Typhoon Kalmaegi hits the Philippines

Kalmaegi (known locally as “Luis”) crossed the Philippines yesterday, probably causing tens of millions of USD in impacts:

Next up will be China and Vietnam.  The storm isn’t likely to strengthen as much as yesterday’s forecast indicated as it is moving faster than predicted, but damages in Asia will likely top $500 Million in all.  As in the Philippines, flooding is likely to be the biggest threat.

Philippines Mexico hurricane landfalls next two days

Typhoon Kalmaegi is making landfall in the northern Philippines today, and may have already caused a disaster by contributing to the sinking of a ferry.   Ferries in the PI are notorious for being overcrowded and poorly maintained, and the large waves and strong currents on the fringe of the storm probably didn’t help.  Here is the present position (Sunday Morning US time) and forecast track/intensity:

After the Philippines, the storm is expected to gain strength over the South China Sea, then make landfall in China.  If this track/intensity (from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center) holds up, my Istanu model is forecasting around $100 Million in impacts in the Philippines, and over $1 Billion in impacts in China, with additional impacts in Vietnam, where the decaying storm is likely to drop a lot of rain in the North.

On the other side of the Pacific, Hurricane Odile, a powerful 115 knot (132mph, 212 kph) storm, is forecast to strengthen and just skirt the coast of Baja California.  If this track and intensity holds it could cause considerable damage along the coast – over $600 Million on this track:

The Big Picture, 9 Sept

Just a few weak tropical systems today, Fengshen (off of Honshu) is the strongest at 55 knots but should stay just short of hurricane force as it rapidly passes offshore Japan.  Of the two investigation areas off of Africa, the second one has some potential to develop in the 3 to 5 day range, and the area off the south coast of Mexico will probably be declared a depression in the next day or so.  Here’s an overview, a composite of five geosynchronous satellite images this morning (the black triangle over the pole is because geosynchronous satellites, which hover 23 thousand miles over the equator, can’t see the poles.


Why is the Atlantic so quiet?

We are in the middle of the Atlantic Hurricane season, but not much is going on.  This is a water vapor band image from this morning:

The red areas are dry, the blue areas are wet.  The blue blob in the upper right corner is AL90, an “invest” area that will probably not develop (NHC gives it a 10% chance).  See the red swath between it and the Caribbean and US?  That is very dry air.  It will literally suck the life out of the system and kill off any chance of development.  This time of year the powerful “Cape Verde” storms that come off the coast of Africa just don’t have much of a chance to develop with all that dry air out there.  The Caribbean is “wet” enough for storm to form, but surface pressures are high (you need a low for a storm), and conditions are not otherwise favorable.

Relatively quiet

On the major natural disaster front, although lots of smaller scale stuff going on.  Hurricane Norbert is brushing the coast of Mexico, and its remnants may cause some flooding and problems later in the week.  Couple of invest areas in the west Pacific, one in the Atlantic, a few small earthquakes here and there.  I’m taking the opportunity to do some software upgrades and tests, which means something big is likely to happen any second now . . . you can keep up with the real time feed here.

Tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico

Named Dolly (AL052014 is the formal ID), it shouldn’t cause too much trouble.  It is headed towards the central Mexican coast.  The biggest issue is likely to be flash flooding as the storm moves inland.  We didn’t show any significant impacts on the PEMEX (the Mexican national oil company) operations in the Gulf, or forecast any impact of US offshore production, although two of the PEMEX oil export terminals have been closed due to the storm.  They should reopen in a day or so, with very minimal if any damage.  Supplies are in good shape so this short term disruption should not cause any real price fluctuations.


Invest in GOMEX; World Watch

There is a tropical low just off the coast of Texas, with winds just below tropical depression strength.  Here’s this morning’s satellite image and a few tracks:al98_thu

Mostly just a rain and gust wind thing for south Texas/North Mexico coasts.  Otherwise just watching Cristobal (which is now headed back towards Iceland and a possible Hurricano!) and the Bárðarbunga volcano.

Nice overview of Bárðarbunga Volcano

The Icelandic Met Service (which monitors their volcanos) has a very nice overview of their volcanic systems here.

For a while yesterday it looked like Hurricane Cristobal would reach Iceland as an intact system, although it is veering south now.  If so we might have had a Hurricano, or Volicane.  Either way, I claim these two names, so if SyFy wants to do a cheesy movie, they got to talk to me first!  Interestingly, there is a (small) correlation between earthquakes and hurricanes (Hurriquakes – again, I claim this name).  The storm surge, pressure differences, and lubrication from rain infiltration can cause differential stresses on faults that sometimes trigger quakes.  It is thought by some that the great quake in Jamaica that destroyed the pirate haven of Port Royal might have been triggered by a bypassing storm.

Update on Napa California EQ Estimates

After crunching the numbers a bit more the models seem to be settling down to a total impact number of around $4 Billion.  The big question many have is how much of that will be covered by insurance.  One modeling firm (EQECAT) is saying $0.5 to $1 Billion. My estimates for insured losses are now hovering in the $1.5 Billion range, but that includes more business interruption, tourism, and inventory impacts than I suspect EQECAT included.

So just how bad was this event?  Well, if it was your house or business that was damaged, pretty bad.  But from the perspective of the state of California, and even the SF Bay Area, this was not a major event.  If the $4 Billion impact number holds up, that is less than 1% of the GDP of the Bay Area, and only 0.2% of the GDP of the state as a whole, so while not minimizing the impact this had on the people harmed by the event, it is a local, rather than even a regional or national event from an economics perspective.

A few articles are surfacing that quote KAC such as Bloomberg Business News (shameless plug: KAC provides data to them so it’s a great subscription).  Did several other interviews today.