Saturday, October 12, 2013

Phailin Made Landfall as a Category-4 Tropical Cyclone; Onshore Hurricane-Force Winds Still Generating a Massive Surge

Tropical Cyclone Phalin made landfall on Oct 12 around 1330 UTC, or about 1900 local time. A wind profile produced by NOAA at 1200 UTC, just before landfall, placed the maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall around 122 knots, or 140 MPH, which made the storm a category-4 tropical cyclone at landfall.

A NOAA wind profile map indicates Phailin was a category-4 tropical cyclone just before landfall. Source:

Although the center of circulation is now over land, the storm continues to generate hurricane-force winds that are blowing onshore to the east of the circulation center. This is certainly continuing to pile up storm surge along the coast near and to the east of Gopalpur. Storm surge inundation often lasts for many hours, especially if strong onshore winds persist.

The map below depicts wind profiles as of 1800 UTC. The contour lines show wind speed in knots. The area shaded in yellow contains wind speeds of greater than 35 knots, or approximately 40 MPH (tropical storm strength), while the area within the 65-knot contour is essentially experiencing hurricane force winds in excess of approximately 74 MPH.

As of 1800 UTC, Phalin's center of circulation is inland, but hurricane-force winds continue to blow onshore, perpetuating coastal flooding east of Gopalpur. Source:

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