Prepare yourselves for the second coming of Katrina, because you can bet that this storm will be hyped as an indicator of “global warming”.
As of this writing, the storm is in the process of making landfall in the Philippines and it is moving west at 20-25 knots and estimated winds of 170 knots (195mph).
Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue has been monitoring the Super Typhoon for the past several days and remarked about the historic nature of Haiyan. In this upper echelon of cyclone intensity, it is difficult to assign rankings or compare Typhoons due to inhomogeneous observing networks and tools. But it’s fair to say that Super Typhoon Haiyan is as intense as a tropical cyclone can get.
Presented at AMS Tropical in 2004, Hoarau et al. asked if there were any Typhoons stronger than Tip (1979). Two likely candidates emerged including Super Typhoon Angela from 1995 which has been compared with today’s storm. Satellite estimates through Dvorak technique yielded an intensity of 90 m/s or 175 knots which is greater than Tip’s maximum of 165 knots. A quick comparison between Angela and Haiyan at maximum intensity suggests the latter is actually stronger. Dvorak estimates are at the top of the scale — T = 8.0 and even touched 8.1, which according to this chart, means 170-knot maximum 1-minute sustained winds. That is Category 5 with three pluses.
The actual best-tracks have Tip at 165-knots and there are many others that exceeded 155-knots. Here’s a handy list of advisories that met or exceeded 155 since 1950. The JTWC best tracks are increasingly uncertain prior to the satellite era (1979) but there is some confidence primarily due to routine aircraft recon from 1944-1987 in the Western Pacific. Aside from field studies (e.g. TPARC) run by NASA in coordination with neighboring nations, routine hurricane hunting does not occur outside of the Western Hemisphere.
Global landfalls were discussed in a recent J. Climate paper by Weinkle, Maue and Pielke Jr. Weinkle_2012.04
Above: as morning breaks in the Philippines, one of the first two visible satellite images
Above: animation from IntelliWeather.com showing the last 12 hours of motion as of 1PM PST 11/7/13. – may take up to a minute to load and animate, depending on your connection speed.
With winds like that, expect to see complete devastation as it makes landfall. That of course will be hyped into an AGW caused storm, just like Katrina. Al Gore and Bill McKibben are already testing lies language on Twitter. Bear in mind that we have a very short historical record of Typhoon strength, and any claims that this is the strongest storm ever need to be qualified with that fact. Nobody has any credible record of typhoon strength back more than a few decades.
I’ll add updates and additional content to this article today – Anthony
UPDATE1: NOAA image as Haiyan prepares to make landfall:
UPDATE2: Haiyan is expected to make it all the way to China. Maue on Twitter:
12z ECMWF model shows
#Haiyan maintaining deep central pressure of 947 mb as it moves quickly west thru S. China Sea
UPDATE3: Radar image from Cebu City shows the eye of Haiyan approaching, click image for animation:
UPDATE4: Dr. Heidi Cullen of Climate Central wins the “First Haiyan BS award” with this missive.
— Heidi Cullen (@HeidiCullen) November 7, 2013
As Bob Tisdale observes, there’s nothing to support this along the track of Haiyan:
Lots of the typical BS accumulating already about Typhoon Haiyan. Let’s push some of it aside and present the sea surface temperature anomalies for the early portion of Haiyan’s storm track.
There was nothing unusually warm about the sea surface temperature anomalies for the early portion of Typhoon Haiyan’s storm track last week, the week of Wednesday October 30, 2013. We’ll have to wait for Monday to see what the values were for this week.
UPDATE5: Jeff Masters, makes this claim:
Super Typhoon Haiyan has made landfall. According to PAGASA, Haiyan came ashore at 4 am local time (20 UTC) November 7, 2013 near Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar. At the time, Guiuan reported sustained 10-minute average winds of 96 mph, with a pressure of 977 mb. Contact has since been lost with the city. Two hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center assessed Haiyan’s sustained winds at 195 mph, gusting to 235 mph, making it the 4th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Satellite loops show that Haiyan weakened only slightly, if at all, in the two hours after JTWC’s advisory, so the super typhoon likely made landfall with winds near 195 mph. This makes Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history. The previous record was held by the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille of 1969, which made landfall in Mississippi with 190 mph winds.
Sorry, no. Super Typhoon Ida in 1958 is said to have central pressure of 877mb and 200 mph 1 minute sustained winds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Ida_%281958%29
C. L. Jordan (September 1959). “A Reported Sea Level Pressure of 877 MB.” (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
FOOTNOTE: A milestone – this is story is number 10,000 of published posts on WUWT.