Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tropical Depression Mekkhala (Amang) Update #4 (FINAL)

Issued (01 UTC) 930am PhT 011915

Tropical Depression Mekkhala (Amang) is now dissipating over Northern Luzon. The system was last located approximately 140km southeast of Aparri, Cagayan or about 300km north northeast of Manila. Maximum sustained winds are down to 45kph with gusts of up to 65kph. TD Mekkhala is moving northward at 20kph.

PAGASA has now dropped all Public Storm Warning Signals in the country.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows very little convection remaining that is associated with Mekkhala. Continued interaction with the mountainous terrain in Luzon, combined with the dry air from the north, have contributed to the weakening and should lead to total dissipation by today. Residual rain showers are still possible in Extreme Northern Luzon but that should subside later today.

This is our final update for Tropical Depression Mekkhala. No other tropical cyclones are present or expected to form in the Western Pacific Region.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Typhoon Mekkhala (Amang) Update #3

Issued (0430 UTC) 1230pm PhT 011715

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Mekkhala (Bagyong Amang) has rapidly intensified overnight into a Category 1 Typhoon. The system is about to make landfall in Samar and was last located approximately 75kph northeast of Borongan City or about 140km northeast of Tacloban City. Maximum sustained winds are at 130kph with gusts of up to 175kph. Typhoon Mekkhala is moving west northwestward at 20kph.

As of 11am this morning, PAGASA has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #2 for Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, Burias Island, Ticao Island, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Biliran.

Signal #1 for Camarines Norte, Quezon, Polilio Island, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu, Cebu City, Bantayan Island, Camotes Island, Northern Iloilo, Northern part of Negros Occidental, Capiz, Aklan, and Dinagat Island.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows substantial improvement with Mekkhala's appearance. Weaker wind shear and better outflow pattern led to a rapid intensification overnight. An eyewall is nearing completion and the central dense overcast continue to have strong convective activity. Thankfully, the system is nearing landfall and should no longer intensify significantly. However, the bands of moderate to heavy rains will still affect many islands in the region.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Typhoon Mekkhala (Bagyong Amang) is forecast to make landfall in the Northern Samar/Eastern Samar area, near the town of Oras. We're expecting landfall to occur in about one to 2 hours from now. Heavy rains are already affecting Samar and Leyte, including the city of Tacloban where Pope Francis I is currently visiting. The stormy weather has prompted the Pontiff to leave Tacloban much earlier than scheduled to return to Manila.

Typhoon Mekkhala will then move into the Bicol Region and should weaken to a Tropical Storm later tonight. Stormy conditions will shift northwestward although parts of Visayas should still expect widespread rains throughout tonight. Southern Luzon and nearby islands will begin to feel the effects of Mekkhala tonight and into tomorrow.

We'll continue to keep you posted and we'll have an in-depth Video Update later this afternoon. Please heed the warnings of your local officials and always be on top of this storm. Stay safe!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tropical Storm Mekkhala (Amang) Update #2

Issued (0430 UTC) 1130am PhT 011515

Tropical Storm Mekkhala (Bagyong Amang) continues to battle moderate wind shear as it moves across the Philippine Sea. The system was last located approximately 460km north northwest of Palau or about 900km east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph. TS Mekkhala is moving west northwestward at 25kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the convection associated with Mekkhala is still getting sheared west of the low-level circulation center. Moderate wind shear is limiting intensification which should bode well for the Philippines as the system is forecast to affect the country in the coming days.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Tropical Storm Mekkhala (Bagyong Amang) is forecast to steadily move generally move westward over the next 48 hours. Atmospheric conditions might become more favorable and we might see some intensification in the next few days. However, we don't really expect Mekkhala to become a typhoon. However, the threat of widespread rains is still possible across Eastern Philippines especially during the visit of Pope Francis I.

While there are still some disagreements among the computer models, the current consensus is taking Mekkhala possibly towards Eastern Visayas or the Bicol Region. Weather conditions in these areas will begin to deteriorate by Saturday morning. In our forecast track above, we expect the storm to eventually move northward but will still affect parts of Luzon and Visayas over the weekend.

If you are in the projected path, please consult with your local officials for the latest warnings and bulletins.

We'll have another update later tonight. Stay safe!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tropical Depression 01W Update #1

Issued (05 UTC) 12pm PhT 011415

The newest tropical cyclone of the 2015 Season has formed this morning. Tropical Depression 01W was last located approximately 140km north northeast of Yap or about 700km southwest of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 55kph with gusts of up to 75kph. TD 01W is moving west northwestward at 25kph.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Yap and nearby islands due to the threat from TD 01W. Strong winds of up to 60kph and rough surf should be expected. Please consult and follow the warnings from your local officials!

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows convection building along the northern half of the system.The low-level circulation center is still partially exposed as TD 01W is currently in an area of moderate wind shear. We expect the conditions in the region to eventually become more favorable for intensificaiton.

Yap and nearby islands will continue experiencing stormy conditions throughout the afternoon and into the evening. TD 01W will then move westward and into the Philippine Area of Responsibility by tomorrow and will be given the local name 'Bagyong Amang' by PAGASA.

It is still too early to tell whether this cyclone will make landfall in the Philippines. Computer models are still showing disagreement with the track but the chances of being affected, at least indirectly, by this system is increasing. We'll continue to update on the progress and forecasts for this cyclone in the coming days. Expect weather conditions to become worse, especially along Eastern Philippines, beginning Saturday.

We'll have another update tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Tropical Update

Issued (05 UTC) 1pm PhT 011115

The disturbance that we've been watching for the past few days remains largely disorganized as it moves across the Western Pacific. Invest 92W is located near the islands of Chuuk in Micronesia. The low-level circulation center is still elongated but convective activity has increased in the past 24 hours.

IR Image from NOAA

Computer models are still showing possible development in this area. It may be delayed due to strong wind shear and the presence of dry air immediately to the north. Based on the latest conditions, the disturbance will continue moving generally west northwestward and may develop into a Tropical Cyclone in 3 to 5 days.

We'll continue to keep you posted regarding the progress of this disturbance.