Tropical Storm Kai-Tak (Bagyong Helen) has moved back into the open waters after making landfall in Cagayan earlier this morning. The storm was last located approximately 110km north northwest of Laoag City. Maximum sustained winds remain at 100kph with gusts of up to 130kph. Kai-Tak is currently moving west northwestward at 20kph.
As of 5pm today, PAGASA has downgraded Signal Warnings in the region. However, Public Storm Warning Signal #2 is still up for Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra, and the Batanes-Babuyan-Calayan Group of Islands. Signal #1 for Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet, Mt. Province, Ifugao, and Pangasinan.
Areas under Signal #2 will continue to have winds of up to 100kph. Signal #1 will have winds of up to 60kph. These areas will continue to experience widespread light to moderate rains in the next 12 to 24 hours. Some places across Northern Luzon are already reporting amounts of 100 to 200mm; up to 100mm of rain is still possible tonight and into tomorrow.
In addition, PAGASA has also released Yellow Warning for heavy rains that could impact Metro Manila tonight. If you are living near bodies of water, please continue watching the news for any updates and warnings in your area.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows the Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of Kai-Tak is now over water. As expected, the storm weakened and suffered after making landfall; however, the system remains very organized and looks to be on its way to some intensification tonight. Equatorward outflow remains very good although the northern side is still somewhat impinged. The system is in an area of low to moderate wind shear and warm waters; we expect Kai-Tak to resume intensifying and could actually become a typhoon tomorrow.
Tropical Storm Kai-Tak will continue moving west northwestward and is forecast to make landfall near Hong Kong as early as tomorrow evening! Hong Kong Observatory is saying they could issue Standby Signal No. 1 tonight and could upgrade the warnings tomorrow morning. Please continue to check HKO and also the CMA for the latest warnings in your respective areas.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
As we've mentioned earlier, Kai-Tak will likely become a typhoon before making landfall near Hong Kong. Timing for the landfall could be anywhere between tomorrow (Thursday) evening or early Friday morning. It will then rapidly weaken to a Tropical Storm as it moves inland into Guangdong Province and could dissipate as early as Saturday as it moves into the Guangxi Province.
Subic Radar from ClimateX
We'll have our next update tomorrow morning. If you have any storm reports, images or videos, or if you simply have a question or comments, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 081512