Thursday, September 13, 2012

Super Typhoon Sanba (Karen) Update #7

Sanba (Bagyong Karen) has rapidly intensified overnight and is now a Category 5 Super Typhoon making it the strongest storm this year and the strongest typhoon since Megi back in 2010! Super Typhoon Sanba was last located approximately 780km east northeast of Casiguran, Aurora or about 1,050km south southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds are now at 280kph with gusts of up to 330kph! STY Sanba is currently moving northward at 15kph.

As of 5am this morning, Kadena Air Base is now under TCCOR 3; expecting winds of 50kt to begin within 48 hours. Residents along Okinawa should really start preparing now buying food, medicine, water, and bringing loose items inside. Please continue to monitor Kadena Weather (click HERE) and JMA (click HERE) for the latest OFFICIAL warnings and forecasts for your area.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the well-defined eye of Sanba with a diameter of roughly 35km. The eye continues to be surrounded by a ring of very strong convective activity. Dual-outflow channels remain excellent and the system has managed to fight off dry air last night. JTWC has noted an annular appearance of Sanba which should help it maintain that very poweful super typhoon intensity for at least the next 24 hours.

Forecasts continue to bring Sanba to the north although some of the tracks have shifted slightly to the east. In fact, JTWC is now forecasting Sanba to make landfall along the western portions of Okinawa (near Naha) by early Sunday morning. There is some good news though as Sanba is forecast to begin weakening before it reaches Okinawa but still remaining a strong Category 4 by that time. Winds of up to 260kph possible in Okinawa especially since they will be in the right front quadrant of Sanba.

After Okinawa, Sanba will likely head towards the Korean Peninsula by Monday morning as a Category 2 or 3 typhoon. Again please continue monitoring your country's official weather agency and please prepare now! We'll have another update later today, stay safe!
Issued (21 UTC) 5am PhT 091412

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