Saturday, June 16, 2012

Typhoon Guchol (Butchoy) Update #11

Note: For our Video Update, please click HERE

Typhoon Guchol (Bagyong Butchoy) is now quickly intensifying east of the Philippines. The system was last located approximately 560km east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are now at 220kph with gusts of up to 270kph. This makes it a Category 4 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. (Note that the winds are from JTWC, JMA and PAGASA are using 10-min winds that's why they have lower wind analysis). Guchol is currently moving north northwestward at 25kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the well-defined eye that rapidly formed earlier this morning. It is surrounded by a ring of strong convective activity taking advantage of the improvement in the atmospheric conditions in the area. You can also see that much of the clouds associated with Guchol is 200 to 300km away from Eastern Luzon and Visayas so stormy conditions are not expected. However, light rain showers enhanced by the typhoon could still affect these areas and bring anywhere from 20 to 50mm of rain tonight.

Forecast tracks remain relatively unchanged although we have shifted our track to the east and we are now expecting Guchol to move east of Okinawa by Monday night. This is crucial because the strongest winds will be located on the right side of the storm and if the forecasts hold, it could mean Okinawa and the rest of the islands will not see the strongest of winds from Guchol. Nevertheless, typhoon-force winds of 140 to 180kph are still possible in these islands.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Based on the current trends, there is a chance Guchol will become a super typhoon in 24 hours, just before it moves near Okinawa. It will track 100 to 200km east of the Island and then make a turn to the northeast. Worst conditions for the Japanese Islands are forecast to occur beginning Monday afternoon and lasting all night into early Tuesday morning. By that time, we expect it to start weakening steadily as it begins to encounter cooler waters and stronger wind shear. We then expect it to hug the coasts of Shikoku and Southern Honshu, weakening quickly along the way. Guchol could pass near the Tokyo Area by Thursday as a weak tropical storm.

We'll have another update tomorrow. Stay safe, and if you are within the path of the storm, please make your preparations now. Always tune in to JMA for the OFFICIAL warnings and forecasts.
Issued (0930 UTC) 530pm PhT 061612

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