Two Pacific-sized disasters: the Samoan tsunami and Typhoon Ketsana

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:29 PM GMT en Septiembre 30, 2009

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The Pacific spawned another huge natural disaster yesterday, when a magnitude 8.0 - 8.3 earthquake near Samoa generated a tsunami that devastated portions of American Samoa and neighboring islands. While the ocean surface was only displaced about three inches by the force of the earthquake near its epicenter, the rupture occurred near the 10,000 meter-deep Tonga-Kermadec Trench, along a swath 200 - 300 km long. A column of water miles deep and 200 - 300 km long accelerated downward by the force of gravity (or lifted upward by crustal motion) by three inches represents an massive amount of energy released into the ocean. The quake was able to generate a 1.5-foot tsunami on the Hawaiian island of Oahu 2,700 miles away, and a 0.6-foot tsunami on the Oregon coast, over 5,000 miles away.

Portlight.org is considering adopting an American Samoa family to help out in the wake of this huge disaster. They would like some feedback from their contributors on whether to go ahead with this idea, so stop by the Portlight.org blog to join the discussion.

Typhoon Ketsana
Typhoon Ketsana has finally dissipated, but not before bringing record flooding to Vietnam, two days after creating recording flooding and chaos in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Ketsana made landfall Tuesday morning in Vietnam between Hue and Da Nang as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds. The storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain on Vietnam, according to satellite estimates. Some rivers in central Vietnam rose above the record flood heights recorded in an epic 1964 flood. In all, Ketsana has been responsible for 41 deaths in Vietnam and 11 in neighboring Cambodia, with many more missing. At least 350,000 people are homeless in Vietnam, joining the 380,000 left homeless in the Philippines from the storm.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Ketsana approaching Vietnam on Tuesday, September 28, 2009. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

The death toll in the Philippines from Ketsana has stabilized at 246, with another 38 missing. Residents of the islands need to keep a wary eye on Typhoon Parma, which is expected to intensify into a major typhoon and brush the northern Philippine island of Luzon on Saturday and Sunday.

Quietest September in the Atlantic since 1997
Well, it's the end of September, and what is traditionally the busiest month in the Atlantic was unusually quiet. We had only two named storms this September, the first time since 1997 we've had less than three September named storms. There were only 6.75 days in September with a named storm, which ranks as the 4th fewest September named storm days since 1950 (only 1962, 1970, and 1994 had fewer). The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for September ranked as the 6th lowest since 1950. The quiet period is likely to continue for at least another week, as there are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation over the next seven days. I'll post my first-half-of-October outlook for the Atlantic tomorrow.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Melor needs to be watched as well. The storm has a pretty good structure and is in a similar environment as Parma.

18W, well, has been eaten by Parma...


Has Rota, Saipan, and Tinian under a Typhoon Watch and Guam under a Tropical Storm Watch.

EDIT: Hades beat me to it.
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550. xcool




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549. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
WTPQ34 PGUM 302102
TCPPQ4
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM MELOR (20W) ADVISORY NUMBER 7
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU WP202009
800 AM CHST THU OCT 1 2009

A TYPHOON WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR ROTA...TINIAN AND SAIPAN.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR GUAM.

RESIDENTS OF GUAM AND THE NORTHERN MARIANAS ARE ADVISED TO CLOSELY MONITOR THIS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS TROPICAL CYCLONE.
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Typhoon Parma

I'd save this image.
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547. JLPR
Quoting JRRP:
mmmm


the high resolution of that


big ummm
that is a strengthening elongated area of low pressure

but the convection is to the south of it
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The recent 85GHz pass only got half of Melor, but it does appear that a rather potent eyewall is in the works...

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Quoting btwntx08:
melor

18w

Melor needs to be watched as well. The storm has a pretty good structure and is in a similar environment as Parma.

18W, well, has been eaten by Parma...
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Parma
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--- post deleted --
Member Since: Marzo 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10462
541. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
PAGASA can scare people at times..
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538. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


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537. JRRP
Quoting Hurricane009:
Where do you go to get your pictures???

Link?
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Wow the Western Pacific is nuts!

Western Pacific Water Vapour
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Patrap,Images,wunderground
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Quoting Hurricane009:
nah.....really??


I know, I know, you never expected that response. BTW, Google has great picture resources and links to active and current weather models and photos.
Member Since: Marzo 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10462
Updated.

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Quoting Hurricane009:
Where do you go to get your pictures???


The Internet.
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---
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Quoting Hurricane009:
Where do you go to get your pictures???


space
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Quoting btwntx08:

he modified his after he saw mine lol


I modified before I saw your quote, but not in time. To set the record completely straight.
Member Since: Marzo 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10462
Quoting 1900hurricane:

The eye looks like a carbon-copy of Wilma's!


Hurricane Wilma's pinhole eye.


I don't recall Wilma wobbling that much. Seems to be getting ready for a eyewall replacement cycle from some of the other imagery. IMHAO
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Quoting JRRP:
mmmm
Looks to be a good rotation with some stronger winds in areas.
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521. JRRP
mmmm
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Taiwan looks like they will take a direct hit from a CAT 4-5 Typhoon ... In the Philippines they are going to get even more water ... :c(
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519. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
3:00 AM JST October 1 2009
========================

TROPICAL DEPRESSION, FORMER KETSANA [1002 HPA] AT 16N 105E ALMOST STATIONARY.


Still stationary and down to 25 knots (10 min avg)
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Quoting Hurricane009:
I see nobody thinks that this season is over, so let me modify my comment. Who thinks that we will NOT get past the I storm


I'd say "I" will be the last but I'm concerned about subtropical development.
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516. xcool



uspln.com
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Quoting btwntx08:

haha no lol


alrighty then haha
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513. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
10 mins until we see what Dvorak Intensity JMA gives Parma...
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Updated.

UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 30 SEP 2009 Time : 231500 UTC
Lat : 11:50:05 N Lon : 131:14:32 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.4 / 920.4mb/124.6kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.4 6.2 7.2

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : 3.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR :N/A km

Center Temp : -10.9C Cloud Region Temp : -80.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.7T/12hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
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511. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
LOL
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Member Since: Octubre 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30563
Quoting btwntx08:

nope the time doesn't change u edit it but on the first try he didn't post parma in () so i did that to remind


want a cookie or what?
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Updates from JTWC are at 5AM,11AM,5PM,11PM

They can sometimes be an hour early on them.
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506. 789
Quoting Hurricane009:
who thinks that this season has officially ended????
everyone nov.30 2009
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HGW - you saying I'm weird???

Just kidding. You are right, that would have been quite odd.
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Quoting Hurricane009:
who thinks that this season has officially ended????


we went over this earlier haha some spicy debate with tacoman
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Quoting Hurricane009:
Typhoon Parma is almost positive to be a Cat. 5 at 8 pm




The JTWC runs on a different schedule than the NHC. lol
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501. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
PAGASA naming list for the remaining 2009 season
===============================================

Pepeng (Current)
Quedan
Ramil
Santi
Tino
Urduja
Vinta
Wilma
Yolanda
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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