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Dangerous Typhoon Hagupit Attains SEVERE Cat 4 Strength
      #85151 - Tue Sep 23 2008 03:45 AM

Major Typhoon Hagupit - Hong Kong May Get Northern Eyewall (Original Post Title)

Yep. It's the Pits. Hagupit, that is. Just what we need. Another major cyclone bearing down on a densely populated area.

Now a Major Typhoon, Hagupit is on a track which will bring it just south of Hong Kong and it's harbor in a few hours, placing the thriving metropolis in the right-front quadrant, the infamous "bad side" of the storm.

And should the cyclone veer, even slightly, to the right from it's projected path, it would bring the Northern Eyewall squarely over the city itself.

Here's a somewhat recent ( 22Z 9/22/08) microwave image of Hagupit's final approach to landfall.

It's eyewall (at the time of image) is a little open to the SE and it even appears to perhaps be undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle. But of little consequence. At it's current 105 knots, it will already surely push a storm surge into Hong Kong Harbor and surrounding areas.

I'm not too familiar with the geography of the area, but a session with Google Earth reveals many bays and inlets, similar to the bayous of the US Gulf Coast, so a major cyclone landfalling in this area is sure to generate a huge storm surge and resultant coastal and inland flooding over a wide area.

And judging from what I can gather from the various visible, IR and microwave satellite imagery (radar imagery still proving elusive) it seems that, if the typhoon veers ever so slightly to the right, the city of Hong Kong may be in the Northern Eyewall in a few hours.

Hence, in the following bulletin, the Hong Kong Observatory's "consideration" of a "No. 8 Storm Signal" for Hong Kong between 4pm and 8pm, local time, the time of Hagupit's closest point of approach, should the eyewall actually transit the metropolis.

Here is the latest 'Advisory' from the Hong Kong Observatory, their equivalent to the NHC, which tracks the cyclones and issues the advisories and recommended public actions.


Issue Time (HKT): 13:45 23/Sep/2008
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin
Here is the latest Tropical Cyclone Bulletin issued by the
Hong Kong Observatory.
The Strong Wind Signal, No. 3 is in force.

This means that winds with mean speeds of 41 to 62
kilometres per hour are expected.

At 2 p.m., Typhoon Hagupit was estimated to be about 290
kilometres southeast of Hong Kong (near 20.3 degrees north
115.9 degrees east) and is forecast to move west or
west-northwest at about 28 kilometres per hour heading
towards the south China coast.

According to Hagupit's present track, the Observatory will
consider the need for the No.8 Gale or Storm Signal between
4 p.m. and 8 p.m. today.


Gales are affecting high grounds in Hong Kong. In the past
hour, the maximum sustained wind speeds recorded at Cheung
Chau and Waglan Island were 44 and 54 kilometres per hour

(Precautionary Announcements with No. 3 Signal)

1. You are advised not to delay in taking all precautions
to protect your home or property. Make sure now that all
loose objects are secure. Porch furniture, flower pots and
other objects likely to be blown away should be taken
indoors. Check again and make sure all windows and doors
can be securely locked.

2. Storm water drains should be cleared of leaves and
rubbish, this applies particularly to dwellers in low-lying

3. Since seas are rough and there are swells , you are
advised to stay away from the shoreline and not to engage
in water sports.

4. People should avoid walking or working in areas exposed
to gales and squalls. Drivers using highways and flyovers
should be alert to violent gusts.

5. Engineers, architects and contractors are again reminded
that all scaffoldings, hoardings and temporary buildings
should be secured.

6. Small craft owners should now complete arrangements for
the safety of their boats.

7. Listen to your radio, watch your TV or browse the Hong
Kong Observatory's web site for information on the tropical


I'll be following Hagupit through landfall and will post updates every few hours.

Awaiting more recent microwave imagery and still working on a reliable radar link.

As always, you're welcome to chime in if you have anything you'd like to share or questions about Typhoon Hagupit or it's effects on Hong Kong.

Edited by CoconutCandy (Tue Sep 23 2008 06:14 PM)

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Hagupit Update: Hong Kong's Close Brush with Northern Eyewall [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #85154 - Tue Sep 23 2008 07:28 AM

First the Good News: Major Typhoon Hagupit will spare a direct hit on densely populated Hong Kong. The latest bulletin (#19) now has Hagupit traveling just north of due west, or 275 degrees, taking the center well south of the mega-opolis.

Which means no calm eye passage, which means no hurricane (typhoon) winds screaming in from the opposite direction after the calm eye passage, as happened recently in Galviston.

Now the not-so-good news: Similar to Hurricane Ike, Typhoon Hagupit is a LARGE tropical cyclone and, also like Ike, has a strong, secondary, 'ring-of-maximum-winds' flung far from the storm center.

