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Western Pacific Remains Quiet, Brewing Trough Of Low Next Week For Japan

By: Weatherguy Adonis

Adonis S. Manzan

Low Pressure System Stalls Off Sea Of Okhotsk

Iloilo City, Philippines, 06 April 2012, (0730Z)–As the Christian world celebrate the Life, the Suffering and eventual Resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ in the observance of Lent, Springtime in Japan couldn’t be more beautiful with plum blossoms across the country.  

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) confirms today that the Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo is on its full bloom.  Despite the raging “Spring Storm,” last 03-04 April 2012 across Japan, settling weather conditions have been keeping the skies clear, with some sporadic cold conditions as the blustery winds from the Sea of Japan and some snow accumulations have been observed along Japan’s Northernmost region especially in higher elevations.  The area of “Low,” to date, continues to spawn moisture ahead of what’s left behind by the massive system that moved clear off Japan a few days ago.  The said system continues to linger off the Sea of Okhotsk and remains almost stationary according to JMA.  Satellite observations has confirmed the persistent colder region churning the seas, possibly blowing snow and rough conditions along the Northeastern seaboards of Hokkaido which bounds with the Kuril Islands.

Fig. 1.0 "The Sakura Blossoms in Spring in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. JMA has said that today is the full bloom of these magnificent trees all over Tokyo. Image Courtesy: Robert Speta."

Fig. 2.0 "Desmond Speta playing around near Setagaya-ku, Tokyo with background of the beautiful Sakura trees blossoming in full today. Image Courtesy: Robert Speta."

Fig. 3.0 "a wide array of carefully nurtured Sakura trees blossoming in Tokyo gardens which prompts the arrival of Springtime in Kanto Region. Image Courtesy: Robert Speta."

A New Threat Later Next Week

In the coming week, another system could blow its way towards the Sea of Japan, as what the current European models I have referring to these past two (2) days.  A building area of “Low,” could yet again spell rainy conditions across the Western seaboards of Japan.  The said system is forecast to cross the Korean Peninsula come Tuesday next week, 10 April 2012 and traverse over the Sea of Japan and smack in the middle of it is the Honshu Region before reaching the Pacific side of Tohoku sometime mid-Wednesday and Thursday next week, while there were observations in Osaka and Honshu Region in Japan of having rains this afternoon.  Nevertheless, the overall weather condition across Japan will stay clear with some showers in spots.

Fig. 4.0 "NASA captured this imagery on 04 April 2012, which I clearly pointed out that the massive Spring Storm would continue to linger over the Sea of Okhotsk within the next 2-3 days after moving past Hokkaido on 06 April 2012. Image Courtesy: NASA."

Good Lenten Weather Across Philippines

The Ridge of High Pressure continues to linger along the Eastern coast of Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces off mainland China, extending well into Formosa (Taiwan), which I would say, induce the weak Northeasterly flow across the Northern territory of Luzon, Philippines.  Having said that, the rest of Luzon should stay largely dry conditions, with less chances of rainfall all throughout the observance of Lent, while there will be localized thunderstorm activity mostly in the later afternoon hours after the grueling heat of the Sun, to which our yearly Christian penitence as part of the “Visita Iglesia,” rites have been in full swing since Tuesday.

Fig. 5.0 "A developing Frontal System is traversing Eastwards along the Jet Stream off East Chinese mainland, being pushed Southwards by a lingering Ridge of High Pressure. Image Courtesy: NRL Mry."

By large, the rest of Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region has been used to this hyper conditions of excessive heat during the summer, but make no mistake guys and gals in the country, there will be sporadic periods of rainfall especially in the late afternoon as surging moist air associated with the Easterlies coming from the East along the East Philippine Sea, associated with the weakening “La Niña” episode across the Central Pacific Basin.

Meteorologists from around the world has been saying that the ill-effects of the said weather phenomenon has already been over, but in my opinion, the effects could still be felt largely until the “Neutral” months of July and August of this year.

A Frontal System along Southern Chinese mainland has been observed for the last 24 hrs, and is forecast to traverse Eastwards along the Jet Stream off East China Sea as it is being pushed Southwards by a lingering Ridge of High Pressure, which result to clearer conditions along the Philippine archipelago this weekend with some showers too.

