Even more earthquakes in Iran

A weird cluster of earthquakes in western Iran, near Dehloran:
cluster

One of them last night (Iran time) was a significant 6.2, probably upwards of $50 Million in damage.  There have at least 10 earthquakes clustered in this area, and a couple more nearby.  Given the focus on the Iranian nuclear program, and the vulnerability of many of their sites to seismic damage, this is worth keeping an eye on.

Typhoon Halong and Japan in 3 days

Typhoon Halong is decaying slowly, but should be a respectable 75kt typhoon when it makes landfall on Japan in 3 days.  According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast landfall will be directly on the central island of Shikoku.  Here is the wind swath using my Taru model and the JTWC track:
halong

On that track and intensity the storm would cause upwards of $1 Billion in impacts. The forecast isn’t unanimous, however.  The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast takes the storm towards Kyushu, with roughly the same intensity at landfall.  The HWRF and JMAE objective models also show a jog to the left and landfall on Kyushu:
halong_tks

We should know which way the storm is going by tomorrow.

Double tap on Hawai’i?

The decaying Hurricane Iselle should be making landfall on the big island of Hawai’i in just under two days.  By then it should be a tropical storm, and impacts are forecast to be in the $10 to $20 Million range.  Here’s the forecast wind swath, using my Taru model and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast track and intensity:
iselle

Next up is Hurricane Julio, which is about five days out.  It is forecast to pass north of the islands, and impacts should be light if that track holds up:
julio

Having two or more hits in the same general area is not at all unusual.  Statistically, if you are hit by a hurricane or tropical storm, there is a one in four chance you will be hit by another tropical system that same year.  Why is that?  Hurricanes are “steered” by middle and upper level winds.  While these winds vary from day to day, they tend to follow a pattern in a given year due to the interactions of various climate cycles like the El Nino/Southern Oscillation, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, and others.  So the pattern that steered one storm over you tends to push any others storms that form in that same are later in the year over similar tracks.  On the plus side, when a storm passes over the ocean it cools the water, both by rain and by churning up deeper, cooler water.  So if the second storm passes too close behind the first, before the ocean has a chance to reset, the second storm will tend to be weaker because the ocean will not have as much energy to feed it.

Bertha no big deal; Halong potential threat to Japan

Bertha continues to head north off the coast of the US, having passed over Puerto Rico causing minimal impacts (some power outages and minor damage; the rain was welcome due to an ongoing drought).  The Turks and Caicos and Bahamas seemed to have weathered this minor storm well. It should miss both the US and Bermuda:
bertha_4aug

On the other side of the world, keeping an eye on Supertyphoon Halong, which may hit the southern islands of Japan in 4-5 days.  It should be much weaker by then but could cause significant damage if it does not weaken as much as forecast (and intensity forecasts have been off this year):
WP112014_fcstmap