Hurricane Dolores, Typhoon Nangka, and Typhoon Halola


Tropical Storm Claudette quickly became post tropical Tuesday night south of Newfoundland where it was devoid of deep convection due to a combination of high vertical wind shear and low sea surface temperatures north of the Gulf Stream. Thus the Atlantic returns to quiet and no tropical cyclone formation is expected within the next five days. In Bermuda, a welcomed increase in the chances of showers with possible thunder will begin on Friday and potentially last through the weekend and into early next week. See the Bermuda Weather Service for the official forecast.

Meanwhile, the Pacific continues its active streak with three hurricane strength tropical cyclones impacting land simultaneously. Category three Hurricane Dolores last night passed over Mexico’s Socorro Island in the Eastern Pacific. The southern eyewall of Dolores brought sustained winds measured up to 80 mph with gusts as high as 115 mph to that island. Pressure fell as low as 968 mb as Dolores made its closest approach.

Hurricane Dolores over Soccoro
Microwave satellite imagery of Hurricane Dolores, showing the southern eyewall of the cyclone over Socorro Island at ~0130z. Peak winds were observed around this time. Naval Research Lab.

In the West Pacific, Typhoon/Tropical Storm Halola passed south of Wake Island. Halola formed in the Central Pacific and tracked westward into the West Pacific where it became a typhoon. Peak winds measured by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBD) at Wake Island reached 36 mph with gusts to 51 mph. Central-to-Western Pacific crossovers are unusual because so few tropical cyclones form in the Central Pacific. However, the above normal sea surface temperatures associated with El Niño tend to lead to a more active Central Pacific. A recent notable Central Pacific tropical cyclone was Hurricane Ioke in 2006, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones of Central Pacific origin on record. Ioke also passed over Wake Island and several low elevation atolls as a major tropical cyclone causing extensive damage in its path.

Halola is expected to continue tracking westward, deeper into the Western Pacific and slowly strengthen into a major typhoon over the next five days.

Finally, Typhoon Nangka is making landfall in Southern Japan as a category one equivalent typhoon. Heavy rainfall, particularly in the more mountainous areas has been accumulating for at least 36 hours now and the risk of flash flooding and mudslides is escalating as Nangka slowly approaches the coast. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin shortly on Shikoku and slowly spread northward with the typhoon. The main concern here is flooding – Tropical Storm Talas in 2011 took a similar approach to the coast with a similar intensity as Nangka and produced serious flash flooding and mudslides that resulted in dozens of fatalities.

Radar imagery from Japan showing the eye of Nangka just offshore of Shikoku  and heavy rains on the windward side of the mountainous regions.
Radar imagery from Japan showing the eye of Nangka just offshore of Shikoku and heavy rains on the windward side of the mountainous regions due to topographic enhancement. Japan Meteorological Agency.

See the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Joint-Typhoon Warning Center for more information on current Pacific tropical cyclone activity.

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