Saturday, July 16, 2011

Typhoon Ma-On Update #12

Typhoon Ma-On has now begun to move in a northwesterly direction at about 20kph. It was last located approximately 920km east southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds remain at 205kph gusting to 250kph.

Recent IR images as well as JTWC discussion suggest that an Eyewall Replacement Cycle but might be occuring inside Ma-On. Recent animated images show the inner eyewall beginning to collapse with a new one that seems to be forming that could replace the "old" eyewall in the next few hours. Cloud tops around the center appears to have warmed although we still expect one more burst of intensification today. Upper levels continue to be largely favorable with the TUTT northwest of Ma-On now beginning to weaken. Dry air and subsidence have been the main adversary of this typhoon ever since it formed but that is now forecast to gradually improve allowing Ma-On to peak at around 220kph, equivalent to a Category 4, sometime today or early tomorrow.

Forecast track have not changed. We are still expecting a landfall in Shikoku by Wednesday morning. Latest 12z computer models continue to show minor changes with the track but the consensus does seem to point at either Shikoku or Honshu landfall. Most guidance are also showing Ma-On to just hug the coast all the way to Tokyo Bay on Thursday. ECMWF actually shows a Kyushu/Shikoku landfall and takes Ma-On near Osaka before exiting the Mainland through Tokyo by Thursday. The ECMWF has actually been consistent with regards to track so we are kinda leaning on this particular model.

Okinawa should begin to see some strong winds beginning tomorrow as the distance of Ma-On decreases. Closest point of approach still looks to be around 500km so the islands is surely not out of the woods yet.

Next update at around 430pm PhT
Issued (22 UTC) 6am PhT 071711

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