Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak (Helen) Update #5

NOTE: For the latest Video Update on Kai-Tak released an hour ago, please click HERE

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak (Bagyong Helen) continues to consolidate as it moves closer to Luzon. The storm was last located approximately 340km east southeast of Aparri, Cagayan. Maximum sustained winds are at 75kph with gusts of up to 95kph. Kai-Tak is currently moving west northwestward at 15kp.

More provinces are under signal warnings. As of 5pm today, PAGASA has issued Public Storm Warning Signal #2 for Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and the Groups of Islands of Calayan, Babuyan, and Batanes. Signal #1 for Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Benguet, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, and La Union. Areas under Signal #2 will feel winds of 60 to 100kph in the next 12 to 24 hours. Provinces under Signal #1 should expect winds of 30 to 60kph. Aside from the strong winds, areas mentioned should also be weary of widespread rains tonight and into tomorrow. Provinces in Northern Luzon could get up to 100 to even 150mm tonight.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image suggest that the low-level center of Kai-Tak (which was partially exposed this morning)  may have moved back under the strong convection. Further data analysis also reveal the wind shear around Kai-Tak has weakened compared to yesterday allowing the system consolidate much better. If this improvement continues, we could see a faster pace of intensification in the next 24 hours. We wouldn't be surprised if Kai-Tak intensifies to a Typhoon tomorrow.

Subic Radar Image from ClimateX

With the circulation of Kai-Tak, the strong convection are bringing rains across parts of Northern Luzon. Areas in Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, and the Cordilleras are reporting rainfall amounts of up to 150mm already in the past 24 hours. Farther to the south, the inflow bands continue bring rains across Central and Southern Luzon. Places in Zambales, Bataan, and Pampanga are also reporting rainfall amounts of 50 to 100mm. These areas, including Metro Manila, will have less rains compared to the north but these showers can still bring up to 50mm tonight so the possibility of flooding still exists. Rains even extend into Visayas Area and some of these thunderstorms can actually bring the threat of tornadic activity. In fact, a water spout was reported near Iloilo City yesterday. Continue to monitor the developments in your area by watching the news on TV or on the web. You can also go to PAGASA's Project NOAH for the latest radar images and rainfall forecasts for your area.

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak/Helen will continue moving west northwestward tonight. While we are not expecting a direct landfall, the bulk of the convection will still affect large parts of Northern Luzon in the next two days. Furthermore, any wobbles in the storm's movement could definitely bring the center of Kai-Tak close to Cagayan, near Sta. Ana, tomorrow morning.

Kai-Tak will continue to move across Luzon Strait and could become a typhoon as early as tomorrow evening (Wednesday) or by Thursday morning. It will then move south of Taiwan and eventually make landfall into the province of Guangdong, near the city of Shantou, by Thursday evening or Friday morning as a strong Category 1 typhoon. It will then quickly weaken as it moves across land and could move north of Hong Kong by Friday evening.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

We'll have more update tomorrow morning. Stay safe!
Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 081412

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