Friday, June 15, 2012

Typhoon Guchol (Butchoy) Update #10

Typhoon Guchol (Bagyong Buthcoy) continues to move generally northward remaining well offshore from the Philippines. It was last located approximtely 540km east northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar. Guchol has also strengthened quickly overnight prompting JTWC to upgrade it to a Category-3 Typhoon; be reminded that both JMA and PAGASA are still classifying it as tropical storm. We are using JTWC winds and as of their latest warning, maximum sustained winds are now at 185kph with gusts of up to 230kph. Guchol is moving north northwestward at 15kph.

All Public Storm Warning Signals have been lowered by PAGASA.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image depict the central dense overcast with strong convective activity surrounding the storm. Further analysis, suggests that an eye maybe trying to come out on IR satellite. An irregular eyewall is also visible on the microwave images with strong banding on the southeastern periphery. The image also shows rain showers influenced by the circulation of Guchol are now affecting Central and Eastern Visayas, as well as parts of the Bicol Region. Light to moderate rains could affect these areas throughout today, bringing amounts of up to 100mm.

Wind shear has dramatically weakened and sea surface temperatures remain high. Guchol should continue intensifying for another 2 days moving 300km east of Luzon over the weekend. While stormy conditions from Guchol won't affect the Philippines, the SW Monsoon influenced by the storm will still affect much of Visayas and Luzon in the next 2 to 3 days.

The next critical area in the forecast would be Okinawa and the surrounding islands. Due to its current intensity, there is a small chance Guchol strengthens to a Category 4 by Sunday although it should start to weaken as it nears Okinawa. Nevertheless, Guchol could still be a strong cat 3 by the time it affects the Japanese Islands. Therefore, I urge residents there to start preparing now for the storm.

We'll have more updates later this afternoon.
Issued (22 UTC) 6am PhT 061612

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