Friday, August 26, 2011

STY Nanmadol (Mina) and TS Talas Update

This is our latest text update for the Pacific. We have put earlier our complete Video Update for Nanmadol and Talas. You can view that on the separate post here in our blog or on my YouTube page (rpweather).

Super Typhoon Nanmadol (Bagyong Mina) continues to strengthen as it moves parallel east of Luzon. Maximum sustained winds have increased slightly to 250kph with gusts of up to 305kph. Nanmadol has begun to move north northwesterly which is certainly a good news for the residents in Isabela and Cagayan. As I have mentioned earlier, I don't think this typhoon will make landfall in Luzon. Nevertheless, because of its strength and proximity to the eastern coast, areas in Cagayan especially Sta. Ana could get some very powerful typhoon winds during the next 24 hours as Nanmadol makes its closest point of approach there. Rest of Eastern Coastal Sections in Cagayan and Isabela (for example Palanan) will also see some typhoon force winds throughout tonight. That is why PAGASA have raised Signal #3 for these areas. PAGASA will update their Signal Warning list by 5pm today so please go to their website HERE for the latest.

This is the latest Doppler Radar image from Baler Radar courtesy of PAGASA

As for the forecasts, computer models have shifted slightly westward on their medium-term track for Nanmadol. Most of them now takes the storm just east of Taiwan next week. Short term forecasts, on the other hand, will put Nanmadol less than 100km away from Sta. Ana, Cagayan tomorrow (Saturday). On my forecast track below, I still think Nanmadol will have one more round of intensification tonight which could put it into the Category 5 territory with winds of 280 to 330kph winds! Environment continues to be very favorable with negligible wind shear and very high ocean heat content.

By Sunday, I am expecting a slight weakening due to a possible Eyewall Replacement Cycle (EWRC) as evidenced by a recent Microwave image (please see my video for details on this). However, this will still likely be a Category 3 typhoon by the time it gets closer to Taiwan.

I still don't want to forecast beyond day 3 mainly due to the many uncertainties and inconsistencies among models and the environment. Direct cyclone interaction with Talas might be less significant than we thought. In that case Nanmadol could head further north than our forecast. Another factor is the strength of the Subtropical Ridge south of Japan which has been steering our Typhoon for the past few days. If it keeps on being strong, it could steer Nanmadol towards Taiwan! There are still lots of possibilities obviously but I would say that areas from Taiwan to Okinawa have their chances increasing for possibly seeing some stormy conditions sometime next week.

Tropical Storm Talas

And now to Talas. The storm continues to slowly develop with winds remaining around 85kph gusting to 110kph. This is an average of wind estimates from JTWC and JMA which have quite a substantial discrepancy. Talas has begun to turn to the north at a slow speed of 10kph. As you can see in our map above, Talas will likely continue its northward track for the next 3 days. Beyond that is still a big mystery. Conditions will remain favorable to allow Talas to intensify to a typhoon and as you can see on our map, I am giving it a chance of becoming a Category 2 by Monday. Areas at risk for potentially seeing effects from Talas would be the southern and eastern areas of Honshu, particularly the Kanto region. Anyone living here will want to carefully monitor the progress of this storm. Timing of effects is around late next week so still have lots of time for significant changes.

Wide IR view of the Western Pacific from NOAA

You can see Nanmadol through its well-defined eye as well as the massive circulation and cloud formation from TS Talas to the east.

We will have our next update by 12 midnight. If not, the next update will be around 5am tomorrow morning.
Stay safe!
Issued (09 UTC) 5pm PhT 082611

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