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 447. Stormlover16:
I'd give Raymond a 40% chance of hitting Mexico as a cat. 3 or higher if current trends continue.
it is looking better for him to hit mexico..we need to see if he does and tries to cross over into the gulf later on..
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Link
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I'd give Raymond a 40% chance of hitting Mexico as a cat. 3 or higher if current trends continue.
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Cat 2!
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Raymond is now expected to become a 100mph category 2 hurricane, but it could become stronger than that with its recent organization trends.
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NHC has Raymond peaking as a 100mph hurricane. Might be a little too low.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 20/2100Z 15.6N 101.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
12H 21/0600Z 15.9N 101.9W 75 KT 85 MPH
24H 21/1800Z 16.3N 101.9W 85 KT 100 MPH
36H 22/0600Z 16.6N 101.8W 85 KT 100 MPH
48H 22/1800Z 16.8N 101.8W 85 KT 100 MPH
72H 23/1800Z 16.5N 102.5W 80 KT 90 MPH
96H 24/1800Z 16.0N 104.5W 75 KT 85 MPH
120H 25/1800Z 15.5N 107.5W 75 KT 85 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
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Quoting 441. VR46L:
WV North America

great view there..looks like raymonds moisture is riding Into mexico huh
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TROPICAL STORM RAYMOND DISCUSSION NUMBER 4
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP172013
200 PM PDT SUN OCT 20 2013

RAYMOND HAS CONTINUED TO INTENSIFY QUICKLY. THE SATELLITE
PRESENTATION CONTINUES TO IMPROVE WITH A BAND OF COLD CONVECTIVE
TOPS WRAPPING AROUND THE THE CENTER. DVORAK CLASSIFICATIONS OF T3.5
FROM TAFB AND SAB...AND AN ASCAT PASS FROM JUST BEFORE 1600 UTC
SUPPORTED AN INTENSITY OF 55 KT AT SYNOPTIC TIME. HOWEVER...AN EYE
FEATURE HAS SINCE BEEN DEVELOPING IN GEOSTATIONARY IMAGERY...AND
THE INTENSITY HAS BEEN INCREASED TO 60 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY.
CONDITIONS APPEAR FAVORABLE FOR CONTINUED INTENSIFICATION...AND THE
NHC INTENSITY FORECAST HAS AGAIN BEEN ADJUSTED UPWARD. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST SHOWS RAYMOND REACHING HURRICANE STRENGTH SOON...AND PEAKS
THE SYSTEM AT 85 KT FROM 24 THROUGH 48 HOURS...BUT IT IS POSSIBLE
THAT RAYMOND COULD GET STRONG THAN THIS IF RAPID INTENSIFICATION
CONTINUES. THE NHC FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE LGEM THROUGH 36 HOURS
AND NEAR A BLEND OF THE SHIPS AND LGEM AFTER THAT TIME. THIS
FORECAST IS A QUITE A BIT HIGHER THAN THE INTENSITY CONSENSUS
AIDS...SINCE THE GFDL AND HWRF MODELS BOTH SHOW WEAKENING AFTER
MOVING THE CENTER OF RAYMOND INLAND.

A BLEND OF RECENT FIXES AND THE LATEST SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGEST AN
INITIAL MOTION OF 340/06...A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS
FORECAST. RAYMOND SHOULD TURN SLOWLY NORTHWARD AND NORTHEASTWARD
OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS A MID/UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH AMPLIFIES OVER
CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA. AFTER THE TROUGH LIFTS OUT...STEERING
CURRENTS WILL WEAKEN ON DAYS 2 AND 3...WITH A SLOW AND ERRATIC
MOTION LIKELY DURING THIS TIME. CONSIDERABLE DETAIL DIFFERENCES
REMAIN IN THE GUIDANCE...ESPECIALLY CONCERNING HOW CLOSE THE CENTER
WILL GET TO THE COAST...AND WHETHER LANDFALL WILL OCCUR. THE HWRF
AND GFDL NOW BOTH SHOW THE CYCLONE MOVING INLAND BY 36 HOURS...
WHILE THE GFS CONTINUES TO BRING THE CENTER OF RAYMOND VERY CLOSE
TO THE COAST AROUND THAT TIME. THE NHC TRACK DOES NOT SHOW
LANDFALL...BUT HAS BEEN NUDGED A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT TO ACCOUNT FOR
THE INITIAL POSITION AND MOTION...AND IS FASTER AND TO THE RIGHT OF
THE TVCE CONSENSUS. GIVEN THE WEAKENING STEERING CURRENTS AND THE
LARGE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE...CONFIDENCE IN THE DETAILS OF THE
TRACK...AND WHETHER THE CENTER OF RAYMOND WILL REACH THE COAST...
REMAINS QUITE LOW...AND ADJUSTMENTS MAY BE NEEDED IN SUBSEQUENT
FORECASTS.

GIVEN THE NEW NHC FORECAST AND THE UNCERTAINTY IN THE TRACK OF
RAYMOND...THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM
WARNING AND HURRICANE WATCH FROM ACAPULCO TO LAZARO CARDENAS.

REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE CENTER OF RAYMOND MOVES INLAND...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 20/2100Z 15.6N 101.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
12H 21/0600Z 15.9N 101.9W 75 KT 85 MPH
24H 21/1800Z 16.3N 101.9W 85 KT 100 MPH
36H 22/0600Z 16.6N 101.8W 85 KT 100 MPH
48H 22/1800Z 16.8N 101.8W 85 KT 100 MPH
72H 23/1800Z 16.5N 102.5W 80 KT 90 MPH
96H 24/1800Z 16.0N 104.5W 75 KT 85 MPH
120H 25/1800Z 15.5N 107.5W 75 KT 85 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
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441. VR46L
WV North America

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BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM RAYMOND ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP172013
200 PM PDT SUN OCT 20 2013

...RAYMOND EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE VERY SOON...
...HURRICANE WATCH AND TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR PART OF THE
MEXICAN COAST...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM PDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.6N 101.8W
ABOUT 155 MI...250 KM SW OF ACAPULCO MEXICO
ABOUT 145 MI...235 KM S OF ZIHUATANEJO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...994 MB...29.35 INCHES
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well 2 models for the last 3 runs have him going to the gulf..lets see what they say tomorrow night..he's not going anywhere fast nhc says.
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70mph for Raymond.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 994 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 60 KT WITH GUSTS TO 75 KT.
50 KT....... 20NE 20SE 0SW 20NW.
34 KT....... 40NE 50SE 20SW 40NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 90NE 60SE 0SW 90NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.
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THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A
HURRICANE WATCH FROM ACAPULCO TO LAZARO CARDENAS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* ACAPULCO TO LAZARO CARDENAS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* ACAPULCO TO LAZARO CARDENAS
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 431. CybrTeddy:
Impressive.

Reminds me of Barbara from May and Paul of last year.
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Raymond's pulling a Humberto, pulling it together along the coast.
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Quoting 431. CybrTeddy:
Impressive.
sure looks like he's heading north not west huh
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Quoting 425. MiamiHeat305:


if i lived in that coastline i would be boarding up already
mexico has been getting the storms this year alright.
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Quoting 408. Hurricane614:


Well hello there eye.


Looks like getting Raymond's moisture into TX is gonna be tricky.... unless somebody has some creative suggestions?
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Impressive.
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Quoting 428. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center says this is a tropical depression as of 21z. Gonna have to say no.



JTWC is being ridiculously conservative again. It's probably a 55-60kt tropical storm at this point.
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Quoting 428. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center says this is a tropical depression as of 21z. Gonna have to say no.




if that was in the ATL they would have already classified it as a hurricane lol
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The Joint Typhoon Warning Center says this is a tropical depression as of 21z. Gonna have to say no.


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Link

My blog is always open! Feel free to stop by and talk about anything weather related!
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Looking better and better with every new image.
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Quoting 424. LargoFl:
GFS puts yet another hurricane there for Halloween..gee..


if i lived in that coastline i would be boarding up already
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GFS puts yet another hurricane there for Halloween..gee..
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Quoting 419. LargoFl:
eastern pacific is pumping them out one after the other..
We might even say that it looks like an El Niño by the amount of name storms in the region.
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421. VR46L
Quoting 419. LargoFl:
eastern pacific is pumping them out one after the other..


What is that in the BOC ....1008mb Hey that's a TS this year;)
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been dry here..looks like some sprinkles in 72 hours..
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eastern pacific is pumping them out one after the other..
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Quoting 417. MiamiHeat305:


imagine it makes it across and comes to FL lol that would be interesting lol ;)
yes there is one model that puts him into the panhandle..right now the models are all over the place and even the nhc say in 5 days its anyones guess where he will be or where he is moving to..just something to watch right now.
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Quoting 414. LargoFl:
Navy doesnt think raymond will head westward..im gonna keep watching him..just in case..the farther north he moves the less likely he hits the big mountains in mexico which can kill off hurricanes..we'll see..nhc says he will be around for a long time...


imagine it makes it across and comes to FL lol that would be interesting lol ;)
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Hot:



Not so hot:



EDIT: Lol, the image updated as soon as I posted. Eye is visible on infrared now.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Navy doesnt think raymond will head westward..im gonna keep watching him..just in case..the farther north he moves the less likely he hits the big mountains in mexico which can kill off hurricanes..we'll see..nhc says he will be around for a long time...
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413. VR46L
Quoting 410. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


It has been a beautiful October except for the odd day . I am hopeful !!I can't complain about this past summer weather wise ...seems I get good summers when the Atlantic is quiet.
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Quoting 401. Ameister12:
Oh boy. Winter is coming early.

The first chance of snow here, this season, will be this Wednesday.


This is the forecast I want. I live literally just west of the Catskills, and no snow is in forecast as of now.
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Quoting 407. MiamiHeat305:

yes that explains my rent amount in FL lol
lol..local met keeps promising low 50's nitetime..then keeps pushing it back lol..when i see it i'll believe it...went to publix today..the whole parking lot was full of out of staters..snow birds are here in full force.
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Quoting 409. VR46L




seems you may be in for a mild fall and possible winter as well

the winter part may be a bit too far

look at ne northamerica south brrr

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409. VR46L
Quoting 405. MiamiHeat305:
what is interesting though is the energy that produced raymond might move into the caribbean next week? hmmm


Its only the GFS that is excited about it

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Well hello there eye.
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Quoting 406. LargoFl:
still summer here gee..............

yes that explains my rent amount in FL lol
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still summer here gee..............
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what is interesting though is the energy that produced raymond might move into the caribbean next week? hmmm
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403. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


would the upper Midwest like some snow with that coldness?
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401. Ameister12
8:05 PM GMT on October 20, 2013
Oh boy. Winter is coming early.

The first chance of snow here, this season, will be this Wednesday.
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400. LargoFl
8:04 PM GMT on October 20, 2013
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399. LargoFl
8:02 PM GMT on October 20, 2013
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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