Thursday, November 7, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) - Amateur Radio, Shortwave, and Other Pertinent News

Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, photo courtesy of ABC News

Max Sustained Winds: 195MPH with gusts to 235MPH

Category: 5

Eye measurements: 338 Kilometers (211 Miles)

U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center Information:

"The strongest tropical cyclone in the world this year. Cyclone Phailin, which hit eastern India on Oct. 12, packed sustained winds of up to 222 kph (138 mph) and stronger gusts."

Warning Text

Warning Graphic

Prognostic Reasonong

JMV 3.0 Data

Google Earth Graphic Overlay

Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery

Satellite Fix Bulletin

Typhoon Activity / Travel Path Prediction:  Not expected to directly hit Manila further north. The lowest alert in a four-level typhoon warning system was issued in the flood-prone capital area, meaning it could experience winds of up to 60 kph (37 mph) and rain.

All of the above information gleaned from the Associated Press. Full story here 

Meterologist Tom Skilling posted these images from CIMSS  (Cooperative Institute for Meterorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Skilling went on to say: "There's just been a satellite estimate that Super Typhoon Haiyan's central pressure has reached 858 mb (25.34"). If true, that would make it the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded. Stay tuned on that! Meantime--check out another satellite perspective on the storm from CIMSS at the Univ of Wisconsin in Madison. Typhoon Bopha, which struck the southern Phillipine island of Mindanao in December 2012 resulted in 1,900 deaths--so Haiyan represents a devastating threat to the region."

Here is video from the NOAA posted by WestPacWx on November 6th, 2013


The American Radio Relay League released a news report that said MARS operators have recently performed and successfully finished a simulated event involving total loss of all communications including internet. Part of that statement said this: "During the final day of the exercise, MARS members also acted on a real-world request from DoD to be prepared to monitor International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) emergency frequencies as Typhoon Haiyan appeared poised to develop into a category 5 storm and strike the Philippines."

The Hurricane VOIP net is currently NOT activated, even though doing so could be extremely helpful as an act of humanitarian international good will.

Shortwave America is covering this live as news and other pertinent information continues to come in. National Geographic has this coverage.

Korean Coms-1 Satellite imagery

New statement from Tom Skilling: "All communications have ceased"  

Super-Typhoon Haiyan appears to have made a historic landfall in the Phillipines. It's hit an area devastated only a month ago by a 7.1 earthquake which cost 222 lives and displaced 350,000 residents. Storm damage in the areas hardest hit along the path of Haiyan (the storm's been named Yolanda in the Phillipines) is likely to be catastrophic. There's strong evidence its sustained winds at the time of landfall fell in the 190 to 195 mph range, which if true, have eclipsed the 190 mph winds which accompanied Hurricane Camille into the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969. Sustained 96 mph winds were reported at Guiuan--near the point of landfall--in the hour before the storm came on shore. All communication from that area has since ceased. A 17 ft storm surge was predicted to accompany the super typhoon, most of which has an elevation of less than 10 ft. above sea level. The storm came moved onto the coast there at 2:40pm Chicago time (4:40am local Phillipine time). There were no hurricane hunter planes in the system at the time but meteorologists employ techniques involving satellite imagery referred to as the Dvorak method to estimate storm parameters, including wind intensity and central pressure. NOAA satellite meteorologists at one point Thursday afternoon estimated a central pressure of 858 mb (25.34"). While a post-storm evaluation of that reading will be conducted and thoroughly vetted, the pressure reading--if followed--is lower than any recorded in a tropical cyclone on the planet. Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, whose analyses of tropical cyclones are always stunningly well done, feels Super Typhoon Haiyan's central pressure ranks it among the top tropical cyclones of all time and that it will be found to have generated a pressure close to the lowest ever recorded--870 mb (25.69") in Super Typhoon Kip in the western Pacific on October 12, 1979. He notes that a pressure estimate by the Japanese Meteorological Agency of 895 mb (26.43") just before landfall would mean that by that measure, Super Typhoon Haiyan is the 12th strongest tropical cyclone on earth.

Update from the Malaysian Amateur Radio League:

Please note:
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan being hit Philippines, the Phillipines Amateur Radio Association (ITS) has allocated frequencies and frequency 2m 40m 7.095MHz 144.740MHz as Emergency Line. Amateur radio stations especially in the East Coast and North Sulawesi asked to monitor the 2m band especially 144.740MHz for emergency calls. Please QSP at the transmitter over if they receive any emergency calls from abroad, so that the senior partners can convey information to the relevant agencies.