This thread is about Typhoon #INFA, a storm the likes of which the world has never seen before. Enduring, unpredictable, astonishingly wet, massive, slow moving, and never alone.

And 13 days after designation as a storm, #INFA is far from finished in its journey of destruction
My coverage of #INFA began on 14th July after it had formed into a visible and formidable storm, albeit not yet a Typhoon. But by then weather models already showed it was a significant threat.

Not simply as a storm but as a broader weather pattern.
The area in which the storm was expected to form showed up in the models earlier. Here we see it on the 10th of July in the GFS MLSP forecast. But it was probably there even earlier.
By July18th #INFA #Fabian was a big storm. This was the day after the enormity of the German Belgium flooding event had become clear and I was wondering what might come next.
#INFA was named that evening. And although already huge wasn't yet a typhoon.
And In-fa was not alone either. Another tropical storm #Cempaka was nearby, and it was the interaction between #INFA and #Cempaka over the following days that made In-fa what it became. Here you see the models prediction of what was about to happen.
But that is not what happened. What did happen took longer and #Cempaka - which became a rare midget typhoon shortly after this - proved to be a more resilient storm than expected.

And by July 18 models also showed #Nepartak heading to the Olympics.
By July 19th this predicted interaction became apparent. #INFA started carving off #Cempaka's outflow and building a huge gyre, which would eventually give birth to #Nepartak, and which is currently nurturing a 2nd Olympics bound child storm.
The official JTWC portraits of #Cempaka and #Infa from 19th July show how tiny and nuggety #Cempaka is compared to her big sister.
Here we see the pair of storm the following day and #Cempaka had by then strengthened to typhoon strength. With the benefit of hindsight it appears that #INFA's influence held her back and she remained stationary for a long time lashing HK.
Here are the official forecasts from the following day July 21st. #Infa was forecast to make landfall on the 25th of July by then, which turned out to be not far from right, both in location and time.
And here are some more high-resolution portraits of the #Cempaka and #Infa found on @NASA's amazing Worldview service.

By now #Cempaka was being seriously destructive, but #INFA was still out in the Philippines Sea being tracked as #FabianPH.
And by now #INFA's tail gyre was getting huge, shown here as pictured in @zoom_earth and #Meteoblue live data satellite imagery.
When measure with her gyre, #INFA was now the size of Australia, #Nepartak was about to form, and #Infa was still a few days from landfall.
By then I was closely watching what would happen after #INFA made landfall and did not at all like the look of what I could see. #INFA's tail appeared to be sticky, unlikely to disperse to the east and was forecast to continue to batter Japan.
The following day my update was rather gloomy. The full thread is here.
But what I was particularly worried about was this GFS PWAT forecast. This turned out to be wrong. Soon after GFS aligned with the consensus view on a Shanghai landfall, but the actual landfall currently underway is, I suspect, worse than either scenario.
On July 23rd the long predicted #3rdStorm was designated by the JTWC, and soon after named #Nepartak, although it took a while for her to become visible as a storm.
This animation is I think the only one I have of all three storms simultaneously live under JTWC monitoring.
Over the previous 3 days INFA slowed and grew larger - and during this period she was remotely controlling the weather over a huge area from Vietnam to Japan and the Phillipines to Zhengzhou City, Henan province.
Here's the thread from July 24th, which includes this picture from @NASA of #INFA on the morning of the 24th. providing a glimpse of the scale.
This animation shows #INFA over 24 hours from midnight on the 24th to midnight on the 25th.
And that is when the really heavy widespread rain over mainland China began.
By then #INFA was technically not a particularly strong cyclone. Cat 2 in Hurricane terms. And she [Note: In-fa is a male and female name] didn't have a big coherent eye as this sequence of photos shows.

This is because her wind field was sucking in huge quantities of dry air.
Here's another view of #INFA as her eye made landfall just south of Shanghai on the morning of 25 July.
And here we see the beginning of why #INFA is truly different. from any great cyclone that I have seen before. She did not break up once over the land. This shows her first 12 hours after landfall.
My thread from the 26th didn't focus on #INFA in any detail, but instead looked at a broader picture. On the 24th and 25th of July there were massive floods all over the planet, so I decided to take a broader view but starting with #INFA and #Nepartak.
Here is the forecast from the 26th, which shows a new 3rd storm, #INFA's second child forming.
Here's the next 24 hours, to midnight on the 26th. and as you can see #INFA didn't move very far. During this period the rainfall data feed to @zoom_earth appears to have been turned off.
And the next 24 hours after that, to midnight on the 27th. by the end of this sequence most of INFA has been over land for 72 hours, and yet it still looks like a fully functional super storm.
This graphic allows you to see what the official recordings of strength look like through this period of time. (Times shown here are my local time UTC+2 so you need to add 4 hours to get to local time - I think :).
And then here's the latest 24 hours till this evening. #INFA is now moving faster, and that seems to have resulted in heavier rain. And the yellow tail of rain you see there over Jiangsu looks eerily similar, but a lot worse, to what occurred in Henan province a week ago.
Meanwhile now we also have another new #3rdStorm in the area, it was designated by JTWC yesterday, and hasn't yet got a name. And it is ultimately heading towards southern Japan according to the models.
For now it's backtracking along the path that #INFA took five days ago.