Fig. 6.0 "See the colours depicted on this map which indicates the intensity of the winds thru ASCAT pass across Western Pacific Region. The deeper shades of red and oranges indicate higher wind gusts, while the blue ones and greens signify milder conditions. Image Courtesy: NRL Mry."

Lingering Floods Attributed To “02W/PAKHAR” 

Cambodia has been witnessing a post effects of the recently menacing Tropical Storm “02W/PAKHAR,” which made landfall in Southern Viet Nam City of Vung Tau.  The remnants of the said system has been feeding the flaring thunderstorms along the Thailand-Cambodia border which already, has resulted to unseasonable flooding.

This development is in contrast to Viet Nam’s case, because at the moment, it is still summer time and the Mekong River network has nor fully reached its critical point, which the farmers using the immense river system has been exceptionally glad to have running water to their fields, enough to sustain the hotter days ahead before the onset of the Typhoon season in later mid-May of this year.

Fig. 7.0 "The remnants of Tropical Storm 02W/PAKHAR lingers off Thailand-Cambobia border, where torrential rainfall has been causing localized flooding for the past 4 days. Strong fronts of thunderstorm activity generate severe weather across the region, despite the tropical moisture is expected to head Polewards. Image Courtesy: NASA."

More details coming right up.  Keep it here, www.westernpacificweather.com for the very latest on Tropical Updates from the Region and the rest of the Pacific and Oceania Basin.

This has been your Weatherguy hailing from the Philippines, Mabuhay! =)

 With data from JMA, HKO, NOAA, NASA, NRL Mry, Westernpacificweather.com and Typhoon2000.com
(Note: If you have queries, email me at amanzan@smartbro.net or through weatherguyadonis@theboplive.net)
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02W/PAKHAR Weakens To Tropical Storm, Threatens To Make Landfall In Viet Nam On Sunday

By:  Weatherguy Adonis

Adonis S. Manzan

 

Once Formidable Storm Weakens

Iloilo City, Philippines, 31 March 2012, (0400Z)–Category 1 Typhoon no more.  Our tropical system, “02W/PAKHAR” was a Typhoon no more as the winds died down gradually weakening its core, and the intensity readings went down to Tropical Storm threshold this morning.  Winds near its center was about 75 km/hr (40 kt) and gusting to 111 km/hr (60 kt), with central pressure of 998 hPa.  Tropical Storm “02W/PAKHAR” was located near 9.6N-109.9E or approximately 376.3 km South-southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.  I am considering the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) scale measurement at the moment.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) however pegged the system to be slightly stronger that of the JMA measurement at 111 km/hr (60 kt) with higher gusts reaching 140 km/hr (75 kt), making it a “Strong Tropical Storm,” almost at “Category 1 Typhoon” threshold by scale.

At the onset, the the prevailing “Upper level winds” are consistently favourable for the system to maintain its strength, despite the variation of existence of some drier air mass coming from its Southwestern periphery and a building Subtropical Ridge (STR) that should steer the system generally Westwards later tonight before making land fall along the coast of Viet Nam later tomorrow, 01 April 2012 at about nightfall according to some Numerical models that I have been checking out from time to time.

Fig. 1.0 "Typhoon 02W/PAKHAR lost its steam as convective banding tries to consolidate. A building STR should steer it towards Viet Nam coast sometime Sunday evening. Image Credit: CIRA."

Nevertheless, the oceanographic conditions are in aide for a slow but steady intensification phase of Tropical Storm “02W/PAKHAR” as it continues to stay offshore, away from land mass, but its outer bands have already arrived in advance since yesterday so flooding should not be a question anymore.

Meteorological Agencies Scale Up 02W/PAKHAR’s Intensity

There might be some confusion around here as regards to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) definition of a “Tropical Storm” versus a full-pledge “Typhoon,” which the American models indicate, and in strong agreement with other interrelated Meteorological Agency across the Asia-Pacific Region.  By no means necessary, a “Tropical Storm” using the measurement scale of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) based in Tokyo, Japan, under JMA’s operation, rap it up to between 62 km/hr (34 kt) and 88 km/hr (47 kt), and it all begins to come into mind that there are deep variations to this with that of a full-pledge “Typhoon,” that translates to a higher wind acceleration reaching above 118 km/hr (64 kt).

