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
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)
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!