Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Typhoon Songda (Chedeng) Update #12

Typhoon Songda (Chedeng) is now rapidly intensifying as it moves slowly across the Philippine Sea. Favorable environment has fueled the RI with maximum sustained winds, based on latest JMA and DVORAK estimates, at around 190kph with gusts reaching as high as 220kph. This makes Songda a Category 3 Major Typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. TY Songda was last located approximately 720km east southeast of Manila or about 330km east of Catarman, Samar. It is moving west northwestward at about 10kph. Songda has actually moved west for 6 hours but is now beginning to move more WNW-wardly.

Outer rainbands are now beginning to affect much of Bicol Region and Samar Provinces. Light to moderate rain (up to 100mm in 6 hours) should be expected as well as gusty winds of as high as 60kph.

As of 11am today (Philippine Time), PAGASA has raised Public Storm Signal Warning #2 for Catandanuanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Samar Provinces. Signal #1 for Northern Leyte, Marinduque, Masbate, Burias and Ticao Islands, S. Quezon, Polilio Islands, and Biliran Islands.
Our forecast remains generally the same. Computer models are now in very good agreement as to the general track. UKMET has shifted east to agree with the rest of the guidance. We are forecasting a WNW movement passing by 200km east of Virac, Catanduanes tonight. Based on the rate of intensification today, we think it could reach Category 4 typhoon by tomorrow morning. There is a small chance it could become a Super Typhoon (Category 5). It should then turn more NW-wardly as the mid-level ridge weakens. It should pass 180km to the east of Aparri, Cagayan by Friday morning. We do not think TY Songda will make a landfall in Northern Luzon as of right now. But tropical storm winds will extend as far as 200km away from the center so provinces of Quezon, Isabela, Aurora, and Cagayan will start to feel the effects as early as tomorrow.

Extended forecast show Songda turning northeastward by Saturday away from Taiwan. It should exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Sunday. Next threat would be the Ryuku Islands in Southern Japan including Okinawa).

Issued (0730 UTC) 330pm PhT 052511

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