Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Typhoon Sanba (Karen) Update #4 (w/ Video)

Here is our latest Video Update on Typhoon Sanba (Karen). Please note that in the video, we use JMA's wind analysis which makes Sanba a Tropical Storm. However, in our blog we use JTWC which has upgraded Sanba to a Typhoon so please be aware of the discrepancy.

For more info, read our complete Text Update below along with our exclusive Forecast Track!


Sanba (Bagyong Karen) has intensified into a Typhoon as it continues to track across the Philippine Sea. It was last located approximately 740km east southeast of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are now at 120kph with gusts of up to 150kph. Typhoon Sanba is currently moving northwestward at 15kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the eye starting to appear on the infra-red. Central Dense Overcast continues to improve as well. Radial outflow also remains excellent allowing Sanba to ventilate nicely in the upper levels. Some showers enhanced by Sanba's circulation are affecting Visayas and Mindanao but the bulk of rains remain offshore. Rains will continue across Visayas and eventually move into Luzon by tomorrow; amounts of up to 50mm possible in some areas.

Typhoon Sanba/Karen has moved more the west northwest in the past 24 hours and has stayed left of our forecast track. It seems that the ridge north of the system is stronger than analyzed and may lead to continue northwesterly movement in the next12 to 24 hours. Despite the recent trends, we still don't think this storm will move towards the Philippines. A mid-latitude trough is currently moving into Eastern China which should weaken the ridge over Taiwan. The trough will leave a weakness allowing Sanba to turn more to the north by Friday. Computer models are still in very good agreement despite the fairly complex steering situation so we are still in fairly confident with our forecast.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Typhoon Sanba will continue intensifying and could perhaps become a Category 2 Typhoon by tomorrow. It will continue moving northwestward but should begin to turn to the north by Friday. The system will continue moving over warm waters and along with good outflow and weak wind shear, Sanba might undergo rapid intensification by Friday and Saturday. By early Sunday morning, it'll be moving very Okinawa and by that time, it could be a strong Category 4 Typhoon! Based on forecasts, Sanba may move within 200km to the west of Okinawa putting the island on the right front quadrant. Residents from Taiwan to Okinawa should continue closely monitoring Sanba for any developments and changes in the track.

While the Philippines is not in the forecast cone, nor are we expecting the system to make landfall there, residents across Luzon and Visayas should still be wary of rain showers today and tomorrow as the circulation of Sanba continues to enhance precipitation in the region. Furthermore, it is likely that Typhoon Sanba will enhance the Southwest Monsoon in the coming days which could bring more rains in the country this weekend. As always, continue to watch the news for any warnings and forecasts.

We'll have another update tomorrow. Stay safe!
Issued (0930 UTC) 530pm PhT 091212

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