Archive | March, 2012

Tropical Storm 02W/PAKHAR Barreling Through Ho Chi Minh City’s Eastern Coast

By: Weatherguy Adonis

Adonis S. Manzan

Dangerous Weather Approaching Ho Chi Minh City, Alerts Up Along Coastal Community

Iloilo City, Philippines, 30 March 2012, (0602Z)–As the world woke up on this side of the Pacific yesterday, the prevailing ripe atmospheric conditions aided the slow but steady intensification phase of Tropical Depression “02W/PAKHAR” which later that morning, the mean winds has already been increasingly steady at 75 km/hr (40 kts) for the last 24 hrs it has been feeding on temperate waters off the highly tense and disputed “Spratlys archipelago,” a couple of kilometers West of Philippine Island of Palawan, dubbed, “Kalayaan Island Group.”

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has long been consistent on its forecast track that the building “Subtropical Ridge, ” a steering environment to the North of the system that could pose a potential for a Westerly track, but since the “Stationary Front” that has persisted along the Eastern coast of Luzon, Philippines since Saturday, 24 March 2012 and combined with the effects of a surging La Niña-enhanced Northeast Monsoon, a.k.a “Amihan” has paved the way for further development of Tropical Disturbance “96W,” based on record, one of the most “Tenacious” tropical system this side of the world has seen at this earnest.

Fig. 1.0 "A Colour Sat Imagery of the Western Pacific Region, depicting a developing Tropical Storm off the South China Sea. Image Credit: NOAA."

I do not speculate that “Climate Change” is the culprit as yet, as current weather systems that contribute to the persistent “La Niña Event,” has eventually weakened as per climatic variations provided for by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) the past 2-year cycle since last part of 2010 and through 2012.  Experts in Meteorology have somewhat confirmed and made a consensus that the “La Niña Event,” though weaker, has yet to be felt as to its ongoing influence to the Central Pacific Basin’s erratic weather patterns through the end of the Third Quarter of this year.

Hanoi Readies Its Citizenry, Warns Of Approaching Storm

The government of Viet Nam in Ha Noi has already issued an order for initial evacuation along the Eastern and Southern coastal communities of Da Nang and Mekong Delta as torrents of falls should be expected in the coming hours.  

Tropical Storm “02W/PAKHAR,” according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting (NCHF), the system at the moment remains “Quasi-stationary,” precariously endangering the coast of Eastern edge of Ho Chi Minh City, where thousands of seafaring fisher folks ply the route to be cautioned on the approach of the first Tropical Cyclone to affect the region in the last 40 years before the month of April where storms are usually expected to form off the East China Sea.

Fig. 2.0 "JTWC TC Warnings issued at 00Z, 30 March 2012. Image Credit: JTWC."

Winds at the moment reach 100 km/hr and with higher gust, with barreling slow path of West to West-northwesterly track towards the coast.  Forecasters in the region have been quite surprised of the early onset of such Tropical system which normally starts mid-April on a normal year.

The Viet Nam Peoples’ Navy (VPN) has been reporting deteriorating weather conditions along the territorial waters around the Truong Sa, “Spratlys archipelago” and the coastal areas of Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan.

Viet Nam Registered Ships Anchored Safely As Storm Approaches

Eight (8) offshore vessels from the coastal province of Khanh Hoa are being instructed to drop their anchors in the safety of Islets bordering with Malaysia and let the storm safely pass through later tomorrow.

The Viet Namese Peoples’ Navy (VPN) has also reported that close to 1,700 offshore vessels had been ordered to seek safety in neighboring Islets as the storm dangerously intensify and remain anchored until it has move past within the next 2 days.

Fig. 3.0 "Early stages of detection--NASA AIRS has been on the lookout since the system, 96W has moved past over the Philippine archipelago on 19-24 March 2012. It stalled for about 2-3 days off the highly tense, disputed territorial waters off the West Philippine Sea, a.k.a. South China Sea that borders with Palawan's Kalayaan Island Group. Image Credit: NASA."

Meantime, in addition to this broadcast, the latest update I have been proof-reading, the system, “02W/PAKHAR”  is now a full-pledge Strong Category 1 Typhoon, almost a Category 2 System, with winds reaching 150 km/hr (80 kts), and gusts of up to 175 km/hr (95 kts), heading towards the Southeastern coast of Ho Chi Minh City at a very slow pace, where torrential rains could produce flooding and coastal surges could bring coastal erosion.  Higher elevations could expect landslides as the result of continuous rainfall in a certain period of time.

