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 597. Climate175:
We must once again be the snowiest city in the country..
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Baltimore: 79.9"
Syracuse, NY 76.1"
Washington (Dulles) 72.8"
Philadelphia: 72.1"
Rochester, NY: 63.9"
Buffalo: 63.9"
Pittsburgh: 58.6"
Des Moines: 52.6"
Bangor, ME: 52.1
Binghamton, NY 51.6"
Chicago: 45.1
Omaha, NE: 44.9
Denver: 41.1"
Cleveland: 39.4"
Minneapolis: 38.1"
Green Bay: 34.2"
Milwaukee: 30.8"
Boston: 30.1
Detroit: 27.5"
Kansas City: 27.4"
New York City: 25.5"
Salt Lake City: 24.9"
Dallas: 14.4"
Nashville 6.5"
Raleigh-Durham: 5.1"
Atlanta Georgia 4.2
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Quoting 596. Climate175:
Nope..
We must once agaib be the snowiest city in the country..
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Quoting 588. beell:


Maybe if you're in Canada or near the Great Lakes.
Nope..
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Quoting 590. UNThurricane2019:
Zero major hurricanes for 2013...Not only a "bust", but a huge blow for AGW sheeple... who affirmed over half a decade back that there would be more intense hurricanes but perhaps less TCs in general... last two years, 30/12/2... long term ratio, 22:13:6...
Lowrd..(lord)...
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Quoting 590. UNThurricane2019:
Zero major hurricanes for 2013...Not only a "bust", but a huge blow for AGW sheeple... who affirmed over half a decade back that there would be more intense hurricanes but perhaps less TCs in general... last two years, 30/12/2... long term ratio, 11:6:3...


That was an original prognosis I suppose, but that theory has largely been abandoned in favor of decreasing cyclones, but more intense ones. The decrease presumably resulting from a less pronounced temperature gradient between the tropics and the poles (remember, hurricanes are necessary heat distributors), but the net result of theoretically stronger cyclones being from warming sea surface temperatures due to global warming.

So no, there still isn't a hole in the AGW theory, if you were looking for one.
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12z ECMWF:


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Quoting 586. washingtonian115:
The GFS has lied so many times to me in terms of snow.
Lets see what it says at the 00z update
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Quoting 579. KoritheMan:


There may be certain similarities, but that likely has little to do with ENSO (which by the way, was neither close to El Nino nor close to La Nina for any significant period of time) and more to do with unknown large-scale synoptic features, as Jordan pointed out.
Oh yeah I know what you mean and I actually like Jordan's explanation well though out and breaks it down into a smaller scale. I was just referring to the whole El-Nino thing in a general sense.

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Zero major hurricanes for 2013...Not only a "bust", but a huge blow for AGW sheeple... who affirmed over half a decade back that there would be more intense hurricanes but perhaps less TCs in general... last two years, 30/12/2... long term ratio, 22:13:6...
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Quoting 583. KoritheMan:


Didn't know they were flying. Cool.


Hi Kori. Hopefully it doesn't make landfall before they go and have the data from the plane and see how strong Raymond is.

PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....PSBL MISSION FOR 22/1800Z
NEAR 16.5N AND 102.0W
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588. beell
Quoting 580. Climate175:
Dang we are gonna get dumped ..


Maybe if you're in Canada or near the Great Lakes.
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@ 550. ncstorm
Glad to see I wasn't the only one who misjudged this curveball. Had to stare at it three times before I noticed "Sandy" and "2012". Whew! is right!
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Quoting 563. Climate175:
So let me get this Correct the GFs is saying snow from another Rare October Snow Event for Baltimore and DC very soon ok lets go !!
The GFS has lied so many times to me in terms of snow.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 573. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Well the season behaved like as if it was an El-Nino. We had strong Southwesterly Windshear from a persistent trough from the Central Caribbean northeastward towards the Central Atlantic along that trough we had ULL's or cut-off lows breaking off from it, not only inducing shear, but dry air into the systems that actually developed. We also had one of the biggest observed SAL outbreaks ever recorded, back in August I think that it made it all the way across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean. The only thing we had going for us was the warm sst and high TCHP content. So is this just typical of how a neutral ENSO behaves? or was this season an anomaly?
I hate to blow your mind, but we are all getting our information from an easily controlled/altered source. That is why I want you all to send me a dollar for my organic doppler system. Sure, we only serve Florida, but with the customer base we can branch out before next season.By the way, did you notice that T.S. just closed circulation? It broke a little right after, but I saw it.
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Quoting 582. Neapolitan:
Conspiracy theories have no more place on a science forum than Birtherism had on a political forum, if you ask me. I wish everyone would stick with evidence and fact, and leave the other stuff for the Weekly World News...

Just a thought...


Nonsense! That would be too... logical!
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Quoting 581. TropicalAnalystwx13:
No recon until Tuesday afternoon...



