For a more recent update on Parma and Typhoon Melor CLICK HERE
Typhoon Parma forecasting continues to be a daunting task. More than a day ago, I told you of the prospects of the storm potentially coming back toward the Philippines in reaction to Typhoon Melor (JTWC warning/discussion text) passing by to the east. I suspect that the forecasters knew this too but they were trying not to alarm the populus until more descernable evidence showed up. Now, the media has finally gotten clued into the possibility. “It is possible that it (Parma) will make U-turn and will hit Luzon again,” said forecaster Nathaniel Cruz. I mentioned that a couple of days ago. I want to emphasize that its just a possibility at this point. So far, the storm has not been handled well consistently by any model and the official forecasts have been all over the place. But, the potential for a return visit remains on the table.
Those are ifs and buts so lets look at whats really going on. A trof emerged out of China and dove down toward Parma. That has done some damge to the storm sufficiently weakening to to Tropical Storm status. That is good news. Bad news is that it still has pretty good looking circulation. The satellite imagery shows just how much the storm has eroded. Northern convection is almost absent and an eye is tough to find. As long as it keeps that circulation, once the trof moves by, then it could start to regain intensity…BUT…if it does stay pretty much quasi-stationary…or generally in the same spot, what will happen is that the warm water on the ocean surface gets washed around and colder water below comes to the surface to take its place. This is called upwelling and a tropical cyclone cannot stay in one place for long and expect to live because cold water will come to the surface and it needs water temperatures of at least 26.5 degrees C to survive. So, will it stay in one place? The fate of Tropical Storm Parma may fall to Super Typhoon Melor.
How these two storms are related is as follows. Typhoon Melor is a very well developed Super Typhoon. Its forecast track takes it across the Philippine Sea and swings all the way to the eastern Luzon Strait. It has a counter-clockwise flow. Now, Typhoon Parma is meandering in the northeastern South China Sea or the western Luzon Strait. As the two storms get close, the flow around Melor will tend to send Parma down to the south. Meanwhile, the flow around Parma may swing Melor a bit more northwest. But, Melor is the dominant storm and has much greater forward momentum so the effects of Parma on it would be less distinct though it may be significant enough to swing Melor closer to Japan than might otherwise happen. Japan is going to at least be affected by the western edge of Melor. Meanwhile, the big question with Parma will be if the flow around Melor is strong enough and lasts long enough to swing Parma south and then southeast back toward the Philippines, which could be catastrophic because in all liklihood, this would take it back over Manila. But, several of the models want to bring the storm back south and then west…as Melor moves quickly to the northeast, Parma gets slung out before it comes back around to the Philippines and instead moves southwest and then west toward Vietnam, which isn’t good for them either because they too had great affect from last week’s Tropical Storm Ketsana. The variables remain great and so the confidence in the longer term forecast remains questionable. See the 15Z Forecast Discussion/Prognastic reasoning for Parma at the bottom of the post.
I’ve had some queries regarding how to track Typhoon Parma and Typhoon Melor. If you click on this link for the Western Pacific Water Vapor Image Loop, you will get the most recent imagery and it will provide the best viewing of the eye for either storm if it exists. If you click on the maps of the forecast track for either storm, the most recent update of the forecast track and the most recent position will also appear. We kinda take this satellite stuff for granted nowadays, but the ability to track tropical cyclones really hasn’t been around too long. The first storm tracked using satellite imagery was Hurricane Camille in August 1969. It just happened that that storm developed rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico from a long lived tropical storm into a hurricane with winds of up to 200 mph. The forecast was difficult but with the satellite technology available, the forecasters were able to improve their ability and perhaps many lives were spared with an advanced warning that they may not have otherwise have had. You can find the history of the origin of man-made space satellites below…
On This Date In History: Speaking of satellites…on this date in 1957, many Americans were quaking in their boots. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. It was a small metal sphere with a few antennae sticking out. It weighed about 157 pounds and emitted a radio beeping sound heard by millions around the earth as news readers announced the feat. The frightful thing about the development in many Americans’ minds was that the Soviets had proven they could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. If they could deliver a metal sphere into space, then it was plausible they could deliver an atomic warhead into Uncle Sam’s back yard. Sputnik came to be known as a “baby moon” because, like the moon, it was a satellite of the earth and both had spherical shapes. That led many Americans to fear that the Soviets would gain a strategic edge in outer space development….perhaps build space platforms or a base on the moon from which they could make sneak attacks on the USA by dropping bombs from above. There’s a great line from The Right Stuff in which Lyndon Johnson says, “I for one do not intend to go to bed at night by the light of a communist moon!” The US Army launched Explorer I on January 31, 1958 as Americas first artificial satellite.
The Eisenhower Administration decided it was time to get serious and so on October 1, 1958 the President announced the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to bring all space efforts under one umbrella. President Kennedy made it a national goal to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960′s. He made no mention of it but most Americans thought the idea was to beat the Soviets to the moon. We did and that was that….we also got Tang, Teflon, mini-computers, microwave ovens and other things but not Velcro. That was invented by a Swiss Mountain climber in the 1940′s and 1950′s…it took him a while to develop it. I think he got his inspiration from his dog getting grass burrs in his coat following a mountain walk.
