4. Super Typhoon NIDA (Dindo/04w)            Print this Article
>> May 13-22, 2004

Nida: contributed by Thailand, is a Thai feminine name.


Super Typhoon Nida occurred in conjunction with two other tropical cyclones, Tropical Storm 05W and Typhoon Omais, and was by far the strongest of the three. This multiple storm outbreak, the first of the year, required JTWC to issue warnings on three storms simultaneously in the Western North Pacific. Nida, the second super typhoon of 2004, paralleled the coast of the eastern Philippines, causing extensive damage, flooding and loss of life.

Storm Origins

On 12 May an area of convection persisted within an active monsoon trough approximately 220 nm southwest of Palau. QuikScat, microwave and multi-spectral imagery all showed a weak LLCC near the suspect area. An upper-level analysis showed a favourable environment for tropical cyclone formation with good diffluence aloft and weak vertical wind shear. The suspect area was judged to have a poor potential for development by JTWC at 0000 UTC, 12 May, but this was upgraded to fair at 13/0600 UTC as the system's broad LLCC consolidated under the cycling deep convection. Development continued and a TCFA was issued at 13/1200 UTC, and was followed at 1500 UTC by the first warning on Tropical Depression 04W.

Synoptic History

At 13/1200 UTC Tropical Depression 04W formed 190 nm east of Palau, and at the time was moving slowly westward at 3 kts. The MSW was 25 kts near the centre as indicated by a QuikScat pass. This, combined with enhanced infrared satellite time-lapse imagery, showed further organization of the deep convection over the LLCC. Rapid intensification was a characteristic feature of this storm. It only took five warnings (or 30 hours) for this system to attain minimal typhoon status. TD-04W became a 50-kt tropical storm at 0000 UTC, 14 May, while located 175 nm west-southwest of Palau (the centre had been relocated six hours earlier.) JMA assigned the international name Nida as soon as they raised the 10-min average winds to 40 kts at 14/0600 UTC. (PAGASA had already dubbed the cyclone Dindo by this time.) Turning northwestward, Nida became a 65-kt typhoon at 14/1200 UTC with 37 GHz microwave imagery revealing a developing eye; however, this feature was still not evident in enhanced infrared satellite imagery.

At 15/0000 UTC Typhoon Nida was tracking west-northwestward at 6 kts some 600 nm east-southeast of Manila, Philippines. After a brief hiatus, further strengthening occurred and at 15/1800 UTC the MSW had reached major typhoon intensity, i.e. 100 kts. Equatorward outflow was excellent and Nida was receiving a boost from an upper-level LOW situated to the northeast. A mid-level ridge to the north was guiding the typhoon north- westward and was expected to continue to do so for the next 48 hours. Thereafter, a longwave trough was forecast to weaken the ridge and shift the track poleward.

Continuing on its northwestward journey, Typhoon Nida reached a position 420 nm southeast of Manila at 0000 UTC on 16 May with a MSW of 115 kts. Six hours later, Nida was upgraded to a super typhoon and ultimately reached a peak intensity of 140 kts at 16/1200 UTC. At its strongest, Nida's outer 35-kt winds extended no more than 150 nm on the eastern side. The wind profile on the western side was smaller with gales extending no more than 110 nm from the centre. The radii of 50-kt and 100-kt winds around the center were estimated at 60 nm and 25 nm, respectively, making Nida an average-sized typhoon. Microwave imagery at 16/1102 UTC showed a well-defined 25-nm eye with banding features. The MSW fell back to 130 kts as the eye passed over Catanduanes Island, Philippines, around 17/0000 UTC.

After passing over Catanduanes Nida began to turn more to the north. This was confirmed after the typhoon had made a small stair-step wobble at 17/0600 UTC, the eye being located approximately 180 nm east-northeast of Manila. Super Typhoon Nida had undergone a modest re-intensification phase, resulting in an increase in the MSW to 135 kts. Slow weakening began at 17/1800 UTC as Nida pushed north through the ridge axis.

At 0000 UTC on 18 May Super Typhoon Nida was moving northward at a slower pace some 610 nm south-southwest of Kadena AB, Okinawa. The MSW was still at super typhoon strength and 130 kt-winds were maintained for another six hours. The storm still looked impressive with a well- defined, symmetrical eye and sustained deep convection as seen on multi- spectral imagery. Diffluence was excellent, aided by a migratory trough to the west. Weakening began in earnest at 18/1200 UTC and Nida was downgraded from super typhoon intensity. Animated infrared satellite imagery revealed a cloud-filled eye and a decrease in deep convection. The western portion of the eyewall was degraded as recurvature was completed at 1800 UTC with Nida turning toward the northeast.