And Hong Kong is not out of the woods just yet, as it may still encounter a brush with this northern-most 'eyewall', or region of maximim winds.

As seen in this recent microwave image (not the greatest quality) one can observe what appears to be a weakening inner eyewall but, more importantly wind-wise, there is a very obvious OUTER eyewall forming at a large radius from the storms' center.

And while it's certain that Hong Kong Harbor will experience some degree of storm surge (perhaps quite significant with the eyewall passing v-e-r-y close by), it's still NOT certain that this Northern Eyewall will (or won't) make a Direct Passage over the metropolitan area.

A notorious 'wobble', even 10 or 20 miles to the north, between now and closest point of approach, would squarely put Hong Kong's populace in the thick of it, wind-wise, with regard to this developing 'outer eyewall'.

Still having a tough time getting any radar imagery out of Hong Kong. Anyone know of a good link? Seems that the Hong Kong Observatory's Weather Server is SWAMPED with traffic, presumably regarding Hagupit, which renders it essentially useless.

Anticipating the latest microwave imagery very soon, which should be very 'telling'. Check back soon!

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Hagupit Update: Eyewall Replacement Complete, Brushing Hong Kong [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #85155 - Tue Sep 23 2008 08:34 AM

Whoa! What a difference a microwave image can make! Compare this recent one with the previous 2 microwave passages from the 2 previous posts ...

It would appear, IMHO and to my partially-trained-eyes, that Typhoon Hagupit has, indeed, completed an eyewall replacement cycle.

I'm not sure if the max sustained winds increased or decreased due to the eyewall replacement, (at least in the short-term), but one thing is certain: Hagupit is clearly now a more organized and very dangerous typhoon.

And, since the cyclone is so large in extent, (like Ike) with a large radius of maximum winds, the effected areas will extend well beyond the 'skinny black line' of the centers' exact track.

Unfortunatally, the cyclone is headed for a large 'blind bay' created by a peninsula extending down from SE mainland China, which will tend to 'corral' the storm surge generated during landfall, exaserbating the threat to lives and property along the coastline to the right of it's projected trek.

And where the eyewall and storm center cross the ragged coastline, it's sure to cause major problems and suffering for those poor folks in it's path. I fear for the bad news coming out of mainland China in the coming days.

A hint of good news is that, the now re-developed eyewall (and presumably it's strongest winds) will just brush Hong Kong, and not pass directly over the city, as previously surmised. But this is still not out-of-the-question.

And it's still too soon to see how the city, and especially it's harbor, will fare from Hagupit's nearby passage. It seems the storm surge is the greatest concern now. I assume the city is inured from centuries of cyclone passages.

More imagery and updates coming soon. Anyone have any luck with radar imagery?

Edited by CoconutCandy (Tue Sep 23 2008 08:43 AM)

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Hagupit Update: Eyewall Passing Just South of Hong Kong [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #85160 - Tue Sep 23 2008 12:31 PM

Dangerous Typhoon Hagupit is passing just to the south of Hong Kong. And even the newly formed, rather formidible looking, northern eyewall is also passing just offshore.

So, hopefully, the city of Hong Kong itself, with all it's high rises and massive infrastructure, appears to have escaped the very worst of Hagupit's wrath.

This recent microwave image of the cyclones' core structure depicts a very pronounced and symmetrical eyewall surrounding a nearly perfectly circular calm clear eye, usually indicative of a very well organized and very intense tropical cyclone.

If you look closely and compare with the previous microwave image, you will notice that the calm eye is even more symmetrical, forming nearly a perfect circle. However, the brightest reflectivities appear (at the time of image) to be in the SW quad, with the northern-most portion of the eyewall appearing just a tad scant.

Perhaps some of that intense convection of the northern eyewall is working it's way down to the surface and overspreading areas adjacent to (just outside of) the 'ring' of greatest reflectivity. I'd be real curious to see just what kind of sustained winds are occuring in Hong Kong right now. Will scour the web for that info momentarily.

Although the NRL website is still posting intensity at 105 Kts., intensity estimates from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), based here in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, range as high as 115 Kts., presumably due to the improved eyewall signature and T-number estimates.

While HK may have escaped a "worst case scenario" with Hagupit, one can only hope and pray for those unfortunate souls who will be experiencing this cyclones' full wrath in the coming hours as Hagupit churns it's way towards what will surely be a deadly and destructive landfall.

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Hong Kong May Have Gotten NE Eyewall Slam ?!? [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #85164 - Tue Sep 23 2008 03:33 PM

Typhoon Hagupit Lashes Hong Kong

So reads a recent headline in AFP (Agence France-Presse, a global news agency), also revealing that the so-called "No. 8 Storm Signal", as surmised earlier, has indeed been issued for the bustling metropolis.