In the light of these, it clearly indicate a substantial difference with the interpretation of wind-average readings that uses a 10-minute wind average intervals.  The JMA uses this in terms of wind intensity sustained within the 10-minute period, as per World Meteorological Organization (WMO) regulation based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In most cases, this requirement are being observed by most of the weather agencies from around the world.  The 10-minute average we call it, points to a system that analyze the winds sustained within a Tropical Cyclone at a given time at a height of 10.0 m (33 ft), to which our state weather bureau, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) also utilizes in reaching for a consensus in the event of a Tropical Cyclone threatening the Philippines within its Philippine Area of Responsibility” (PAR).

Fig. 2.0 "An impression I have made using the Vis Sat Imagery over the Western Pacific as shown, the weakened circulation along the East China Sea with evident convective banding that is occurring in aide of the system. To the far right, huge thunderstorms spawned by a passing Front pushes the La Niña-Easterlies well into Eastern Philippines. Image Credit: Digital-typhoon."

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) based in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii Island, USA uses another methodology, the “Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale,”  now this is anchored on the actual wind speed acceleration averaged over a 1-minute period, at 10 m (33 ft) above the ground.

Fig. 3.0 "MLSP readings indicate the confined vorticity remains offshore, and stronger gust constrained along the Southern edge of Tropical Storm 02W/PAKHAR at the moment. Image Credit: CIRA."

One’s failure to comprehend these variations add to the growing confusion which agencies of the two should prevail.  I hope putting up this issue now give due understanding of the difference between the readings, even I to date tend to miss some of this, frankly speaking!

Will Tropical Storm 02W/PAKHAR Again Intensify?

The answer is a resounding yes, considering the existence of low shearing environment and the favourable “Sea Surface Temperature” (SST) across the East China Sea.  I am not using the word, West Philippine Sea, or a.k.a. South China Sea because the matter now is beyond our territorial seas (Chuckle).

Since the system has reached its peak so to speak, in the meteorological aspect, we call it “Diurnal Maximum,” as indicated by the JTWC in its 2100Z bulletin, wherein a certain Tropical Cyclone has reached its peak intensity for a 24-hour period.  This refers also on the temperature that occurs after midday which maximum heat can be obtained in a considerable time, and vis-a-vis, the minimum before the Sun hits the horizon early in the morning.

In addition to this, the various factors could also be attributed to change in relative humidity at a given time, the clouds that feed and wrap around the convective towering cloud tops or the anvil thunderstorms that give these Tropical Cyclone a finite source of moisture and adequate amount of heat, equivalent to energy.

Fig. 4.0 "A NOAA eTrap indicate the rainfall totals within a 24-hr period as the system persists at East China Sea. Image Credit: NOAA."

Talk about energy, the Sun and the heat radiated from the surface of the Sea can also affect a storm’s life, and oh, before I forget, the precipitation or the rains that rise and fall within the clouds, it’s called “Condensation” and the rate of “Evaporation.”  These are all essential to a Tropical system.  The stages that undergone feeds into a system like a conveyor belt, which I believe it could have definitive impact on the “Atmospheric Pressure,” that can only be found inside the core of the Tropical Cyclone.

Fig. 5.0 "I made this impression I got from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through Rob Gutro's article at NASA Hurricane Page. I give credit to the efforts made by NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce. Thanks a million, guys!"

To what extent did our storm lose steam? We will find out later this afternoon if our discussion here of a gradual intensification phase holds water!  In the meantime,  I am signing off for more of these a bit later tonight.  Nonetheless, we’ll all keep a close eye on this one as it maintains its course, though stationary at times, it has been generating a lot of precipitation back here in the Philippines for quite some time now.

Also, my fellow “Kababayans” in flood-ravaged towns of Mindoro Occidental, Bicol Region and parts of Capiz nearest to my location should take a look into the upcoming thunderheads that hover above us.  Right now I have been observing large thunderstorm anvils shooting into the atmosphere sending rumbling thunder ahead of the thunderstorms that could come at any moment soon!

This has been your Weatherguy hailing from the Philippines, Mabuhay! =)

With data from NOAA, NASA, CIRA, JTWC, JMA, HKO, NRL Mry and Typhoon2000.ph

(Note: If you have queries, email me at amanzan@smartbro.net or through–>weatherguyadonis@theboplive.net)