And if you like the imagery you see in this thread, you can observe the rest of this drama live at @zoom_earth here >>…
And in the meantime I will be sending my thoughts and prayers to the 100s of millions of people who either have been under, are currently under, or are in the path ahead of #INFA over the next two days.

Stay safe China.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Alastair Thompson

Alastair Thompson Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @althecat

28 Jul
Notwithstanding #Olympics2021 or perhaps because of it, in relation to the clear breach of the solemn tradition of the Olympics Truce, the TPLF invasion of Ethiopia ought to be taken before the UNSC immediately.
This is a matter that has already been discussed by the UNSC as a humanitarian crisis. It is now rapidly escalating out of control as a security crisis. International news cover of the #Olympics2021 is being used by the aggressor, TPLF for its military offensive.
A UN @WFP humanitarian convoy has been attacked, and Ethiopia's unilateral ceasefire, entered into at the request of the IC, (UN, G7, EU and US), has been ignored. Ethiopian people, in isolated communities, face consequential threats from the TPLF on multiple fronts.
Read 4 tweets
28 Jul
It is conspicuous how public TPLF are being about their alleged conquests en-route to Gonder and Addis, now Debark and Weldiya. All this is clearly intended to cast fear among the people of Ethiopia.

But it could also be a diversionary tactic.
Similarly the latest disturbance in the Somali region, while technically not the TPLF, the timing of the occupation of the road and railway line by youths (foreshadowed by TPLF social media comms @RabdiAnalyst, seems designed to be an additional distraction.
With 3 armed columns moving deeper into Amhara/Ethiopia on different fronts TPLF forces are split up. There is as yet no record of the strength of these columns but absent intelligence as to their strength dealing with them will be stretching Ethiopia's defensive capacity also.
Read 8 tweets
28 Jul
Before we all get too excited about this new website, its important to scrutinize it at little.

Sometimes things are too good to be true, and this is conspiracy laden content. There are also lots of alarm bells around it. The site is brand new.
It is also anonymous. It is exclusively focused on Ethiopia, and it is very professionally executed. These things are all red flags. Especially when taken together.

The website is three weeks old and has only 7 posts.

I like it. But I think it needs to be checked out.
The site has two twitter accounts:


The second one seems to be a lot more active and looks like a good place to start looking for clues about who is behind this.
Read 7 tweets
27 Jul
Ok. So here's some more content that you probably won't want to see... but again its interesting as it reveals I think the TPLF current thinking.

Matt Bryden is a "senior strategic advisor" and director at Sahan, a private intel firm which works on Horn issues.
In a former life Canadian Bryden worked for the UN. But was sacked in 2012 for "lack of professionalism and political bias .... severely undermining the credibility of the United Nations."…
At SAHAN Bryden works with @RAbdiAnalyst_ who was appointed to run social media for SAHAN, with a "team of young dedicare (sic.) analysts trained in social media monitoring, targeting, grooming and exploitation."

I.E. Social media psy-ops. Which explains a lot.
Read 40 tweets
27 Jul
This new publication on a U.S. publication which services Homeland Security communities, Central Govt., State and corporate provides a glimpse behind the curtain WRT US security interests views on the Tigray War.

Warning: Might be triggering....…
The authors are certainly qualified:
Hafsa Mohamed: Bio…
& Mohamed Ahmed
At this link you can see who has tweeted the link. The article is relatively new and so has not yet been picked up in a significant way by the TPLF community.…
Read 12 tweets
26 Jul
A global weather surveillance thread.

We begin in the West Pacific where Typhoon #INFA is now over China bringing rain to 100s of millions.
Here's a closeup of #INFA over the past 12 hours rain bands have now reached the already flooded Henan province.
Some early coverage of the impact here:…

Including more harrowing video of flooding.
Read 18 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!