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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–>

Forecast Track for Washi/Sendong 18 December.

The deadliest Tropical Storm in 2011 Washi/Sendong is moving out from the Philipine sea leaving disastrous effect behind. The storm is currently moving at 14knots heading West-South West into the South China Sea.

Latest JTWC and JMA forecast track for Tropical Storm Washi/Sendong is illustrated below. The storm is expected to weakean into a Tropical Depression before hitting the coast of Malaysia. JTWC forecast indicate that it will most probably reaching the coastal area of South East  Peninsula Malaysia (State of Terengganu,Pahang and Johor) and might as well Singapore latest by 21st or 22nd of December.

Compare to previous forecast, the JTWC now have push the forecast track to lower south of peninsula Malaysia approaching Singapore mainly due to the effect of north-east monsoonal season shear which has bombarded the storm. The cold surge pushing out from the north will be one of the main reason the storm is weaken to a depression before making landfall in Peninsula Malaysia

The Malaysia Meteorology Agency has issued a Third Category Strong Wind and Rough Sea Warning to the South East Costal Area of Malaysia and also the Borneo states (Sabah and Sarawak) indicating the strong wind over 60kmph and wave as high as 5.5meter.

Thailand Meteorological Department also issued a weather warning towards the South East Coast of Thailand indicating isolated heavy rain and strong wind 
waves ranging from 2-4 metres high. The Vietnam Weather agency  alerted a Tropical Storm Warning on its website with concern over the probability Washi/Sendong hitting the coast and the city of Ho Chi Minh.

Tropical Storm Warning and forecast track issued by Vietnam Weather Agency

We will keep you up to date with the latest information regarding this storm.

WestPacWx South East Asia – Francis –