Typhoon Jelawat continues to undergo eyewall replacement cycle as it moves northward. Typhoon Jelawat (Bagyong Lawin) was last located approximately 430km east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds have slightly weakened to 230kph with gusts of up to 275kph. Jelawat is currently moving north northwestward at 15kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows the pinhole eye continuing to contract and erode as Jelawat enters the final stages of eyewall replacement cycle. The latest image also shows strong convective ring and the system, overall, is looking very symmetrical almost doughnut shaped which is very common in cyclones that have gone eyewall replacement cycle. Outer rain bands also continue to affect parts of the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas bringing rains of up to 50mm. Further to the south, Typhoon Jelawat is enhancing that Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) bringing widespread heavy rains across Palawan, Western Visayas, and Western Mindanao. Some areas in Palawan and Zamboanga have actually reported nearly 100mm of rain in the past 24 hours and more could fall in the said regions in the next few days. In the next 2 to 3 days, those widespread Southwest Monsoonal rains will inch northward eventually reaching Central and Southern Luzon including Metro Manila.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
We expect Jelawat to finish the eyewall replacement cycle in the next 12 hours. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) is no longer expecting the system to intensify although we personally think that after that replacement cycle, Jelawat still has another round of intensification to go. With that said, we are forecasting Jelawat to reach Category 5 Super Typhoon by Wednesday morning. By that time, we also expect the system to start turning more to the northwest in response to a strengthening ridge in Eastern China. It could move within 200km to 300km of Cagayan by Thursday bringing strong winds and rains in that part of Luzon. By that time, we expect Jelawat to start weakening as it encounters stronger shear. We are also forecasting the typhoon to move near Taiwan but not make landfall there and instead will recurve to the northeast perhaps threatening the Southern Japanese Islands including Okinawa.
With that said, we've decided to place Northern Luzon, Taiwan, and the Japanese Islands under our Forecast Cone of Uncertainty so anywhere inside that cone should continue closely monitoring the developments of Typhoon Jelawat (Bagyong Lawin). Finally, we are NOT an official weather agency so please always listen to your official weather bureau (PAGASA, Central Weather Bureau, or the JMA).
We'll have another update tomorrow.
Issued (0930 UTC) 530pm PhT 092412