Typhoon Nida was accelerating northeastward at 19/0000 UTC with winds falling below 100 kts by 1200 UTC. The storm at that time was located approximately 220 nm south-southwest of Okinawa. Six hours later, the system began to interact with the baroclinic system over Japan, the overall appearance becoming elongated as a result. Turning east- northeastward, Nida had accelerated to around 20 kts while further weakening to 80 kts by 20/0000 UTC. This intensity was maintained through the 20th while the forward speed increased to roughly 30 kts. Nida was downgraded to a tropical storm at 1800 UTC while located 290 nm south of Tokyo, Japan, and sprinting at nearly 40 kts. Extratropical transition was complete by 21/0600 UTC and JTWC ended warning coverage at this time. The MSW was estimated at 45 kts on this final warning which placed the center approximately 300 nm east-southeast of Misawa, Japan. JMA continued to track the extratropical storm through 22/1200 UTC as it slowly weakened over waters well to the east of northern Japan.

The estimated minimum CP by JMA during Nida's lifetime was 935 hPa. JMA, PAGASA and the CWB of Taiwan estimated Nida's peak 10-min avg MSW at 90 kts, whereas NMCC and HKO estimated the peak winds at 110 kts. A sustained 10-min avg wind of 101 kts was recorded at Virac in the Philippines as the typhoon crossed Catanduanes Island. (See the following section.)

Meteorological Observations

The following are rainfall reports, forwarded by both Huang Chunliang and Michael Padua. Many thanks to both these gentlemen for their help.

Station WMO Rainfall Period Name Code Coordinates Alt(m) (mm) (Times=UTC) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Catarman 98546 12.5 N 124.6 E 7 231.5 16/0000-17/0000 Virac 98446 13.6 N 124.2 E 40 224.0 16/0000-17/0000 Masbate 98543 12.4 N 123.6 E 6 196.8 16/0000-17/0000 Catbalogan 98548 11.8 N 124.9 E 5 141.1 16/0000-17/0000 Borongan 98553 11.6 N 125.4 E 3 117.9 16/0000-17/0000 Legazpi 98444 13.1 N 123.7 E 17 116.3 16/0000-17/0000 Masbate 98446 12.4 N 123.6 E 6 167.4 17/0000-18/0000 San Jose 98531 12.4 N 121.0 E 3 155.8 17/0000-18/0000 Legazpi 98444 13.1 N 123.7 E 17 107.2 17/0000-18/0000 Dagupan 98325 16.1 N 120.3 E 2 104.6 17/0000-18/0000 Iba 98324 15.3 N 120.0 E 5 104.2 19/0000-20/0000

The following are 41-hour accumulated rainfall totals recorded in Camarines Sur, Philippines:

Camaligan/Naga City - 150 mm
Ombao - 270 mm
Bato - 209 mm
Buhi - 152 mm

Minamidaitojima (WMO 47945, 25.83N/131.23E, Alt 15 m) recorded a wind gust of 62 kts at 19/2203 UTC. The station's minimum SLP of 972.9 hPa was measured at 20/0016 UTC. The maximum 10-min avg wind of 38 kts was recorded at 20/0010 UTC, and the peak gust, measured around the same time, was 67 kts. The storm total rainfall, recorded between 19/1500 and 20/1500 UTC, was 71.0 mm, and a peak hourly rainfall of 32.0 mm was measured between 2249 and 2349 UTC on the 19th.

The Virac weather station on Catanduanes Island (WMO 98446) recorded the following SLP readings and 10-min avg winds at the indicated hours on 17 May:

Time (UTC) SLP (hPa) 10-min Avg Winds (kts) Direction -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17/1900 970.5 79 N 17/2000 969.6 87 NNW 17/2100 967.0 87 WNW 17/2200 965.8 101 W

Note: The elevation of the Virac weather station is 39 metres.

Damage and Casualties

Media reports indicate that twenty people were killed and up to eight injured in typhoon-induced incidents. Ten persons are still reported missing at the time of this writing. Five lives were lost when the M/B St. Martin (a motorized banca) foundered in heavy seas just 2 km off Pilar port, Camotes Island. Four additional persons are still unaccounted for.

Evacuation centers were opened to accommodate up to 634 families (2,986 persons) while ferry cancellations left 15,057 passengers stranded.

At the time of this writing, the total damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and property is estimated at 263 million pesos (latest figure by OCDR-5). A total of 5,938 homes were damaged and 4,071 completely destroyed. A tornado caused P3,670,000 worth of damage in Guimba, Nueva Ecija. One official estimated damage to agriculture at P33 million.

(Report written by Kevin Boyle)

Source: Gary Padgett's Monthly Tropical Cyclone Summary - May 2004

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