Didn't know they were flying. Cool.
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Quoting 554. Pallis:
The Navy actually spent the first black money on the Alaska project. If you are still on the fence as to whether it is real, I suggest you do some more research. It is based on Tesla tech. It can either bounce off the ionosphere or blast a hole in it, small or wide. If you make a hole then it heals ... slowly, but the cold travels down and the scar travels as it normally would. I liken that to an amateur thrown bowling ball spinning down an uneven lane. There are more than one HAARP stations now,and they interact with each other and devices on Navy ships. No one is sure what they are doing with the pulses, but given the nature of the program, and the history of the military experimenting on Americans, I really would not put anything past them.
Conspiracy theories have no more place on a science forum than Birtherism had on a political forum, if you ask me. I wish everyone would stick with evidence and fact, and leave the other stuff for the Weekly World News...

Just a thought...
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No recon until Tuesday afternoon...

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Quoting 574. hydrus:
To far out. The models have done really well with the troughs. We should have a good idea whats in store within a few days. The latest GFS has the last storm to be large and powerful..

Dang we are gonna get dumped ..
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Quoting 578. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Those 2 features the TUTT and SAL were permanent features during the 2006 El-Nino season. We don't have quite as many TUTT cells and outbreaks of SAL in a La-Nina season, we sure didn't have it during the past 3 seasons.


There may be certain similarities, but that likely has little to do with ENSO (which by the way, was neither close to El Nino nor close to La Nina for any significant period of time) and more to do with unknown large-scale synoptic features, as Jordan pointed out.
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Quoting 576. KoritheMan:


The latter.

Still don't see how that has anything to do with the state of ENSO though, lol.
Those 2 features the TUTT and SAL were permanent features during the 2006 El-Nino season. We don't have quite as many TUTT cells and outbreaks of SAL in a La-Nina season, we sure didn't have it during the past 3 seasons.
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Raymond is a solid hurricane.

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Quoting 573. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Well the season behaved like as if it was an El-Nino. We had strong Southwesterly Windshear from a persistent trough from the Central Caribbean northeastward towards the Central Atlantic along that trough we had ULL's or cut-off lows breaking off from it, not only inducing shear, but dry air into the systems that actually developed. We also had one of the biggest observed SAL outbreaks ever recorded, back in August I think that it made it all the way across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean. The only thing we had going for us was the warm sst and high TCHP content. So is this just typical of how a neutral ENSO behaves? or was this season an anomaly?


The latter.

Still don't see how that has anything to do with the state of ENSO though, lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 554. Pallis:
The Navy actually spent the first black money on the Alaska project. If you are still on the fence as to whether it is real, I suggest you do some more research. It is based on Tesla tech. It can either bounce off the ionosphere or blast a hole in it, small or wide. If you make a hole then it heals ... slowly, but the cold travels down and the scar travels as it normally would. I liken that to an amateur thrown bowling ball spinning down an uneven lane. There are more than one HAARP stations now,and they interact with each other and devices on Navy ships. No one is sure what they are doing with the pulses, but given the nature of the program, and the history of the military experimenting on Americans, I really would not put anything past them.

Yes, I am aware that certain techniques can cause transient, localized effects. So I will amend my previous statement:
If "weather modification" actually worked on a global scale, then there might be grounds for concern... that weather models might become unreliable.

And yes I am aware of "the history of the military experimenting on Americans", which makes me very nervous about the things that our government is doing in secret. But I'm still not quite ready for a tinfoil hat just yet.
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Quoting 568. Climate175:
Does that mean snow in Maryland ?????
To far out. The models have done really well with the troughs. We should have a good idea whats in store within a few days. The latest GFS has the last storm to be large and powerful..

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Quoting 572. KoritheMan:


Not really. Why do you say that?
Well the season behaved like as if it was an El-Nino. We had strong Southwesterly Windshear from a persistent trough from the Central Caribbean northeastward towards the Central Atlantic along that trough we had ULL's or cut-off lows breaking off from it, not only inducing shear, but dry air into the systems that actually developed. We also had one of the biggest observed SAL outbreaks ever recorded, back in August I think that it made it all the way across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean. The only thing we had going for us was the warm sst and high TCHP content. So is this just typical of how a neutral ENSO behaves? or was this season an anomaly?
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Quoting 570. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Are we all somewhat agreeing that a lack of an El-Nino caused this Atlantic Hurricane Season to be a dud, just in the overall sense of things?


Not really. Why do you say that?
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Quoting 540. Patrap:
LBAR still likes my living room.
Always better to have a BAR in your living room rather then Katrina or Betsy....
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Are we all somewhat agreeing that a lack of an El-Nino caused this Atlantic Hurricane Season to be a dud, just in the overall sense of things?
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Quoting 550. ncstorm:

Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi 3h

http://Weatherbell.com 5 pm Sun Oct 21,2012 map sent to clients, saying tropical wave would become hurricane, hit NE pic.twitter.com/3NmJi6aqWs


???
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Quoting 565. hydrus:
Both are impressive. The second trough will probably have high winds associated with the low..
Does that mean snow in Maryland ?????
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Quoting 362. TropicalAnalystwx13:

A lot of meteorologists have attributed a warm subtropical Atlantic to the bust. I guess it's possible but years in the past had the same feature with no issues in terms of activity or strength. Others have attributed a switch to the negative AMO but monthly indices have been even higher than last year. For whatever reason, the MJO has vanished several times upon entering the Atlantic this year despite model projections.