With this development, it should be clear enough that the system has undergone rapid intensification for the last 6-12 hrs now, the JTWC has been issuing a severe Tropical Cyclone Warning along the coast of Viet Nam to be on highest alert for high surf generated by the incoming outer rain bands of now Strong Category 1 Typhoon “02W/PAKHAR,” ever dangerously close to the shores.

More updates as it becomes available.

With data from NOAA, NASA, JTWC, JMA, HKO, and NRL Mry.

(Note: If you have queries, email me at or through–>

29-30 MAR 2012 Tropical Storm Pakhar Update & Visayas Tornado

Tropical Storm Pakhar continues to stir up the South China sea today. Already reports of flooding across Borneo and the Philippines

have been reported and even a Tornado confirmed in Visayas as inflow to the

Image produced by WX Caster Pat

storm swept across the area today. The following blurb is from a news agency in the area. (In Bacolod City noontime today: 5 cars were destroyed, couple of trees lining up along the streets laid to waste, business establishments damaged, near the Universtity of St. La Salle, 

Image of the Tornado in Bacolod City

23 injured, 1 was a baby girl. Tornado lasted for 10-mins..) These storms are expected to continue to occur in to Friday becoming severe at times as the instability of the area persist with Bakhar lingering over the Spartly Islands.

As the storm pushes West ever so slowly expect an increase in Rainfall over vietnam where flash floods and landslides will become a serious concern.  The image at the bottom is from Vietnam Meteorological

Agency and there current forecast for the storm.For more in depth discussion on this event also visit WestPacMETDiscussion on Facebook. Various updates and on the ground reports are continually fed in to this page.

Damage from the Visayas Tornado

TS Pakhar Update and 3-Day Philippines Forecast | March 29, 2012

TS Pakhar

Tropical Storm Pakhar was last located approximately 620km east southeast of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph gusting to 90kph. TS Pakhar is moving west northwestward at about 5kph. Due to the weak steering flow in the South China Sea, TS Pakhar is forecast to continue meandering over the ocean before making landfall into Central Vietnam by Sunday. Right now, conditions are marginally favorable for intensification.

Computer models are in good agreement and our forecast (map below) takes Pakhar near Nha Trang by Sunday afternoon as a strong Tropical Storm. As it moves inland, it will quickly lose strength and could dissipate as early as Monday over the Laos/Vietnam border.

Forecast for TS Pakhar (NOT OFFICIAL!); Satellite Image from NRLMRY

3-Day Philippines Forecast


Rains will continue for much of Central and Southern Luzon for today and tomorrow. As much as 100mm of rain could fall by tomorrow, on top of 100 to 150mm reported today across parts of the region. Most affected will be the Bicol Region as the shear line extends through these area. Some showers could also develop north into Baguio and nearby provinces. Rain here will linger for another 2 days.

Rains also affecting parts of Visayas with flooding and overflowing rivers being reported on the news. We expect the coverage of these showers to slowly lessen through tomorrow. However, chances for afternoon thunderstorms will remain throughout and places that could get prolonged rains are vulnerable with flooding and landslides. Eastern Visayas could also see more rains this weekend as a batch of showers is forecast to arrive from the east.

Mindanao will have relatively quieter weather compared to Luzon and Visayas. However, we are seeing some isolated thunderstorm across the region. These rains should not last long although they do have the capability to drop large amounts of rain in a small time frame. Fortunately, there really are no large rain makers for the next few days except for these on and off showers.

We’ll have our next update tomorrow. Stay safe everyone!

-WxCaster PAT

28-29 MAR Tropical Depression & Western Pacific Weather Update


A new tropical depression is spinning near the Spartly Islands bringing heavy rains to the region with the threat of flooding across

much of Borneo, Philippines, Malaysia and eventually in to Vietnam as we go in to later this week. Over 100mm has been reported in some areas displaying the potential of the heavy weather. (Click here to see the most recent significant totals)

Also check out Francis Update earlier today, for a more in-depth look at Malaysia and the warnings occurring there.

Meanwhile the westerlies stay dry for the most part with the exception of a cruising low moving away from Japan that brought some thunderstorm activity to the country today. A new developing stormsystem will be moving out of Central China. This will eventual push towards the eastern coast by the end of the week.

Below is the latest Details from JMA on the TD

Issued at 10:10 UTC, 28 March 2012

<Analyses at 28/09 UTC>
Center position N9°20′(9.3°)
Direction and speed of movement W Slowly
Central pressure 1008hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center 15m/s(30kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 23m/s(45kt)
<Forecast for 29/09 UTC>
Center position of probability circle N9°20′(9.3°)
Direction and speed of movement Almost stationary
Central pressure 1004hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center 18m/s(35kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 25m/s(50kt)
Radius of probability circle 220km(120NM)