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Archive | February 2, 2017

Western Pacific Tropical Cyclone Climatology – February

February Tropical Cyclone Tracks – Japan Meteorological Agency Best Track (1951-2016)
Cyan dots denote winds 65 to 115 km/h. Yellow dots denote winds 120 km/h or greater.

Welcome to February.  Last month we mentioned how January tends to be a quiet month.  February bests that mark across the Western Pacific basin.  Over the 66 years of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) best track data, a tropical cyclone exists in the month of February roughly once every four years (0.27 per year). This includes tropical cyclones that formed in January, but persisted into the month of February. In 2016, no tropical cyclones existed in February while 2015 featured Typhoon Higos, which was rated as a “Super Typhoon” by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The bulk of tropical cyclone activity is focused on the Philippine Sea with some activity occurring through the western Caroline Islands, to include Palau and Yap state of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).  That said, risk on an annual basis is very low as this is the quiet time of the year.  Tropical cyclones within a 200 km radius of the aforementioned landmasses occur roughly once per decade.  Below is a statistical average of tropical cyclones to affect a region per year based on the JMA best track data, in no particular order.

  • Southeast Luzon, Philippines — 0.02 / yr
  • Visayas, Philippines — 0.05 / yr
  • Mindanao, Philippines — 0.05 / yr
  • Palau — 0.06 / yr
  • Yap, FSM — 0.05 / yr
  • Chuuk, FSM — 0.05 / yr
  • Pohnpei, FSM — 0.05 / yr
  • Kosrae, FSM — 0.02 / yr
  • Northern Mariana Islands — 0.02 / yr
  • Guam — 0.02 /yr

No tropical cyclones are recorded to have made landfall elsewhere in the Asian continent during the month of February, to include the Indochina peninsula, China, Taiwan, the Korean peninsula, and Japan.

Bottom line, it should be quiet for the month, but never let your guard down.  It only takes one storm to cause a disaster, so be prepared!  -Mike

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DAILY WEATHER BRIEF – FEBRUARY 2ND

It is pollen Season across Japan, the time of year when the Ceder pollen comes out of the mountains around Tokyo and flows across the city like a gray haze. Personally my eyes are incredibly itchy and continue to have a runny nose. This is most certainly one of the worst times of the year.

North

 Outside of the annoying pollen causing “hay fever” we also have a fairly potent snow storm dominating Japan today. In parts of Tohoku we could see as much as 70cm of snowfall through Friday morning on top of the 30cm that fell yesterday. In other words a lot of snow in the area combined with high winds will travel especially difficult. Already trains have been canceled including the highly trafficked Shinkansen line from Tokyo to Yamagata.

 

This heavy snow is a result of the classic “winter weather pattern” over Japan resulting from consistant cool north westerly winds over the warmer waters in the Sea of Japan.

 

Where that cold air is coming from is Far East Russia, Korea and Northern China. It is dry in these areas actually but as mentioned cold. In Seoul the high is barely hitting the freezing point and the same goes for Beijing.

Central

The scattered showers in Taiwan have tapered off as the cold surge drifted south towards the Philippines. Temperatures will remain cooler today though with highs only in the low 20s for Hong Kong and the upper teens in Taipei

South

Can you say North East Monsoon? That pretty much sums up the weather in the south today.  Yet the leading edge of it is producing some scattered showers in Central and Southern Vietnam. As well as gale force winds for coastal areas of Luzon to the north and east. Might be a little rough to venture out to sea today in fact.

Tropics

 

Here is the bread and butter of this update, the big tomato, the question everyone wants to know. What is THAT blow near Palau?

 

Well right now it is exactly that, a big blob. JMA has labeled it a LPA with a pressure of 1006hpa but expects it to drop and strengthen at least to a Minor TD as we head in to Friday and over the weekend. NRL has also labeled it “invest 98W” but no further designation by JTWC has been given.

Models have been picking up on this low too, granted not very aggressively. For example this image from the GFS model shows a large monsoonal gyre type of low east of the Philippines over the weekend. THIS DOES NOT AND NOR DOES OTHER MODELS indicate this would be a typhoon. But more so a big rain make for eastern areas from Mindanao to Visayas. Depending on where exactly this slow moving low drifts.

 

The north east monsoon should keep it south and then east of Luzon including Manila.

 

So in short, could bring heavy rain to parts of the southern Philippines this weekend and in to early next week. NOT A TYPHOON.

 

Below is the rainfall accumulation map for the next 96hrs.