Friday, September 14, 2012

Typhoon Sanba (Kare) Update #9

Sanba (Bagyong Karen) continues to weaken slowly and is no longer a Super Typhoon. Typhoon Sanba was last located approximately 560km south southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds are now down to 230kph with gusts of up to 280kph. Sanba is currently moving northward at 20kph.

As of 5am this morning, Kadena Air Base is now under TCCOR 2 meaning that winds of 50kts (95kph) or greater are expected to occur within 24 hours. Residents inside the base are urged to bring any loose items inside, stock up on food, water, medicine, etc to prepare for the upcoming typhoon. Likewise, JMA has issued High Waves, Gale, Thunderstorm, and Storm Surge Advisories across much of the Ryukyu Islands.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the eye of Sanba starting to fill in as the system continues to weaken. The eyewall replacement cycle doesn't seem to be going so well with the inner eyewall starting to completely collapse. Moreover, the convective activity has weakened and cloud tops, particularly along the eastern side, has warmed. Typhoon Sanba is now moving into an area of slightly cooler waters and slightly higher wind shear. These factors, along with the ongoing eyewall replacement cycle, will lead to continued weakening in the next 24 hours or so. Despite the current weakening trend, Sanba is still a formidable typhoon and one that must not be underestimated. The system may weaken to a Category 3 but winds of 180 to 200kph can still pack a punch.

Typhoon Sanba will turn slightly to the north northwest on its way to Okinawa. Tropical Storm-force winds may start impacting the Japanese Islands later today with typhoon-force winds expected to begin by midnight. Peak winds of around 200kph are expected to be felt between the hours of 3am and 9am of Sunday morning (Japan Time). Damaging winds will continue throughout Sunday, along with heavy rains amounting up to 300mm.

Sanba will continue weakening as it moves into the East China Sea perhaps becoming a Category 2 by Sunday evening. It is still forecast to make landfall in South Korea by early Monday morning as a strong Category 2 or a Category 1 typhoon.

We'll have more updates later today. Stay safe!
Issued (21 UTC) 5am PhT 091512

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