Three Pacific Systems

Three systems in the Pacific:

Rammasun is dissipating inland over northern Vietnam.  A super-typhoon at its peak intensity, Rammasun probably caused over $20 Billion in impacts between the Philippines and China.  Typhoon Matmo is off the Philippines, but will pass north of Luzon.  The problem is that it is likely to dump a lot of rain on the area hit by Rammasun – perhaps as much as 25cm or more.  Matmo is forecast to make a direct hit on Taiwan, and on the current forecast track and intensity could easily cause over $10 Billion USD in impacts there, and further $2 Billion USD on the mainland.  Here’s the wind swath:

Finally, there is a tropical system trying to develop in the Mariana Islands, but it is not being officially tracked yet.

Super Typhoon Rammasun landfall at Hainan; $10 Billion impacts on China possible

Super Typhoon Rammasun is making landfall on the Leizhou Peninsula this morning US time, south of Zhanjiang, China, as a powerful 125 knot storm.  Northern Hainan island and the city of Haikou could experience severe damage.  Economic impacts, based on the JTWC forecast track and intensity, are on the order of $10 Billion USD.

Rammasun dodges Manila; China, Vietnam next

Typhoon Rammasun (WP092014) passed south of Manila, and is now offshore headed towards Hainan Island, China, then northern Japan.  Here is the current wind swath generated by my TARU model, based on the JTWC model:

It looks like the total economic impact of the storm on the Philippines will be on the order of $7 Billion.  While the track of the storm has been fairly straightforward, the intensity forecast has been difficult, and as discussed earlier even small changes in intensity can cause large changes in damage. If the JTWC intensity forecast holds, the storm will cause about $2 Billion USD in impacts to China.  Unlike previous forecasts, this track is well north of Hanoi, and the impacts to Vietnam are likely to “only” be in the 100’s of Millions.

Rammasun: $8 Billion dollar storm for the Philippines?

The latest data indicates that Typhoon Rammasun (WP082014) continued to strengthen right up to (and maybe even a little after) landfall. The latest model runs indicate that in a few hours Manila will experience nearly 180 kph (110 mph) winds and a lot of rain.  That’s really bad news. Winds there are currently (at 3pm ET/19GMT) 23 knots gusting to 36.  If there is a bright side, the winds will be blowing the water away from the shorefront during the worst of the storm- the far side of Manila Bay may see 2 meter storm surges.  Impacts on the Philippines look to be severe.  Damages could be on the order of $7.8 Billion USD, and the long term GDP impact could be on the order of $6 Billion in lost revenues.  Not a pretty picture – this would make Rammasun the strongest storm to make a direct hit on Manila in at least 70 years (the good records go back to 1948).

The forecast track for this storm has been pretty good, but as noted in previous discussions, the intensity forecasts in the West Pacific have been pretty bad this year.  So looking ahead to the China/Vietnam landfalls is pretty risk at this point.

Rammasun now major Typhoon; $4 Billion in impact to Philippines?

Typhoon Rammasun (WP092014) went through a rapid intensification cycle over the last 24 hours, increasing from 65 to 100 knots (120 to 185 kph).  The impact estimates for the Philippines likewise increased dramatically, from around $1 Billion to $4.3 Billion, based on the Joint Typhoon Warning Center track and intensity estimates.  Manila is still directly in the path of the storm:

Rain and flooding are always an issue in the Philippines with tropical cyclones.  How much damage depends on the exact track, especially for storm surge flooding.  Lamon Bay can expect 2 to 3 meters, and the northwestern parts of Manila Bay could see 2 meters – but if the track wobbles north of the Capital, the peak surge location could shift to the Manila shorefront.

While the tracks across the islands are almost the same, the Japan Meteorological Agency forecast is somewhat less enthusiastic than the JTWC with respect to intensity, and on that forecast track/intensity the impacts to the Philippines are just over $2.3 Billion USD.  The HWRF objective track model generated $2.7 Billion in impacts.

When looking at impacts, and trying to put things in perspective, the raw numbers don’t tell the full story.  A $2 or even $5 Billion USD storm, while obviously a disaster for those in the path, is not a catastrophe for a country like the United States.  However, based on the difference in relative size and development of the economies,   $4.3 Billion event in the Philippines is roughly the equivalent of a $50 Billion USD storm; in other words, on the order of a Sandy type event.  So this is potentially a big deal.

