Weather Around The World, 8/18: Super-Typhoon Double Trouble — And Heat, By Land And By Sea

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Tropical activity

Tropical activity is controlled to a great extent by water temperatures. This analysis shows warm water southeast of Japan, warmer water south of Taiwan, and fairly warm water off the western African coast. Analysis courtesy of metoffice.

The western Pacific has burst into action again with potential Super-Typhoons heading for Taiwan and Japan.

On the other side of the world, there are:

A disturbance in the Atlantic that bears watching.

Heat waves in the US and the Middle East –

And drought in Australia and Indonesia.

Let’s go Around The World.

Typhoon Goni Heads For Taiwan

The latest forecast calls for Typhoon Goni to pass within 50 miles of Taipei. Forecast courtesy of US Navy.

The latest forecast calls for Typhoon Goni to pass within 50 miles of Taipei. Forecast courtesy of US Navy.

Typhoon Goni formed in the very warm water east of the Philippines and headed westward on Sunday. Goni is currently forecast to become a category three storm with winds up to 130 miles per hour as it approaches the northern tip of the Philippines, then turn sharply northward towards Taiwan. This will be the second typhoon this summer to be forecast at some point to pass directly over Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.

Typhoon Soudelor was expected to clip the northern tip of Taiwan, where Taipei is located, but actually crossed the middle of the island and damage was not as extreme as it could have been had the storm hit the capital.

The probability cone for Goni is still quite wide, but there is a strong likelihood that the storm will impact some part of Taiwan with strong winds and heavy rain. The most recent forecast track takes Goni just east of Taipei and then on towards Japan.

Typhoon Atsani Threatens Japan

The latest sea surface temperature analysis shows that if Typhoon Atsani continues on a northwest path towards Japan, it will travel over cooler water which will sap much of its strength. Analysis courtesy of NOAA.

The latest sea surface temperature analysis shows that if Typhoon Atsani continues on a northwest path towards Japan, it will travel over cooler water which will sap much of its strength. Analysis courtesy of NOAA.

A disturbance that milled around in the very warm waters well east of Guam last week blossomed into Typhoon Atsani on Monday, and has started heading northwest towards Japan.

Though it is not an entirely fortunate circumstance to have a typhoon hurtling directly towards you — especially a typhoon that’s forecast to become a Super-Typhoon with winds up to 160 miles per hour — this trajectory is preferable to one that takes a more southerly route and then curves northward. It’s all about water temperature.

The water southeast of Japan is only marginally cold enough to support typhoons, while the water to the south is very warm and allows the storms to get much closer before they begin to weaken.

Atsani will be reduced to a modest typhoon as it traverses the colder water, and will likely curve out to sea and be no threat to Japan.

A Hint Of Tropical Activity In The Atlantic

X marks the spot. The National Hurricane Center gives a disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean an80% chance to become a tropical storm. Graphic courtesy of NHC.

X marks the spot. The National Hurricane Center gives a disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean an 80% chance to become a tropical storm. Graphic courtesy of NHC.

The Atlantic Ocean has been quiet this hurricane season, with only three named storms. Conditions have responded to El Niño; strong vertical wind shear has covered the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic since June.

Two storms have formed farther north off the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States and one in the Gulf of Mexico, where water is warmer than normal and the winds are not as hostile.

Only a brief period of favorable conditions is necessary for a hurricane to form, now that the water has warmed near the African coast, and the ‘Cape Verde’ season is underway. As waves travel westward off the coast near the Cape Verde Islands, they must be watched carefully for development.

One such wave exited the coast in the middle of last week and has held together with thunderstorm activity until it is now half way across the ocean. The National Hurricane Center gives this area of potential development an 80% chance of becoming Tropical Storm Danny.

The ‘Dog Days’ Of Summer

The hottest days of the year are often referred to as the dog days of summer. Like the dogs in the expression ‘raining cats and dogs,’ these are not real dogs.

The expression comes from the ancient Greeks, who named the time for when Sirius, known as the ‘dog star,’ rises at sunrise. Sirius is the bright nose of the constellation Canis Major, the dog that goes with the hunter Orion, probably the most recognizable constellation.

Two thousand years ago, Sirius rose in July. The date has progressed into August now because the orientation of the earth with respect to the stars is slowly changing, but the expression will stick, no doubt, even when Sirius rises in the winter in about ten thousand years.

This year’s dog days have been most pronounced in the western United States, Spain, and the Middle East. And the heat goes on.

El Niño Eggplant Could Be A Blockbuster

Decoded Science long ago named El Niño Eggplant and forecast that it would have a significant influence on weather worldwide. Now most authorities agree that this will be an El Niño to rival the famous one of 1998, and that weather patterns worldwide will respond.

The tropical cyclone season is behaving in typical El Niño fashion, with above-average activity in the Pacific and below-average activity in the Atlantic.

During the last three months, parts of Australia have been in extreme or record-breaking drought. Analysis courtesy of Australia Bureau of Meteorology.

During the last three months, parts of Australia have been in extreme or record-breaking drought. Analysis courtesy of Australia Bureau of Meteorology.

El Niño Eggplant appears to be implicated in drought in Australia and Indonesia. Indonesia’s national disaster management agency has announced that most of the country is in drought due to El Niño, which normally delays the onset of the rainy season.

Tropical Activity Persists But Dog Days Are On The Wane

The climatological average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10th, but average air temperatures have already begun a slow decline that will accelerate in the next few weeks.

What signs of the end of summer do you see where you live?

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