Lots of research needs to be done. I don't think we will know the answer anytime soon.
This season is weird.

In the global tropics, we don't have an El Nino, the Indian ocean and SE Asia region (monsoon) is not anomalous in a bad way, the African monsoon is very healthy, and SSTAs in the tropical Atlantic are above average. All the things we normally look for as problems are not problems. This means we have to look in places we wouldn't normally look. Here are a few problems I have found in plotting at PSD for Jul-Sep:

1. There is a large zonal band of upward motion over the Pacific just off the equator. This upward motion band is not indicative of an El Nino, but such a large band of upward motion right next door to our basin can't be good.




2. Broad Hadley cell in the North Atlantic (meridional overturning). A lack of convergence coming into the MDR from the subtropical high in the NATL at the low levels. The lowest levels of the atmosphere (from 850-sfc) experienced lower (anomalous) pressures in the subtropics than the deep tropics, robbing the tropics of their convergence. In the upper levels the problem is also evident by a higher height anomalies over the deep tropics and lower height anomalies over the subtropics. The subtropical SSTA profile and PDO are responsible for this.

3. Subtropical ridging in the South Atlantic (image). Ridging persisted in the central subtropical South Atlantic all season long. Strong subsidence was created on the backside of the ridge (positive omega off Africa below) advecting large amounts of anomalously dry air directly into the tropical Atlantic (second image).

Omega Anomaly




Vector Wind Anomaly

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Kinda hoping Raymond becomes a major hurricane, just so we don't end the season with none.

Lord knows there probably won't be one in the Atlantic.
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Both are impressive. The second trough will probably have high winds associated with the low..
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Quoting 550. ncstorm:

Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi 3h

http://Weatherbell.com 5 pm Sun Oct 21,2012 map sent to clients, saying tropical wave would become hurricane, hit NE pic.twitter.com/3NmJi6aqWs



Whoa. At first I read that as October 21, 2013. I was about to completely discredit Bastardi as a forecaster.

Whew.
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So let me get this Correct the GFs is saying snow from another Rare October Snow Event for Baltimore and DC very soon ok lets go !!
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Quoting 540. Patrap:
LBAR still likes my living room.


Oh come on. You know we'd only get a very diffuse mid-level center interacting with a front. :P
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EP, 17, 2013102100, , BEST, 0, 158N, 1019W, 65, 989, HU, 64, NEQ, 15, 15, 0, 15, 1007, 150, 15, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, RAYMOND, D,
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 559. Climate175:
Im in Maryland i think i get 2 inches wohoo ! Hopefully it will be on the 00z run..


I hope so to! Anyway long day ahead tomorrow so I'm going to try and get some sleep. Hope you get some snow.
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Quoting 558. Hurricane614:


Although it's later in the run, at like 252 hours, I live in southeastern NY
Im in Maryland i think i get 2 inches wohoo ! Hopefully it will be on the 00z run..
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Quoting 557. Climate175:
Which area are you from ?


Although it's later in the run, at like 252 hours, I live in southeastern NY
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Quoting 553. Hurricane614:
Woo... 3 inches!
Which area are you from ?
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Quoting 551. Climate175:
http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gf s/ 2013102018/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us.html


Thanks!
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Quoting 550. ncstorm:

Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi 3h

http://Weatherbell.com 5 pm Sun Oct 21,2012 map sent to clients, saying tropical wave would become hurricane, hit NE pic.twitter.com/3NmJi6aqWs



That seriously scared me for a couple seconds, before I realized it was from last year.
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Quoting 508. EstherD:

If "weather modification" actually worked, then there might be grounds for concern. However, as it is, "weather modification" seems to be little more than a money pit into which groups like DoD and DARPA throw unconscionable amounts of cash that could be better spent elsewhere. So I'm more concerned about the distortion of research funding priorities than the possibility that weather models might become unreliable.
The Navy actually spent the first black money on the Alaska project. If you are still on the fence as to whether it is real, I suggest you do some more research. It is based on Tesla tech. It can either bounce off the ionosphere or blast a hole in it, small or wide. If you make a hole then it heals ... slowly, but the cold travels down and the scar travels as it normally would. I liken that to an amateur thrown bowling ball spinning down an uneven lane. There are more than one HAARP stations now,and they interact with each other and devices on Navy ships. No one is sure what they are doing with the pulses, but given the nature of the program, and the history of the military experimenting on Americans, I really would not put anything past them.
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Woo... 3 inches!
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starting at 252 hours





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http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/ 2013102018/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us.html
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Joe Bastardi ‏@BigJoeBastardi 3h

http://Weatherbell.com 5 pm Sun Oct 21,2012 map sent to clients, saying tropical wave would become hurricane, hit NE pic.twitter.com/3NmJi6aqWs

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Quoting 548. Hurricane614:


could you post something,(a link is fine to) so I can see if I will get any snow?
Ok where are you at ?
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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