Saturday, July 16, 2011

Typhoon Ma-On Update #11 w/ Video | Tokage

Note: You will find our video update at the end of this post.

Tropical Depression Tokage or Hanna has dissipated and has been absorbed by TY Ma-On. Both JTWC and JMA have already given their final warnings about six hours ago.

As of Typhoon Ma-On, the storm continues to fluctuate in terms of intensity as it continue to move westward. It was last located approximately 1130km east southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds have increased again to 205kph with gusts reaching up to 250kph. Ma-On is moving west northwestward at 15kph.

Latest IR and microwave image both show the northern half of the storm is still struggling due to dry air and subsidence. The southern and southeastern half continue to display healthy activity which is sustaining Ma-On's slow rate of intensification. Computer models and weather agencies are still expecting Ma-On to intensify and peak at a Category 4 status since the upper level environment and sea surface temperatures remain generally favorable for strengthening.

For the forecast, computer models and weather agencies have slightly shifted their track to the east. Some of them are actually forecasting Ma-On to turn sharply to the east without making landfall. Personally however, I still don't see Ma-On making a very sharp turn to the east. At the very least, it might only brush Shikoku or Honshu; I believe it's still a small chance for Ma-On to completely avoid mainland of Japan. For Okinawa, even though they might not feel the full brunt of Ma-On they will still see some pretty strong winds equal to a tropical storm (around 70 kph) as Typhoon Ma-On passes east of the islands on Monday. Also expect rough surf and heavy downpours as the outer rainbands work their way to the region.

Our forecast here at SGB has also been shifted to the east slightly in response to the trends today. We still expect a landfall east of Shikoku on early Wednesday morning (Japan time). We are still also forecasting Ma-On to reach a peak intensity of around 220kph equivalent to a Category 4 storm. Once it reaches the latitude the same as Okinawa, we expect Ma-On to slowly weaken although it will still be a strong Typhoon before landfall, around Category 3. Main effects will obviously be very strong and damaging winds, especially east of the eye. Heavy rain will also impact large area of Japan and will extend as far east as the Kanto Plain. It is expected that Ma-On will then weaken to a Category 2 as it crosses Southern Honshu and down to Category 1 as it crosses Tokyo area by early Thursday morning (Japan Time).

Video Update

Issued (0830 UTC) 071611

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