Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Typhoon Tembin (Igme) Update #5

Note: For our latest Video Update on Typhoon Tembin and Tropical Storm Bolaven, please click HERE

Typhoon Tembin (Bagyong Igme) has weakened slightly in the past 6 hours as it slowly moves away from Luzon. The storm was last located approximately 370km east northeast of Basco, Batanes or about 590km southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 195kph with gusts of up to 230kph. Tembin is currently moving northward at 15kph.

As of 5pm today, only Batanes Group of Islands are under Public Storm Warning Signal #1 from PAGASA. Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) of Taiwan has issued Sea Warning for Typhoon and are expecting very rough waves, particularly along the east coast. We expect Land Warning to be issued tonight or tomorrow.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Typhoon Tembin continues to exhibit weakening in the past 6 hours and the latest satellite image above shows the worsening look of the system. Earlier this morning, Tembin peaked at Category 4 status with winds of up to 215kph; it has since weakened to a Category 3 but still a powerful typhoon no doubt. Right now, however, cloud tops have warmed, eyewall has eroded, and the central dense overcast has degraded. An upper-level feature is moving near Tembin and is inducing unfavorable conditions, particularly on the southeastern side of the typhoon. We still expect Tembin to regain strength and could reach Category 4 once again tomorrow.

Forecast tracks remain in good agreement in the near term. We expect Tembin to begin turning westward tonight or perhaps early tomorrow. It will intensify slightly tomorrow and could make landfall along Hualien, Taiwan by early Thursday morning as a strong Category 3 typhoon. As we've seen time and time, Tembin could wobble or even slow down as it interacts with the rough terrain of Taiwan. Big threat remains damaging winds, high waves, and heavy rains of up to 300 or even 500mm.

Tembin will significantly weaken as it tracks across Taiwan but is expected to remain as a minimal typhoon as it moves into Taiwan Strait. It could then make a second landfall into the Guangdong or Fujian Province in China by Friday evening or early Saturday morning. It should rapidly weaken to a Tropical Storm as it moves inland.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Some uncertainties remain with the track of Tembin after it makes landfall in Taiwan. Some computer models (and even agencies) are expecting a binary interaction or a Fujiwhara Effect between Tembin and the approaching Bolaven. Right now, we think that scenario has a low chance of happening. However, depending on the speed of these two systems, Bolaven might just move close enough to induce an effect on Tembin's movement. However, if it does happen, we think Tembin will be influenced AFTER it makes landfall in Taiwan.

We'll have another update tomorrow. If you are in Taiwan, please prepare NOW!
Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 082112

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