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Somerset Squall

Super Typhoon Melor

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Yet another tropical depression has formed in the West Pacific, from invest 90W. 20W located to the east of TS 18W. The two systems are fairly close but 18W is accelerating to the northwest towards TS Parma, and therefore these two systems at least, should not interact. 20W has what apears to be an impressive central dense overcast feature, however, there is a distinct lack of banding currently. 20W is expected to be steered by the same subtropical ridge as TS 18W and TS Parma, and therefore should initially move west-northwestwards. With the other two storms further west, the subtropical risge is likely to be broken down which would turn 20W futher towards the north though the timing of this northward turn is uncertain. This could bring 20W very close to the Mariana Islands. 20W is in a good environment for intensification, with warm waters and low shear aloft. Therefore, this system is expected to become a typhoon in the vicinity of the islands, so needs to be closely watched.

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really busy in the west pacific at the moment.

fighting for space at this rate

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20W has strengthened over the last 6hrs, with convectional coverage expanding and banding features beginning to form near the well defined LLC. Thus, the system has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Melor, with intensity at 35kts.

Melor is expected to remain in a favourable environment for intensification. Melor will soon be reachin waters in excess of 30C which should aid intensification. Melor is currently on track to hit Saipan, but as we know track forecasts can change, particularly with the presence of TS 18W to the west. The two storms are not expected to significantly effect each other however. I can't see why Melor won't become a typhoon over the coming days.

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Melor has strengthened over the last 24hrs, with intensity climbing to 55kts. Melor has developed a central dense overcast with strong convective bands wrapping around the tight LLC. The structure of Melor is a good base for development into a typhoon, and this could occur overnight. With a favourable upper level environment of low shear and good outflow, combined with sea temps in excess of 30C, Melor has the potential to become big. The only land Melor is currently threatening is the small island of Saipan, as the storm is expected to pass very close. Melor is expected to continue heading westwards along the southern periphery of a ridge to the north, with an eventual turn towards the northwest into the same weakeness that Parma is moving into. Melor is likely to stay away from the Philippines if all goes to plan.

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Melor has quite literally bombed in intensity today, and now is a 115kt, cat 4 typhoon. Thats a jump of 55kts in just 12 hours!! Melor has developed a very well defined eye embedded in the central dense forecast. Melor is moving northwestwards along the southwestern periphery of a subtropical ridge to the northeast. In a few days time, Melor is expected to turn to the north as the ridge breaks down. At this time, Melor will be getting pretty close to Typhoon Parma, and there could be some interaction between the two which creates some uncertainty in the track forecast later on. Melor is expected to become a cat 5 as low shear and warm waters continue to facilitate devleopment. Melor is not expected to make landfall though anywhere from Eastern China to Japan look at risk from a potential visit from Melor later this week or next week.

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After strengthening to 120kts, Melor has weakened some, now down to 110kts. Though waters are warm and shear is low, outflow is not as impressive as it was. In addition, it appears Melor may have gone through an EWRC. Melor's eye seems to be clearing out now so some re-intensification is likely as the typhoon continues to move northwestwards. Melor will soon find a break in the ridge which will cause a northward turn towards Japan. A landfall somewhere in Japan is a distinct possibility. However, if Melor interacts with Parma to the west, then the track could completely alter. Japan need to be very wary of Melor.

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did it make cat 5?

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A guy was chasing Melor in Saipan

some images

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Stunning images Cookie! Yup, Melor entered a period of rapid intensification overnight and is now a 145kt cat 5. This makes Melor the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide for 2009, surpassing the other cat 5, Choi-wan. Melor will continue to round the periphery of the subtropical ridge to the northeast and recurve just southeast of Tokyo, Japan. Very high westerly shear and cooler waters will cause extratropical transition to occur when Melor nears Japan. Japan are in for a really bumpy ride from this storm, even though it will be weakening on the approach.

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Melor is maintaining cat 5 intensity, with winds slightly reduced to 140kts. Looks very impressive still on satellite imagery. Pressure is currently a very low 910mb:

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Melor has weakened slightly to cat 4 status, with intensity at 135kts. Melor appears to be starting an eye wall replacement cycle, with an outer eyewall developing around the inner wall. This will likely cause further weakening. Melor is turning towards the north as the super typhoon rounds the periphery of a ridge anchored to the east-northeast. Melor will travel along the western then northern flank of this ridge over the next few days, moving over much cooler waters and higher shear near Japan which will initiate extratropical transition in 48hrs, which should be complete by 72hrs time. Melor is still likely to be packing some very damaging winds as it passes near Tokyo, so Japan really need to prepare themselves for this storm. Some heavy rains are likely too.

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Westerly shear is weakening Melor quite quickly. Intensity has been reduced to 110kts, making the typhoon a cat 3. Melor is accelerating up the western side of the subtropical ridge (STR) towards cooler waters. Melor will then turn towards the northeast in response to the upper level westerlies south of Japan and along the northern periphery of the STR. At this time, Melor will transition to an extratropical storm which will likely bring some heavy rains and severe gales to Eastern Japan.

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Typhoon Melor weakens on track to Japan

Melor has weakened from a super typhoon to a typhoon but is still packing dangerous wind speeds of 138 mph (222km/h) with gusts to 167mph (268km/h).

The storm, whose name means jasmine in Malay, is heading north-west to Japan where it will strike the southern islands of Okinawa on Wednesday and the main island of Honshu on Thursday. Residents are bracing themselves for heavy rains, violent winds and rough seas.

In a phenomenon known as the Fujiwara effect, the presence of typhoon Melor is keeping tropical storm Parma virtually stationary off the north-west coast of the Philippines.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/hi/news/newsid_8291000/8291084.stm

satir2009-10-062130.jpg

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Thanks for the article there Cookie. Interesting that Parma's erratic track and stalling is in part down to Melor.

Melor is a shadow of it's former self. Very high wind shear and cooler sea temps have weakened the storm to 75kts. ET should begin very soon. Japan still look in the firing line for some severe gales and heavy rain over the next day or two.

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Melor has passed through Japan and become fully extratropical, as evidenced by the frontal features and cold core. Melor will continue to race out in the open north Pacific as a large and still pretty intense extratropical storm.

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