Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tropical Storm Saola (Gener) Update #4

Tropical Storm Saola (Bagyong Gener) strengthened slightly as it somewhat struggles from consolidating further. The storm was last located approximately 330km east northeast of Ilagan, Isabela. Maximum sustained winds are now at 85kph with gusts of up to 120kph. Saola is currently moving north northwestward at 10kph.

As of 11am today, Public Storm Warning Signal #2 remains in effect for Cagayan, Calayan and Babuyan Groups of Islands. Signal #1 for Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, and Batanes Group of Islands.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest data from satellite suggest that the low-level circulation center is still elongated and that there may actually be two vortices spinning around a common center, as was noted by JTWC. This is somewhat preventing the core of Saola from strengthening further. Either way, rain bands from the storm are now affecting parts of Eastern Luzon particularly the provinces of Aurora, Isabela, and Cagayan. Further to the south, feeder bands flowing into the circulation of Saola are also bringing widespread rains across Central and Southern Luzon and also down to Visayas. Many areas here, including Palawan, are already reporting rainfall amounts of 50 to 100mm and more are on the way.

We expect Saola to slowly sort out its core structure and resume a much faster pace of intensification. Due to the favorable conditions in the region, Saola is still forecast to become a typhoon as early as Monday night or early Tuesday morning. No major changes in the latest forecast tracks from the agencies and the consensus is still bringing Saola towards Taiwan by the middle part of next week.

We'll have another update on Saola as well as on Damrey later this afternoon.
Issued (03 UTC) 11am PhT 072912

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