Archive | September, 2013

Typhoon Wutip Morning Update

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Typhoon Wutip continues to intensify this morning as it nears Hainan Island and Vietnam. The center of Wutip was last located approximately 430km southeast of Haikou, Hainan or about 850km southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam. According to JMA’s latest warnings, Wutip is now packing maximum sustained winds of up to 130kph along with gusts that could reach up to 185kph. Wutip is currently moving westward at 10kph.

IR Image from CIMSS

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Latest satellite image from CIMSS shows the eye of Wutip is starting to clear out, a sign that further intensification is currently happening. Radial outflow has also improved overnight and the system looks much more symmetrical this morning. Wutip remains in an area of weak wind shear and warm sea-surface temperatures helping the system intensify. We expect it to strengthen further and could even become a Category 2 typhoon if we based it on the winds from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Radar Image from Hainan Island (CMA)

wutip hainan radar

Wutip is still far from Vietnam, however, it could start to affect Hainan Island of China later today. In fact radar image from Hainan is already showing outer rain bands from Wutip nearing the island. Rains should begin later this morning and will continue to worsen throughout the afternoon and evening hours. Up to 200mm of rain is possible in some areas in Hainan. Furthermore, southern coastal areas in the island could see strong and damaging winds of up to 160kph and could be capable of bringing down trees and even some houses. For the latest warnings and forecasts from China, click HERE (CMA Website)

Wutip will pass by Hainan tonight and will continue to head westward towards Vietnam. Based on the forecasts from many agencies in the region, Wutip could make landfall near Vinh, Vietnam by early Monday morning as a strong typhoon. Damaging winds and heavy rains will be a threat not only to Vietnam but also for Laos and even into Thailand.

If you are in Hainan or Vietnam, please start preparing now and always make sure to check with your country’s official agency for the latest forecasts and warnings. We’ll continue to have updates throughout the day so check back here at Western Pacific Weather as well. Stay safe!

-WxCaster PAT

Violent Typhoon Usagi (Odette) Morning Update

Violent Typhoon is what Japan Meteorological Agency is calling Usagi (Bagyong Odette) as of this morning. This monster of a cyclone continues to move west northwestward nearing the islands of Batanes which is situated between Luzon and Taiwan. According to JMA’s latest warning, sustained winds are at 205kph with gusts that could reach up to 285kph. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, meanwhile, is classifying Usagi as a Category 5 Super Typhoon with winds of up to 315kph! Usagi is the most powerful cyclone to have formed this year.

IR Image from NOAA

091913 2332z ir analysis

Latest satellite image shows that the small 30-km eye of Usagi remains intact. However, further satellite analysis suggest that an eyewall replacement cycle is already starting with an outer eyewall beginning to form and wrap around the existing center. For now, though, outer rain bands are beginning to impact Northern Luzon and Batanes Islands. Winds of up to 60kph are already being reported across Aparri and could get stronger throughout the day. The strongest winds will be felt near Batanes Islands where up to 250kph is possible. These wind speeds are highly destructive.

Radar Image from Aparri (PAGASA)

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Latest radar image out of Aparri, Cagayan show bands of light to moderate rains moving from the northeast to the southwest affecting not only Cagayan but the rest of Northern Luzon. We could see as much as 100mm of rain falling today with some areas possibly receiving up to 200mm by tomorrow. Flash floods and landslides are possible in mountainous areas so please heed the warnings. For more tropical cyclone update and weather forecasts from PAGASA, click HERE

After Luzon and Taiwan, we expect Usagi to continue moving westward into the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) and could threaten Hong Kong and parts of Southern China by this weekend. For now though, the focus will be on Luzon and Taiwan as this system continues to bear down the region.

Our Western Pacific contributor James Reynolds will be flying to Taiwan today to try and intercept Usagi. Keep it right here for the latest updates and forecasts for the region. Stay safe!

-WxCaster PAT

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Typhoon Usagi (Odette) Morning Update | September 19, 2013

Usagi (Bagyong Odette) has rapidly intensified overnight and is now a Category 2 Typhoon. The center of the storm was last located approximately 580km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or about 820km east northeast of Manila. According to JMA’s latest update, Usagi is packing maximum sustained winds of up to 140kph with gusts that could reach up to 195kph. Typhoon Usagi is currently moving westward at 10kph.

As of 5am this morning PAGASA, has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #1 for Batanes Group of Islands, Apayao, Isabela, Cagayan, and Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands in anticipation of the approaching Typhoon. Stormy conditions are expected to begin affecting the said areas in the next 24 to 36 hours; high waves should also begin to affect the region today due to the massive circulation of Typhoon Usagi.

VIS Image from NOAA

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Latest Visible Satellite image shows an eye beginning to form surrounded by deep and strong convection. Radial outflow is excellent as well aided by the favorable upper-level environment in the region. Outer-bands are also beginning to move closer to Luzon and we could see scattered showers impact the Bicol Region later today. By tomorrow, more chances of rain are possible across Eastern Luzon.

Latest forecast from computer models and weather agencies in the region show Usagi (Odette) tracking between the islands of Luzon and Taiwan by Saturday. Due to the continued westward movement this morning, Usagi could move closer to Luzon than what we were forecasting earlier. While landfall is still not in the forecast, expect stormy conditions to be felt across Northern Luzon especially in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela. Furthermore, Babuyan and nearby islands will feel the full brunt of Usagi beginning on Friday evening and lasting through Saturday. Even Southern Taiwan should expect stormy conditions around this time frame.

We’ll continue to have updates throughout the day including articles from our Meteorologist Robert Speta. If you live in Northern Luzon and Southern Taiwan, please continue to monitor the developments of Usagi. If you can, start preparing now especially if you live in storm prone areas.

Stay safe!

Severe Tropical Storm Usagi (Odette) Morning Update

Japan Meteorological Agency has upgraded Usagi into a Severe Tropical Storm as the system continues to intensify across the Philippine Sea. STS Usagi (Bagyong Odette) was last located approximately 1,050km east northeast of Manila. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 95kph with gusts of up to 130kph based on JMA’s latest warning.

PAGASA has not issued any signal warnings yet across the Philippines due to the distance of the storm. However, we expect Usagi to start affecting eastern portions of Luzon by tomorrow. Furthermore, Usagi will start to enhance the Southwest Monsoon which could trigger rain showers across parts of the Philippines beginning tomorrow and could last through the weekend.

VIS Image from NOAA

091713 2332z ir analysis

Latest satellite shot across the Western Pacific shows the improving STS Usagi as well as a low pressure area just east of Vietnam. STS Usagi looks more symmetrical this morning with good convection and poleward outflow. The core has also tightened up and we’re starting to see banding wrapping around the center.

Agencies across the Pacific are expecting Usagi to become a Typhoon as early as tonight and could even become a Category 3 Typhoon as forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Track consensus among the agencies and the models is putting Usagi between Taiwan and Luzon by Saturday; although JTWC and JMA are showing Usage clipping the southern tip of Taiwan by Saturday. However, do remember that the forecast could still change and so residents from Northern Luzon up to Taiwan should continue to monitor the developments of this storm.

We’ll continue to have update throughout the day. Stay safe!

-WxCaster PAT