Archive | February 2014

Featured Storm – Super Typhoon Fengshen (2002)

Origin and Track of Typhoon Fengshen

Origin and Track of Typhoon Fengshen

Typhoon Fengshen was the strongest storm of the 2002 Pacific typhoon season. It developed on July 13 near the Marshall Islands and rapidly intensified due to its small size. Fengshen went from being a tropical depression to a cyclone in only 6 hours. By July 15, Fengshen was given typhoon status, and after initially moving to the north, it turned toward the northwest. On July 18, the typhoon reached its peak intensity of 185 km/h (115 mph), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency; the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) estimated peak winds of 270 km/h (165 mph). Disparities like this between agencies are the driving force behind the creation/purpose of  Cyclone Center, and with your help these dissimilarities can be smoothed out. Your classifications are important to us, so we ask that you please take a moment and provide your input on Typhoon Fengshen to help us determine its peak winds.

Typhoons Fengshen (north) and Fung-Wong

Typhoons Fengshen (north) and Fung-Wong (south) undergo the Fujiwhara effect

The JTWC estimated that Fengshen was a super typhoon for five days, which broke the record for longest duration at that intensity. This record would later be tied by Typhoon Ioke in 2006. While approaching peak intensity, Typhoon Fengshen underwent the Fujiwhara effect with Typhoon Fung-wong, causing the latter storm to loop to its south. The Fujiwhara effect is when two nearby cyclonic vortices orbit each other and close the distance between the circulations of their corresponding low-pressure areas. Interaction of smaller circulations can cause the development of a larger cyclone, or cause two cyclones to merge into one.

Fengshen gradually weakened while approaching Japan, and it crossed over the country’s Ōsumi Islands on July 25 as a severe tropical storm. The typhoon swept a freighter ashore, killing four of the 19 crew members aboard. In Japan, Fengshen dropped heavy rainfall that caused mudslides and left $4 million (¥475 million Japanese Yen) in crop damage. After affecting Japan, Fengshen weakened in the Yellow Sea to a tropical depression, before moving across China’s Shandong Peninsula and dissipating on July 28. The typhoon produced strong winds and heavy rain in Japan. A station in Miyazaki Prefecture reported the highest rainfall in Japan with a total of 717 mm (28.2 in). Most of the precipitation fell in a 24 hour period, and the heaviest 1 hour total was 52 mm (2.0 in) in Taira, Toyama. The remnants of Fengshen produced heavy rainfall in northeastern China. The storm affected the capital city of Beijing, becoming the first storm to produce significant impact there since Typhoon Rita in 1972.

– Kyle Gayan is an undergraduate student in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and is also a retired USAF Master Sergeant; his 20 years of service was spent exclusively in the weather career field. He recently joined the Cyclone Center team as a classifier and contributor to our social media.


CycloneCenter Participation for January 2014

January saw more classifications than December, largely due to a resurgence of active classifiers. This month, baha23 stepped up and accomplished a whopping 3000+ classifications to lead the pack by a wide margin. There were also some surprises in the active user list. In September 2012, Atomic7732 was our top classifier in our first month, but had been relatively quiet since. In January, Atomic7732 returned to cyclone center and barely missed the top 10 by only 4 classifications!

January also saw four first-time top tenners: jasony23, sfrudy, user:”205400″, and Gemmabeta. Congratulations to all of you.

Also, for the monthly leaders, baha23 moved into 2nd place having been the monthly leader 3 times. baha23 is only 1 month behind bretarn, who has 4 months atop the monthly leader board.

We are grateful to both our longtime consistent scientists – like baha23 and bretarn – and are also very excited about new scientists like sfrudy and Gemmabeta.

For January 2014, we had 10,523 classifications of 87 storms from 651 citizen scientists.

Top 10 most active citizen scientists for January 2014.

Classifications Scientist
3064 baha23
712 bretarn
305 velthove
196 peterthorne
193 tdw1203
169 sfrudy
165 205400
135 Gemmabeta
129 jasony23
118  Atms345_KJD

Most active citizen scientists each month.




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Most active citizen scientists overall.

Classifications Scientist
20767  bretarn
10227  shocko61
9536  baha23
5006  astroboyOW
3988  chrisotahal
3876  peterthorne
3426  cch001
3122  tpatch
2574  velthove
1879  tdw1203

Thanks for making a success! I hope to see your user ID here next month!