Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak (Helen) Update #10

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak (Bagyong Helen) continues to move across the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and is about to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility. The storm was last located approximately 300km west northwest of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte or about 480km southeast of Hong Kong. Maximum sustained winds have slightly increased to 110kph with gusts of up to 140kph. Kai-Tak is currently moving west northwestward at 20kph.

As of 5am today, PAGASA has dropped all Public Storm Warning Signals in the Philippines. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the HKO has issued Standby Signal No. 1 and urges residents to continue monitoring and start making precautionary measures. Finally, the China Meteorological Administration has issued Yellow Warning in preparation for a possible landfall in Guangdong Province.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the Central Dense Overcast (CDO) continues to get better defined with strong convective activity emanating from the circulation. JTWC has already gone ahead and upgraded the system to a Typhoon while the JMA has upgraded Kai-Tak to a Severe Tropical Storm. Based on the latest data, the system will continue intensifying today and we could upgrade it to a typhoon later today.

TS Kai-Tak has moved farther south than what we thought yesterday. Therefore, the forecast track may need to be adjusted to the west. Because of this, there is lesser chance of Kai-Tak making landfall in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the storm could still move close enough to Hong Kong to give strong winds and heavy rains in the region. Right now, the landfall point appears to be near Leizhou Peninsula in the southwestern portion of Guangdong Province. Kai-Tak could make landfall as early as this evening or perhaps early tomorrow morning (Friday).

Finally, the Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) continues to be enhanced by Kai-Tak. Fortunately though, the bulk of the rains remain offshore and have missed Metro Manila and the surrounding areas. However, some showers could still pop-up and impact the region today. Northern Luzon, on the other hand, should expect improving conditions especially in Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Cordillera Regions, as Kai-Tak/Helen continues to move away.

We'll have more updates and forecasts later today.
Issued (23 UTC) 7am PhT 081612

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