pacific (not that I dislike following or forecasting those, either):



Could be making a run for a major if the trend continues.
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Quoting 622. FunnelVortex:


The government does a lousy job at everything.

But in all seriousness, people who blame the government for extreme weather, or lack there of, need to learn some actual meteorology.



Really, can you show me how they are lousy at everything? Have some respect buddy.

Yes it has its flaws, but in a free world, the government is only as good as its people, are culture is just as much to blame, if not more so.

The NWS is lousy, NASA is lousy, the military is lousy? Really?
Would the U.S. be where it is today if the government "does a lousy job at everything"?

Don't get caught up into political extremism, its stupid.

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Quoting KoritheMan:


Heh. My Walmart is selling Christmas trees. A hurricane would send everyone into panic mode, a lot more than usual. :)


Christmas decorations have been selling here since August. As we get closer to Christmas they will then have sales.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I'm just praying we get all the way out without a major landfall of any kind... Looking at the sat imagery it's pretty obvious that the October secondary peak is actually happening in the WPac... not the ATL. At this late stage in the game, I have 0 interest in doing hurricane preps for the 2013 season...


Don't you mean Hurricane Season 2014????

You are currently in Hurricane Season 2013.
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Quoting 680. DonnieBwkGA:


My bank had Christmas decorations up on September 12.


Eww.
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Latest GFS isn't showing much of a front moving into C and S FL anymore. Will Need to watch for hybrid low forming in the Gulf by late week.
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678. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
yup, according to RSMC Nadi
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Quoting 674. HadesGodWyvern:


TROPICAL DEPRESSION TD02F [1005HPA] ANALYSED NEAR 5.3S 171.5E AT 202100UTC MOVING WESTSOUTHWEST AT 10 KNOTS.

Oh it was already a TD.
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Quoting 673. Bobbyweather:

Wow, a disturbance near the equator. I wonder what it would become. Maybe it could cross the equator and become a possible typhoon. (Disturbances can cross the equator, right?)


The other day Dr. Masters posted one that almost did...
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‏@wunderground 1m
Watching area near 26.5N 55.5W for tropical development [Invest 90L]: winds 30 mph moving NNW at 9 mph http://wxug.us/16pju #hurricane
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674. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)

Wow, a disturbance near the equator. I wonder what it would become. Maybe it could cross the equator and become a possible typhoon. (Disturbances can cross the equator, right?)


TROPICAL DEPRESSION TD02F [1005HPA] ANALYSED NEAR 5.3S 171.5E AT 202100UTC MOVING WESTSOUTHWEST AT 10 KNOTS.
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Quoting 669. sunlinepr:

Wow, a disturbance near the equator. I wonder what it would become. Maybe it could cross the equator and become a possible typhoon. (Disturbances can cross the equator, right?)
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672. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #44
Typhoon Warning
TYPHOON FRANCISCO (T1327)
12:00 PM JST October 21 2013
=====================================

Sea South Of Japan

At 3:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Francisco (940 hPa) located at 20.1N 136.1E has 10 minute sustained winds of 90 knots with gusts of 130 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north northwest at 6 knots.

Storm Force Winds
==================
80 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
==================
240 NM from the center in north quadrant
210 NM from the center in south quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T5.5

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 22.3N 134.4E - 90 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) southeast of Minami Daito Island
45 HRS: 23.8N 131.7E - 85 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) south of Minami Daito Island
69 HRS: 25.1N 130.2E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Minami Daito Island waters
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Humberto started off as nothing. It was a deactivated invest.
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It took 21 hours (8pm PDT 10-19 to 5pm PDT 10-20) for Raymond to intensify from a tropical depression to a hurricane. This is 3 hours short of [2007 Atlantic] Humberto's record as fastest to go from those two such categories.
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Quoting 666. KoritheMan:


Heh. My Walmart is selling Christmas trees. A hurricane would send everyone into panic mode, a lot more than usual. :)
I just wish they would keep selling fans until the summer is over in South Florida... lol

Too previous, that's all I can say...
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Quoting 651. BahaHurican:
I'm just praying we get all the way out without a major landfall of any kind... Looking at the sat imagery it's pretty obvious that the October secondary peak is actually happening in the WPac... not the ATL. At this late stage in the game, I have 0 interest in doing hurricane preps for the 2013 season...


Heh. My Walmart is selling Christmas trees. A hurricane would send everyone into panic mode, a lot more than usual. :)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Off just a Tad.

What didn't we all see that would cause problems?
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Finally a decent hurricane to forecast that's not in the western Pacific (not that I dislike following or forecasting those, either):

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Quoting 658. Civicane49:
24 hours ago:



Now:


That's some insane RI.

Raymond dropped 25mbar in 12 hours (11am to 11pm).
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Here is a very interesting fact:

Both times that the name "Raymond" has been used in the East Pacific (1983 and 1989), that hurricane became the strongest storm of the season.

This trend continues for the third time, as within twenty-four hours, Raymond 2013 has become the strongest storm of this year's East Pacific season.

In addition, BOTH previous storms named Raymond peaked at 145 mph... let's see what happens this year.
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Tricky forecast for Raymond:

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24 hours ago:



Now:

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We should have 90L with the mid Atlantic disturbance.
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we can classify this year as Mexico's hurricane season
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@ 641. Pallis
"... but then I got assailed by Ionosphere Deniers. What are they teaching these kids nowadays? ..."

Not a kid, sweetie, but thanks for the compliment. And to paraphrase my father: "At my age, I've forgotten more about radio propagation and the physics of the ionosphere than most people are ever likely to know." Just sayin'

@ 645. Pallis
"You must have good service..."

Comes from livin' in the city... and knowing a lot about radio propagation. ;)
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Off just a Tad.
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I hope NHC changes the planned recon from Tuesday to Monday. I don't see them doing it but you never know if they decide to go 24 hours earlier than planned.
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Quoting 624. Birthmark:

Not concerning AGW. But I don't think it can be contested that this season is a "bust."
I'm just praying we get all the way out without a major landfall of any kind... Looking at the sat imagery it's pretty obvious that the October secondary peak is actually happening in the WPac... not the ATL. At this late stage in the game, I have 0 interest in doing hurricane preps for the 2013 season...
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Quoting 649. SLU:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this may be the first time that the NHC has issued forecast with a storm maxing out at 125mph all year in both basins.

24H 22/0000Z 16.6N 101.9W 110 KT 125 MPH


You are correct. Raymond should become the first major hurricane of 2013.
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649. SLU
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this may be the first time that the NHC has issued a forecast with a storm maxing out at 125mph all year in both basins.

24H 22/0000Z 16.6N 101.9W 110 KT 125 MPH

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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