Friday, September 21, 2012

Tropical Storm Jelawat (Lawin) Update #3 (w/ Video)

Here is our Video Update containing in-depth analysis and forecast along with the different scenarios with regards to Jelawat's future movement. Scroll down below for our complete Text Update along with our exclusive Forecast Track.

Tropical Storm Jelawat (Bagyong Lawin) continues to intensify as it slows down on its movement across the Philippine Sea. The storm was last located approximately 660km east southeast of Virac, Catanduanes or about 540km east of the island of Samar. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 85kph with gusts of up to 110kph. Jelawat is moving west southwestward at 15kph.

As of 5pm this afternoon, PAGASA has issued Public Storm Warning Signal #1 for Eastern Samar. The said province along with Eastern Visayas and the Bicol Region should expect breezy conditions along with occasional rainshowers tonight and into tomorrow. Furthermore, mariners and fishermen should refrain from heading out to sea as wave heights will steadily increase throughout the next few days.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows a new hot tower forming indicating strong convective activity right over the center. The Central Dense Overcast is yet to really develop despite the good environment. Nevertheless, outflow is improving especially in equatorward outflow. Warm waters of the Philippine Sea and weak wind shear in the region should allow Jelawat to continue intensifying perhaps becoming a typhoon by as early as tomorrow evening (Saturday) or by early Sunday morning.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

To say that there are uncertainties with the forecast track is an understatement! Right now, the forecast spread from the computer models is nearly 1,500km! One model is taking Jelawat right into Central Luzon, while another takes it into Taiwan, and yet a couple more models are taking Jelawat towards Japan! Lots of solutions on the table right now and the current steering flow in the atmosphere only complicates things.

But we since we have to make a forecast, we have decided to side with the forecast consensus shown by the official weather agencies. Nearly all weather bureaus are expecting Jelawat to eventually move northwestward. They are discarding the northeastward solution being shown by the Canadian and European models. Now, why are these two models so far apart from the others? The answer lies in an erroneous direct cyclone interaction or Fujiwhara Effect being shown by these models. Both Canadian and European are showing another cyclone to form near Guam in 3 days and the proximity to Jelawat will cause a Fujiwhara Effect eventually pulling Jelawat to the northeast towards Japan and avoiding the Philippines. Unless that cyclone forms, we are sticking with our current forecast track which is taking Jelawat towards either Northern Luzon or Taiwan. However, please keep in mind that we have very LOW CONFIDENCE with our current track and that virtually all residents from Visayas to Luzon to Taiwan to Okinawa to Japan must continue monitoring the movement and development of Jelawat.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Satellite image above showing what the Canadian and European models are suggesting what could happen with Jelawat in the next few days.

We'll have another update tomorrow.
Issued (09 UTC) 5pm PhT 092112

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