Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Jelawat (Lawin) Update #5 (w/ Video)

Tropical Storm Jelawat continues to intensify as it becomes almost stationary in the Philippine Sea. The storm was last located approximately 480km east of Borongan, Eastern Samar. Maximum sustained winds are now at 100kph with gusts of up to 140kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image showing strong convective activity right near the center. Outflow channels also continue to improve as the atmospheric conditions remain favorable for further development. Satellite image also shows outer rain bands beginning to impact Bicol Region and Visayas Islands. Stations are beginning to report 30 to 50mm of rain in the past 12 hours. More rains are definitely on the way and we expect as much as 300mm of rain to fall in some places in the next 3 days. Along with the heavy rains, strong winds and rough waves will also be big threats near the coast so please listen to your local officials' warnings and instructions!

As of 5pm this afternoon, PAGASA has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #2 for Eastern Samar. Signal #1 for Western Samar, Northern Samar, Sorsogon, Leyte, and Southern Leyte. These areas should expect gusty winds and squally rainshowers throughout the night.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

No major changes in the forecast track are made. We still basically expect Jelawat to remain nearly stationary in the next 24 hours. It could become a typhoon as early as tomorrow morning (Sunday) and could start turning to the north by Monday. Jelawat will continue tracking northward in response to a rebuilding subtropical ridge near Japan. By Tuesday it could strengthen to a Category 2 and by Wednesday a Category 3 Typhoon! By this time, the system could also start turning more to the northwest as another ridge is forecast to build near China.

As you can see with our map above, we have a very big cone of uncertainty and we do stress that we have somewhat low confidence with our current forecast mainly due to the competing steering factors in this region. What complicates things more is the presence of a low pressure area (Invest 93W) that could also develop into a cyclone by next week. Please watch our video above for detailed explanation on the complexities in the forecast and also the different possibilities as we head to next week.

Please be reminded that we are NOT and official weather agency. Always listen to PAGASA for the latest Signal Warnings and also to your local officials for any evacuations or alerts in your area. Stay safe!
Issued (09 UTC) 5pm PhT 092212

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