Monday, July 30, 2012

Tropical Storm Saola (Gener) Update #9

Saola (Bagyong Gener) has slightly weakened overnight and has been downgraded back a Tropical Storm. TS Saola/Gener was last located approximately 220km east northeast of Basco, Batanes. Maximum sustained winds are at 110kph with gusts of up to 140kph. Saola is currently moving northwestward at 10kph.

As of 5am this morning, Public Storm Warning Signal #3 remains in effect for Batanes Group of Islands. Signal #2 for Cagayan, Calayan and Babuyan Groups of Islands. Signal #1 for Isabela, Kalinga, and Apayao. PAGASA (and Taiwan's CWB) continues to classify Saola as a Typhoon that's why we have Signal #3 up in Batanes. These areas will continue having stormy conditions throughout today, with heavy rains of up to 100mm and gusty winds reaching 60 to 120kph. Coastal areas should also be aware of the potential for high storm surges and rough waves.

IR Image from NRMLRY

Recent satellite images depict the eye has somewhat degraded overnight. Furthermore, microwave images also show the eyewall is still not fully established. These factors have led to the JTWC downgraded Saola from a typhoon back to a tropical storm. Nevertheless, strong winds and heavy rains continue to affect Northern Luzon and are beginning to impact Taiwan. Rainfall amounts of 60 to 100mm have been recorded in some areas in Cagayan and Ilocos Norte. Another 50mm of rain could fall today before conditions start to improve. Taiwan, on the other hand, should expect gradual deterioration in the weather as Saola moves slowly towards the northwest. Continue monitoring the news for the latest in your area!

Despite this setback, we are still forecasting Saola/Gener to resume intensification, eventually becoming a typhoon again later tonight. Conditions remain favorable for continued development and computer models and forecasting agencies are still showing Saola becoming a strong typhoon in the next few days. The forecast track, on the other hand, hasn't changed significantly and is still taking Saola to the northwest but not making landfall in Taiwan. It could brush the northeastern part of the country, however. It is still forecast to proceed towards Eastern China by early Thursday morning as a strong Category 2 typhoon.

We'll have another update later today.
Issued (22 UTC) 6am PhT 073112

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