HONG KONG (AFP) — Typhoon Hagupit lashed Hong Kong with heavy rain and strong winds Tuesday evening, suspending flights and disrupting public transport as workers hurried home.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a number eight tropical cyclone warning at 6:00pm (1000 GMT), as winds (in excess) of 63 kilometres (40 miles) an hour hit the southern Chinese city.

The observatory said that the typhoon was centred about 210 kilometres south-southeast of the territory and was forecast to move west or northwest towards the South China Sea.

It also expected flooding to occur in low-lying areas overnight due to the combined effect of typhoon and high tide.

A total of 47 flights in and out of Hong Kong had been cancelled by 4:00 pm, a Hong Kong Airport Authority spokeswoman told AFP.


A number eight signal means that all domestic ferry and bus services are shut down, financial markets are closed and people are sent home from work.

From a fairly recent color-enhanced IR image taken when Hagupit's eye was just SW of Victoria Harbour, it seems to my only-partially-trained-eyes, that intense eyewall convection is in evidence over the Hong Kong metropolitan area, as depicted by a so-called 'hot tower', with cloud top temps of an astounding -80 degrees C and colder, positioned directly over the city in the NE 'eyewall', likely resulting in the greatest effects inside the city, within these strongest squalls. I just wish I could get some radar imagery!

It may be that the bright reflectivity seen in the SW quadrant in an earlier microwave image rotated around and is displayed here as the strong eyewall feature in the southern semi-circle. And the 'hot tower' shown here over HK and Victoria Harbour may have developed just offshore and rotated into the city and immediate area as the calm eye of the cyclone transited just south and southwest of the region.

So it seems, and this is just speculation on my part here, that Hong Kong did NOT escape the effects of *at least some* of the eyewall convection. That they had tropical storm conditions is a certainty. I'm just wondering if they had sustained hurricane (typhoon) winds while that massive supercell was passing directly over them.

What are your thoughts on all this? Do you think HK was involved in the intense eyewall convection, or were the true typhoon winds located further offshore as Hagupit passed by? Do you think conditions were as bad as the imagery would suggest?

But, just as the core of the NW eyewall is now coming ashore, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those being beseiged by major typhoon conditions this very moment, as I write, as "Horrible Hagupit" closes in on it's eventual landfall over the next few hours. I just hope they're prepared and safely evacuated. They're certainly in for a horrible night, all those little villages that proliferate the region.

Edited by CoconutCandy (Tue Sep 23 2008 04:12 PM)

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Storm Cooper

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Re: Hong Kong May Have Gotten NE Eyewall Slam ?!? [Re: CoconutCandy]
      #85165 - Tue Sep 23 2008 03:47 PM

Try this however you may be aware of it already...

Hurricane Season 2017 13/7/1

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Hong Kong May Have Gotten NE Eyewall Slam ?!? [Re: Storm Cooper]
      #85167 - Tue Sep 23 2008 04:05 PM

Thank You. Those radar links work nicely now.

Earlier however, that server was surely swamped, rendering it nearly useless.

Presumably due to many HK residents, and others, watching as the eyewall approached from the ESE.

I really wonder what they saw as the above-mentioned 'hot tower' passed directly over the city ?!?

Perhaps I can locate 'historical' imagery for posting later ...

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      #85169 - Tue Sep 23 2008 05:33 PM

Here is my final post (for now) on Typhoon Hagupit. ( Hagupit = 'to lash' )

Apparently, due to the successful eyewall replacement cycle completed just as the typhoon was making it's approach towards Hong Kong, Hagupit has indeed organized and strengthened to a Severe Category 4 Typhoon.

The strongest sustained winds are now estimated at 115 Kts. (130+ mph!) with lowest central pressure (measured or estimated, I don't know which) currently at 937 mb.

And from observing the most-recent color-enhanced IR loop (the most recent available image shown here), one can see an explosion in the intensity of the inner eyewall convection.

Just prior to eyewall replacement, there was very little in the way of cloud tops -80 C or colder (gold), and even the area of cloud tops -70 C and colder (red) was not overly impressive by any stretch.

But! Upon completion of the supposed eyewall replacement cycle, the inner convection 'deepened' in dramatic fashion, with the -70 C tops (seen in red) spreading and fanning out tremendously, and a bright golden band of extremely cold tops of -80 sprouted up, forming a nearly continuous ring, firmly establishing the very potent Cat. 4-class eyewall now in dramatic evidence.

It will be interesting to see what effects Hagupit has had in HK, and the even more severe destruction along the rugged coastline along it's path of landfall. Sorry to say, but I think Severe Hagupit will be one for the history books that people will long remember.

More later when I can find the time.

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Verified CFHC User

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      #85200 - Thu Sep 25 2008 03:44 PM

Here's a video of Hagupit. Lots of people out trying to commute in harsh conditions:

Edited by xxflcyclonexx (Thu Sep 25 2008 03:48 PM)

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