Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tropical Storm Higos Update #3 (FINAL)

Issued (0330 UTC) 1130am PhT 021115
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Higos has now weakened from a Typhoon down to a Tropical Storm this morning. The system was last located approximately 920km northeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 95kph with gusts of up to 120kph. TS Higos is moving west northwestward at 10kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY


Latest satellite image shows convective activity has rapidly waned in the past 12 hours. Higos attained a peak intensity equal to a Category 3 Typhoon last night. It has since rapidly weakened with the low-level center becoming fully exposed due to increasing wind shear.

Tropical Storm Higos is forecast to continue weakening over the next 24 hours as it moves north across the Pacific. It will transition into a mid-latitude cyclone and should pose no threat to land.

This will be our final update for Tropical Storm Higos. We'll continue to monitor the system for possible redevelopment. Otherwise, the rest of the Western Pacific is clear from any tropical cyclone.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Typhoon Higos Update #2

Issued (01 UTC) 9am PhT 021015
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Higos has intensified into a Typhoon last night and continues to show signs of strengthening as it moves across the middle of the Pacific. The system was last located approximately 1,050km east of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 140kph with gusts of up to 175kph. Typhoon Higos is moving northwestward at 10kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

 
Latest satellite image shows a uniform central dense overcast with strong convective activity and good radial outflow. An eye is also starting to appear and we won't be surprised if Higos strengthens into a Category 2 (or even stronger) typhoon later today. The system is still in a favorable environment over the next 12 to 24 hours.

As we've said in our previous update, Typhoon Higos should not be a threat to any land. The system is forecast to continue moving northwestward and should start to weaken by tomorrow as increasing upper-level winds will take a toll in its structure. Higos should, then, turn northward avoiding the Northern Mariana Islands.

We'll have another update tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tropical Storm Higos Update #1

Issued (2230 UTC) 630am PhT
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Tropical Storm Higos is the second name cyclone to form this 2015 season. The system is currently in the middle of the Pacific and is not an immediate threat to land. TS Higos was last located approximately 1,300km east of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 110kph with gusts of up to 140kph. TS Higos is moving west northwestward at 10kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

 
Latest satellite image shows Higos with good symmetrical appearance with excellent poleward outflow. Convective activity also continues to improve and further analysis reveals an eyewall that is near completion. Higos is moving across a relatively favorable region with moderate wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures.

We expect the Japan Meteorological Agency to upgrade Higos into a Typhoon later today (JTWC has already upgraded the system). Higos is forecast to continue moving generally northwestward but should eventually turn more to the north in response to a mid-latitude trough moving across the North Pacific.

This trough should steer Higos away from the Mariana Islands. We don't expect any significant impacts from this system aside from high waves across the Mariana Islands in the coming days.

We'll have another update later today.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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

Issued (01 UTC) 930am PhT 011915
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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!