Louisville Weather Bottom Line: Previously, it appeared that a warm front would be lifted our way on Monday and increase rain chances then. There had been some notion that would happen. The GFS had been most bullish on this solution but its taken it off the board. The Canadian Model has short waves to the south but moves them east instead of into the Ohio Valley. So, Monday will have a mix of clouds and sun with rain chances increasing on Tuesday as a warm front/cold front combo works its way through. So, look for rain Tuesday, maybe some t’storms. Rain chances will carry into Tuesday night and then reinforcing cool air coming in for the rest of the week. The cool pattern appears to be interested in sticking around for at least another 10 days.
WDPN33 PGTW 041500
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TYPHOON 19W (PARMA) WARNING NR 28//
1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.
2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
A. TROPICAL STORM (TS) PARMA HAS WEAKENED OVER THE PAST SIX
HOURS. A FAIRLY NEW UPPER LEVEL FEATURE (SHORTWAVE TROUGH) APPEARS
TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RAPID DEPLETION OF PARMA’S DEEP
CONVECTION. THE TROUGH ORIGINATED OVER CENTRAL CHINA AND HAS SINCE
CONTINUED TO DIG EQUATORWARD. SKEW-T SOUNDINGS ALONG THE SOUTHERN
COAST OF CHINA INDICATE THE TROUGH EXTENDS AS FAR SOUTH AS 23.5N,
LESS THAN 4 DEGREES SHY OF PARMA’S LATITUDE. A VERY TIGHT SHEAR
GRADIENT, AND RELATIVELY DRIER AIR MASS, ASSOCIATED WITH THIS
TROUGH, CONTINUE TO WEAKEN THE SYSTEM. DESPITE THE CURRENT VOID OF
DEEP CONVECTION A STRONG SURFACE CIRCULATION REMAINS. DVORAK
ESTIMATES FROM PGTW HAVE FALLEN TO A 3.0/4.0. THE FINAL-T NUMBER IS
BASED ON THE PATTERN-T, VICE A WRAP, BECAUSE THE CONVECTION IS TOO
WEAK. THE SYSTEM HAS ALSO GENERALLY TRACKED FROM NORTHWESTWARD TO
MORE NORTHWARD OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS WITHIN A WEAK STEERING
3. FORECAST REASONING
A. THE SYSTEM IS NOW CLASSIFIED AS A TROPICAL STORM BECAUSE THE
INITIAL INTENSITY HAS DROPPED BELOW 65 KNOTS.
B. THE SYSTEM IS STILL EXPECTED TO MEANDER TO THE NORTHEAST OF
LUZON IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA FOR THE NEXT 5 DAYS. THE POTENTIAL FOR
REINTENSIFICATION EXISTS ONCE THE TROUGH MENTIONED IN PARA 2.A.
PASSES TO THE EAST. HOWEVER, UPWELLING OF COOLER WATER WILL BEGIN TO
STALL INTENSIFICATION OR EVEN BEGIN TO WEAKEN THE SYSTEM. THERE IS
ALSO THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE TROUGH MAY STRIP THE CIRCULATION OF SO
MUCH CONVECTION THAT IT IS UNABLE TO REBOUND BEFORE UPWELLING BEGINS
TO CUT OFF INTENSIFICATION ALL TOGETHER. THERE IS STILL SOME
UNCERTAINTY IN THE TRACK OF TS 19W GIVEN THAT IT IS IN A WEAK AND
ILL-DEFINED STEERING ENVIRONMENT. IF RIDGING BUILDS TO THE WEST OF
THE SYSTEM, THEN STORM WILL GRADUALLY BEGIN TO PULL OUT TO THE
SOUTHWEST, AS THE MAJORITY OF THE DYNAMIC AIDS INDICATE. ON THE
OTHER HAND, IF THE RIDGE TO THE EAST REBUILDS FASTER (AND STRONGER)
THAN THE RIDGE TO THE WEST THEN THAT WILL BECOME THE PREDOMINANT
STEERING MECHANISM FOR PARMA. THERE IS ALSO THE EXPECTATION THAT IF
THE STORM IS UNABLE TO REACQUIRE DEEP CONVECTION, THE TRACKERS WILL
INITIALIZE A STRONGER SYSTEM WITH ERRONEOUS TRACK SOLUTIONS.
C. THERE IS NO STRONG INDICATION, THAT BEYOND DAY 4, THE CYCLONE
WILL BEGIN TO BE PICKED UP BY ANY RIDGING/FLOW SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO
GUIDE IT OUT OF THIS QUASISTATIONARY STATE. AS SUCH, THE FORECAST
REMAINS SLOW, BUT NEAR THE MODEL CONSENSUS AND PREVIOUS FORECAST.