Monday, July 30, 2012

Typhoon Saola (Gener) Update #8

Note: For the latest Video Update on Saola and Damrey posted an hour ago, please click HERE
For the Text Update on Tropical Storm Damrey, click HERE

Saola (Bagyong Gener) continues to gather strength and has been upgraded to a Typhoon both by the JTWC and PAGASA. Typhoon Saola/Gener was last located approximately 310km east of Basco, Batanes or about 640km southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds are now at 120kph with gusts of up to 150kph. Saola is currently moving northward at 5kph. Note that the JMA has kept Saola at Severe Tropical Storm Intensity with winds of 100 to 130kph.

As of 5pm today, PAGASA has now raised Signal #3 for Batanes Group of Islands. Signal #2 remains for Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, and Babuyan Group of Islands. Signal #1 for Isabela, Kalinga, and Apayao. These areas will continue to have stormy conditions throughout the night and into tomorrow. Coastal areas in extreme Northern Luzon are also vulnerable for storm surges and rough waves. Batanes Islands could get hammered with damaging typhoon-force winds in the next few hours, coupled with heavy rain. You can access the latest radar images, flood status, and rain amounts by clicking HERE to PAGASA's NOAH. You can also head to PAGASA's Official website HERE for the latest warnings and forecasts.

CWB Radar

Meanwhile, outer rain bands from Saola are now beginning to impact eastern portions of Taiwan. The Central Weather Bureau has already issued Extremely Heavy Rain Advisories in many counties for the possibility of heavy rains amounting to more than 50mm. For the latest warnings and radar images in Taiwan, please click HERE

IR Image from NRLMRY

An eye is starting to develop as can be seen on the latest satellite image. The core and the banding around Saola, however, remains rugged and weakly-organized. Nevertheless, favorable conditions in the region should allow Saola to continue consolidating in the next few days. Rains from the system continue to impact Northern Luzon where many areas have already recorded up to 200mm. So far, we haven't received any reports of casualties or damages in this region. Stormy conditions will remain here throughout the night and into tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the combined effects of the SW Monsoon and Saola's circulation will continue enhancing widespread rains across Central and Southern Luzon including Manila and even towards Palawan and Visayas. Many areas here have received upwards of up to 150mm of rain yesterday bringing flash floods and landslides. Some dams in the region are actually nearing their spilling level, particularly La Mesa Dam. Unfortunately, another round of heavy rains could move in the National Capital Region tonight; although not as heavy as last night. This is an extremely dangerous situation so please continue watching your local news and coordinating with the local officials for the latest!

As for the forecast tracks, we have shifted our path to the north and there is now a smaller possibility of Saola making landfall in Taiwan. Instead, it could track between Taiwan and the Ishigakijima Islands by Wednesday morning. Furthermore, due to the overall favorable conditions in the region, Saola could undergo rapid intensification in the next 24 to 36 hours which could bring it up to Category 3 status by as early as Wednesday.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

By Thursday, Saola is forecast to turn more to the west in response to the Subtropical Ridge to the north. It is forecast to make landfall in either Fujian or Zhejiang Province in Eastern China by Thursday as a strong typhoon. Some computer models are hinting of a direct cyclone interaction of Fujiwhara Effect with Damrey. But even though they move close to each other, Saola will be relatively stronger and should eventually absorb Damrey or at least affect its path. Right now, that has little chance of happening but the possibility still exists and we'll continue monitoring the developments of these two systems.

We'll have another update tomorrow morning. If you have any storm reports to share, please email us at

Stay safe!
Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 073012

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