Friday, July 15, 2011

Typhoon Ma-On Update #9 w/ Video | TD Tokage

Note: You will find our Video Update at the end of this post.

Typhoon Ma-On is now moving away from the Northern Mariana Islands. It was last located approximately 860km north northwest of Guam. Maximum sustained winds remain at 215kph with gusts up to 260kph. Ma-On is a Category 4 typhoon in the Saffir-Simpson Scale. TY Ma-On is moving west northwestward at 20kph.

Latest VIS shot shows a cloud-filled eye with the corresponding IR image showing cooling cloud-tops again as Ma-On tries to reform that eye back; a pulsating sort of activity that we are seeing over the past 24-36 hours. Due to its large size and a few unfavorable factors, such as dry air and subsidence, TY Ma-On is still sorting out its overall structure--trying to develop outflow channels, keeping away dry air, etc. Ma-On remains in a favorable environment, however, so we still expect it to continue intensifying, albeit slowly.

Forecasts remain largely unchanged. A few minor shifts in the models and weather agencies which happens when you get a strong system like Ma-On. For the most part, it does seem the storm is headed either towards Kyushu, Shikoku, or Honshu. The critical part is when Ma-On makes that poleward turn because a shift can still put Okinawa in danger. We will know a definitive picture hopefully by tomorrow.

Here's our Forecast Track which is a compromise between the eastern outliers such as CMC and JMA and the western outlier forecast by UKMET.

Tropical Depression Tokage

The tropical disturbance east of the Philippines has been upgraded to a depression by the JTWC, and a tropical storm by the JMA. TD Tokage was last locateed approximately 850km east of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are at 55kph with gusts up to 75kph. Those wind estimates are a compromise between JMA, JTWC, and ASCAT pass which shows 30-40kt winds. We are keeping this as a TD, despite the TS warning by JMA, mainly because of the exposed low-level circulation and poor convective signature on the infra-red image.

We are expecting Tokage to be absorbed eventually by Ma-On as the more powerful typhoon enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility tomorrow. So obviously, we don't expect any sort of direct effect from both systems although it is certain that Ma-On, as it turns north, will enhance and pull that SW Monsoon back to the Philippines, especially towards Western Luzon. Continuous rain for the Philippines will likely return by the middle of next week.

VIS image from NRLMRY showing the locations of Tokage and Ma-On.

Video Update

Issued (0830 UTC) 430pm PhT 071511

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