Typhoon Prapiroon (Bagyong Nina) continues to intensify as it moves across the Philippine Sea. The system was last located approximately 930km east of Aparri, Cagayan or about 910km south southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 155kph with gusts of up to 185kph. Prapiroon is moving west northwestward at 10kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows that the eye hasn't formed yet. However, the structure continues to improve with an expansive central dense overcast (CDO) with ample strong convective activity especially around the storm's center. Recent microwave images barely give us any idea on the eyewall. An image earlier this morning did suggest that the eyewall may have been completed with a pinhole eye somewhat visible; but, obviously, the eye isn't visible yet and it is possible that that eyewall may have collapsed earlier today.
Prapiroon is staying far offshore and isn't directly impacting any land. However, the storm's circulation may enhance some showers and thunderstorms across Visayas and Mindanao. Precipitation will be widely scattered and should not be too severe for the areas affected.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
We expect Prapiroon to continue moving in a west northwestward direction, intensifying along the way. Due to the favorable conditions, Prapiroon will continue intensifying, perhaps becoming a Category 3 by tomorrow evening (Thursday). By Friday, Prapiroon is forecast to begin turning more to the north and eventually turn northeastward by the weekend away from the Japanese Islands. Prapiroon is forecast to keep strengthening in the next 3 days and could peak at Category 4 intensity by Saturday.
There are still some uncertainties over the future movement of Prapiroon. In fact, the Japan Meteorological Agency is now bringing Prapiroon to the northwest near the Sakishima Islands by early next week. JMA's latest forecast are opposite of the current forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Our forecast track above is currently aligning more with JTWC and the rest of the computer models. However, we're not saying JMA's forecast is wrong and the recent disagreements among the official agencies is a testament to how uncertain we still are in terms of Prapiroon's movement. With that said, we are keeping a very big cone of uncertainty with our track and we urge everyone on the region to keep closely monitoring the developments of Prapiroon.
We'll have another update tomorrow.
Issued (09 UTC) 5pm PhT 101012