Sunday, September 18, 2016

Typhoon Malakas Update #2

Issued (04 UTC) 12pm PhT 091916

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Typhoon Malakas is now heading towards Mainland Japan and is currently forecast to make landfall in the island of Kyushu later this evening. The eye of Malakas was last located approximately 300km southwest of the city of Kagoshima. Maximum sustained winds are estimated at 195kph with gusts of up to 240kph. Typhoon Malakas is currently moving northeastward at northeast at 20kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Aided by good upper-level environment across Eastern China, Typhoon Malakas was able to regain some intensity in the past 36 hours. Latest satellite image shows a cloud-free eye surrounded by strong convective activity as well as a near symmetrical appearance along with excellent poleward outflow. It is forecast to retain its Category 3 intensity before rapidly weakening as it crosses the Japanese Islands.

Radar Image from JMA

Latest radar image from Japan shows the eye getting closer to the island of Kyushu. Outer rain bands have begun to make their way towards the region with heavier rains about to move inland in a few hours. Due to steady northeastward movement of Malakas, rainfall accumulations won't be as high as that seen in parts of Taiwan and Southeastern China with Typhoon Meranti. Nevertheless, we are still expecting rainfall amounts of anywhere from 100 to as much as 300mm. Some mountainous areas in Kyushu, Shikoku, and Western Honshu, may receive upwards of up to 500mm in the next 2 days.

For the latest radar images and weather warnings for Japan, please click HERE (JMA)

Typhoon Malakas is forecast to make landfall in the prefecture of Kagoshima in Kyushu Island later this evening. It will then track northeastward brushing the island of Shikoku by tomorrow and then onwards towards Southern Honshu. Malakas is also forecast to rapidly weaken as upper-level environment becomes hostile for tropical cyclones.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Typhoon Malakas Update #1

Issued (06 UTC) 2pm PhT 091716

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Typhoon Malakas (Formerly Bagyong Gener) is currently moving through the East China Sea affecting parts of Taiwan and the Southern Japanese Islands. The typhoon's center was last located approximately 130km east northeast of Taipei, Taiwan or about 500km west southwest of Naha, Japan. Maximum sustained winds are at 205kph with gusts of up to 250kph making Malakas a Category 3 Typhoon in the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Typhoon Malakas is moving northward at 15kph.

IR Image from NOAA

Latest satellite image shows the eye has become clouded once again and the overall circulation has degraded over the past 12 hours. This is most likely due to the interaction with the topography of Taiwan as well as a slight increase in wind shear in the area. Despite the "weakening", Typhoon Malakas managed to bring some very strong winds across the Yaeyema Islands of Japan. Latest data showed some of the islands received wind gusts of up to 220kph as the eyewall moved through the area earlier this morning.

Radar Image from CWB

As with any tropical cyclone, rain is a major threat along with strong winds. Latest radar image from Taiwan shows the bulk of the heavy rains associated with Malakas are over water. Outer rain bands are still impacting Northern and Central Taiwan, including the city of Taipei. Rains should slowly move northward, along with the system, over the next 12 hours and rainfall accumulations are not going to be as high as when Meranti hit Taiwan less than a week ago.

For the latest radar image out of Taiwan, please click HERE (CWB Taiwan)

Typhoon Malakas is forecast to turn to the northeast and possibly retain its intensity as it makes its way towards Mainland Japan. Current forecast consensus is taking Malakas towards the island of Kyushu as early as Tuesday morning. If we don't see any significant weakening until then, we may see a Category 1 make landfall in the said island.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tropical Storm Meranti Update #4 (FINAL)

Issued (06 UTC) 2pm PhT 091516

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Tropical Storm Meranti continues to weaken as it moves further inland across Southern China. The storm's center was last located approximately 120km northwest of Xiamen. Maximum sustained winds are down to 100kph with gusts of up to 130kph. TS Meranti is currently moving north northwest at 20kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows what once was a Super Typhoon, gradually dissipating over Fujian Province in China. Meranti made landfall earlier this morning as a Category 3 typhoon just east of Xiamen City. Wind gusts of up to 180kph were recorded in some places, along with continuous heavy rains.

Tropical Storm Meranti will continue weakening as it moves over land but will also continue bringing rains across much of Southeastern China for the next 24 to 48 hours. Rainfall accumulations of 200mm or more are still possible across Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang Provinces over the next few days.

This will be our final update on Tropical Storm Meranti.

IR Image from NOAA

Meanwhile, the other Tropical System we've been watching continues to march through the Philippine Sea today. Typhoon Malakas (Bagyong Gener) was last located approximately 730km east of Aparri. Maximum sustained winds are at 150kph with gusts of up to 185kph. The system is moving northwestward at 20kph.