Looking ahead, the storm is forecast to make landfall on northern Hainan Island (if the JTWC forecast holds, and their intensity estimates have been way off on this storm, that would mean Hong Kong would be on the fringes of the wind field).  China could expect nearly $2 Billion USD in damage.  Vietnam would be up next, and damages of $800 Million, with the decaying storm passing over Hanoi.  Again, a lot of uncertainty in those forecasts because, while the track guidance is fairly consistent, the intensity estimates are not.  The HWRF model forecasts a bit stronger intensity on landfall in China, and my ISTANU model estimates over $3 Billion in damage.  But Vietnam is the big question – HWRF maintains the intensity further inland, with a direct hit on Hanoi and a whopping $5 Billion in damage for Vietnam (that would be a Katrina sized disaster for the country).  I don’t think I believe that forecast, but it’s possible.

Typhoon Rammasun Update (14 Jul 21 Z)

The latest JTWC forecast has increased the winds over the Philippines, keeping the storm as hurricane strength as it passes over Manila:

This means hurricane force winds over the Capital.  As noted in this morning’s analysis, these little wobbles and wind speed increases may not mean much from a forecast standpoint, but they mean a lot for damage.  On this track/intensity the impact on the Philippines would be around $1.6 Billion USD.  That would be the equivalent of a $20 Billion storm for the US – a major event.

Looking ahead, the storm is expected to regain any strength it lost of the PI before it hits the southern Guangdong Province and Hainan Island in China in about 4 days, with Hong Kong in the wind field and further potential impacts on northern Vietnam.  Given the uncertainty in track and, especially, intensity, impacts there are hard to say.

Typhoon Rammasun one day from Philippines

Typhoon Rammasun is about one day from landfall on the Philippines, and less than 36 hours from passing directly over the capital, Manila.  Here is the wind swath, using my TARU model, based on the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) track and intensity:

On this track, the storm is forecast to cause about $500 Million in impacts on the Philippines,  Given the difference in GDP and economies, this would be the equivalent of a $4 Billion storm for the US.  The HWRF objective model is forecasting a much stronger storm at landfall, along with higher winds over the Manila area.  On that track $1.6 Billion in impacts (an $18 Billion storm for the US) are forecast.  Here is the HWRF forecast swath:

Looking ahead, HWRF is also showing significant impacts on both China ($1.3 Billion in impacts) and, surprisingly, on Vietnam, with a direct hit on Hanoi causing over $2 Billion in impacts (the equiv. of a $25 Billion storm hitting the US).  The official (JTWC) forecast also shows landfall on both Hainan Island (China) and Vietnam, but with as a smaller and weaker storm.

Running the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) forecast track through the ISTANU damage model generates impacts for the Philippines about one third lower impacts than the JTWC forecast.  JMA also does not strengthen the storm over the South China Sea as does JTWC or the HWRF model.

For whatever reason, the forecasts for both significant storms in the West Pacific this year have had consistent forecast tracks, but very different intensities (and therefore impacts), between objective models (like HWRF) and official forecasts (JMA, JTWC).

Rammasun (WP09) struggles to intensify

Tropical Storm Rammasun, WP092014, is still moving towards the northern Philippines, but not organizing or intensifying as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center was forecasting yesterday.  Here is the current wind swath forecast based on the JTWC track and intensity, showing a mid-week landfall:

The Japan Meteorological Agency objective ensemble, as well as their official forecast, both have landfall north of the Capital, as a tropical storm. If the JTWC forecast is correct, it might just barely become a minimal Typhoon (Hurricane) before landfall on the island of Luzon, bringing tropical storm force winds to Manila.  Impacts for this scenario would be under $100 Million.  The HWRF objective model forecasts a jog to the south, across Ragay Bay, and slightly higher intensity which places hurricane force winds right over the Capital.  In that scenario, shown here, damage could be nearly 10 times higher:

Next up would be another landfall on the coast of China, south of Hong Kong.  JTWC has the storm strengthening to a 80kt storm by then, as does the HWRF model, but their latest forecast discussion notes that “Confidence is low” in that part of the forecast – I agree.

Updates are on the main page.