Sunday, September 23, 2012

Super Typhoon Jelawat (Lawin) Update #8

Jelawat (Bagyong Lawin) has rapidly intensified in the past 24 hours, going from a Tropical Storm to a Category 4 Super Typhoon. The eye of the storm was last located approximately 460km east of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are now at 240kph with gusts of up to 295kph. Jelawat is currently moving northward at 10kph.

As of 5am this morning, PAGASA has dropped all Public Storm Warning Signals in the Philippines.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows a pinhole eye with a diameter of 20km. The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong convective activity. Dual outflow channels remain very vigorous as well. Further analysis, however, suggest that the system may be undergoing a possible eyewall replacement cycle. We'll have to wait and see whether this is true but if it is, we may see a period of weakening later today. But right now, the system remains a very powerful Typhoon.

The image above also shows outer bands still affecting parts of Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Rainfall amounts have generally ranged from 30 to around 50mm in some areas. More rains are expected throughout today and the rains will also slowly make their way to the north, eventually affecting parts of Southern and Central Luzon including Metro Manila.

Forecast tracks remain unchanged and the computer models have actually improved in terms of overall spread. The consensus has also remained consistent for the past 24 hours. Latest forecasts take Jelawat generally to the north in the next 24 to 36 hours. It may, then, turn slightly northwestward by Wednesday but most tracks are now keeping it away from Taiwan. Jelawat, however, may impact parts of the Ryukyu Islands by Thursday or Friday.

As for the intensity, we think Jelawat will maintain this present Super Typhoon strength. We're still not sure though about the eyewall replacement cycle and, thus, are unsure whether Jelawat will continue intensifying today.

We'll have another update later this afternoon.
Issued (2230 UTC) 630am PhT 092412

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