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Disturbance southeast of Carolines may be next cyclone threat

Persistent models runs indicate the potential for development with Invest 98W, located a few hundred miles southeast of the Caroline Islands.  However, it’s important to start off with the following press release from PAGASA:

There were rumours circulating in social media platform like Facebook regarding a super typhoon that might affect the country this coming January 2018.  The current weather analysis shows that there is a possible formation of tropical cyclone this coming January 2018.  Based on historical records, it is normal for the month of January to have 0-1 tropical cyclone.  But, predicting the tropical cyclone intensity to reach super typhoon category for more than 1 week ahead has a very high uncertainty.  The atmosphere is very dynamic hence constant monitoring is necessary.
The general public is advised to be more careful, verify information and listen only to right authority so as not to cause panic.  Furthermore, everyone is advised to access only the official information from PAGASA thru our website https://www1.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/ or thru our official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PAGASA.DOST.GOV.PH.
ESPERANZA O. CAYANAN, Ph.D.
20171226 2200 98W VIS

Visible satellite imagery of 98W – 2200 UTC 26 December 2017, Courtesy NRL

To follow up that statement, Invest 98W is in a very weak state with a few cumulonimbus clouds.  Given its current status, long-term model projections must be used only with caution.  It’s hard for a model to reliably resolve a tropical cyclone days in the future when there is currently no low circulation to initiate from.  On the other hand, the potential for development cannot be altogether discounted as the GFS, ECMWF, CMC, NAVGEM, and JMA all show the low developing, potentially affecting the central or southern Philippines around the New Year.  At what intensity?  A super typhoon is likely ruled out.  Furthermore, the models have not been consistent on the strength at that time, ranging from a minor tropical depression to possible a severe tropical storm.  At this time, the best course of action is to continue monitoring and stay vigilant.

At this time, the chance for development remains low until the system begins to better organize.

Mike Adcock
Meteorologist, Western Pacific Weather

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