Thursday, July 14, 2011

Typhoon Ma-On Update #7 w/ Video

Typhoon Ma-On moves ever closer to the north of the Mariana Islands. It was last located approximately 730km north northeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 165kph with gusts reaching up to 205kph. It is moving westward at 20kph. TY Ma-On is now a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Latest VIS and IR image shows what looks like a "pulsating" activity with periods of slight weakening and re-strengthening. We have seen the eye feature become eroded many times, only to reappear again later. Definitely this storm is still sorting out its overall structure as it continues to encounter some dry air to its west. Upper levels are favorable, as well as the sea, so we do expect TY Ma-On to continue intensifying over the next 2-3 days.

As of 2pm today (Philippine Time), the National Weather Service in Guam continues to issue a Tropical Storm Warning for Pagan, Agrihan, and Alamagan Islands. The agency is also issuing a High Surf Advisory throughout the region in response to rough seas and high swells generated by Ma-On. This rough sea conditions will likely persist until the weekend so we are discouraging any time of marine activity there.

Forecasts continue to vary although much lesser degree as more computer models become in good agreement. Right now, we have the CMC being the eastern outlier showing a landfall in Honshu (near Tokyo) and brushing the southern coastal areas. The ECMWF, Euro model, is the western outlier this time, showing a landfall in Western Kyushu on Wednesday (Japan Time). All models are showing a very intense typhoon to approach Japan next week with GFS and the EURO being the strongest while the CMC being the weakest, relatively.

Our forecast here at SGB is slightly west of the model consensus, expecting a landfall either in Kyushu or Shikoku by late Tuesday or early Wednesday (Japan Time). However, as you can see in the track below, it will past just to the east of Okinawa and the Ryukyus so those islands will definitely be impacted in one way or another in terms of strong winds and heavy rain beginning this weekend.

Invest 92W

Before we end this update, I wanna update you on Invest 92W, east of the Philippines. It was last located approximately 860km east of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are around 30-40kph. The JTWC has issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA) indicating a "HIGH" chance for 92W to develop into a tropical depression within the next 24 hours. JMA, meanwhile, is already classifying this disturbance as a Tropical Depression. Latest VIS and IR iamge showing a consolidating low level circulation center. The convection, however, is mainly located on the western and southern side of the storm due to the proximity to TY Ma-On and it's huge outflow coverage. Still, the low wind-shear and high sea surface temperatures around the Philippine Sea will allow 92W to briefly attain Tropical Depression status. If it is upgraded, PAGASA will assign the local name "Hanna" to this system.

Note that TY Ma-On is also expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this weekend although it will quickly exit the area as early as Sunday. It will not bring any sort of destructive effects although it could certainly influence that SW Monsoon.

Video Update

Issued (0830 UTC) 430pm PhT 071411

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