Typhoon Malakas is not forecast to directly impact the Philippines as it is forecast to curve more to the northwest possibly towards Taiwan and the Southern Japanese Islands.

We'll have a more in-depth update on Malakas in a separate post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Super Typhoon Meranti (Ferdie) Update #3

Issued (0430 UTC) 1230pm PhT 091416

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After crossing Luzon Strait and directly passing over Itbayat Island last night, Super Typhoon Meranti (Bagyong Ferdie) is now impacting parts of Southern Taiwan. The eye of Meranti was last located approximately 50km south southwest of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan or about 260km northwest of Basco, Batanes. Maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to 285kph with gusts of up to 350kph. STY Meranti is currently moving northwestward at 20kph.

While Meranti (Ferdie) has technically left the Philippine Area of Responsibility as of 12pm today, Public Storm Warning Signal #2 remains in effect for Batanes Group of Islands and Signal #1 for Babuyan Group of Islands. This is for tropical storm conditions that may still affect the said regions. Preliminary reports out of Batanes indicate no "untoward incidents" as per the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) of the Philippines. However, we will continue to update as we get new info.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows Meranti beginning to feel the effects of Taiwan's topography. The eye has become clouded and the central dense overcast has also weakened and disrupted. Nevertheless, Meranti remains a powerful and dangerous Category 5 Super Typhoon. In fact, parts of Southern Taiwan are reporting wind gusts in excess of 160kph. Stormy conditions will prevail across the area for the next 12 to 18 hours.

Radar Image from Central Weather Bureau (Taiwan)

Aside from the strong winds and storm surge threat, heavy rains have also spread across Taiwan as can be seen from the weather radar image above. The eye of Meranti is still intact as well, skirting just to the west of Kaohsiung City. Rainfall amounts of 200 to 400mm are possible across Taiwan with higher amounts of up to 600mm possible in the mountainous areas, over the next 48 hours. Landslides and flash floods are going to be the highest threat from this extreme rainfall event.

For the latest Radar Images and weather observations out of Taiwan, please click HERE (CWB)

Meranti should continue to weaken as it heads northwestward, as its circulation gets disrupted by Taiwan's and Southern China's topography. Despite the weakening, we still expect Meranti to maintain Typhoon intensity as it makes landfall in the Guangdong-Fujian Province area by Thursday morning. The city of Xiamen, home to 3 million people, is at risk for dangerous stormy conditions in the next 24 hours; along with the rest of Southeastern China. High winds, storm surge, and widespread heavy rains will likely threaten the region.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Super Typhoon Meranti (Ferdie) Update #2

Issued (03 UTC) 11am PhT

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Meranti (Bagyong Ferdie) has intensified even further and is now a Category 5 Super Typhoon. It has also become the strongest typhoon in 2016 so far. The eye of Meranti was last located approximately 330km east southeast of Basco, Batanes or about 680km southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds are now at 295kph with gusts reaching up to 360kph. STY Meranti is currently moving west northwestward at a speed of 20kph.

As of 11am this morning, PAGASA has issued Public Storm Warning Signal #4 for Batanes Group of Islands. Signal #3 has been issued for Babuyan Group of Islands. Signal #2 for Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and Northern Cagayan; while Signal #1 is for the Rest of Cagayan, Northern Isabela, Kalinga, and Northern Ilocos Sur.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the well-defined pinhole eye of Meranti surrounded by very strong convective activity. Outer rain bands can also be seen nearing parts of Northern Luzon and small islands to the north. This morning's trend has shown intensification leveling off. Nevertheless, Meranti is still packing really dangerous winds and unfortunately, Batanes Islands and extreme Southern Taiwan may get impacted within the next 24 hours.

The biggest change in the forecast consensus is the shift to the south for the track. We are no longer expecting Meranti to make landfall in Taiwan, but rather continue moving west northwestward possibly towards Southern China. However, very strong winds and heavy rainfall are still possible for Southern Taiwan and Northern Philippines. In particular, Batanes and the town of Basco could get hit with winds of greater than 200kph along with heavy rains and storm surge of up to 2 meters.

COAMPS 72-hr Rainfall Forecast (NOT OFFICIAL)

The image above depicts possible rainfall accumulation over the next 72 hours with the heaviest rainfall across Taiwan where areas may receive as much as 400mm. Parts of Batanes and Babuyan Islands are also forecast to receive high rainfall accumulations. Some rain bands may also make their way down towards Northern Luzon bringing occasional rains in the region.

Super Typhoon Meranti is forecast to continue heading west northwestward, slowly losing strength as it crosses into the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). Current projections show Meranti possibly making landfall in the province of Guangdong in Southern China by early Thursday morning.

We'll have another update later today.