Typhoon Bopha is currently rapidly intensifying as it moves across the Pacific Ocean. The storm was last located approximately 920km east southeast of Palau. Maximum sustained winds are now at 165kph with gusts of up to 195kph. Typhoon Bopha is moving west northwestward at 20kph.
Typhoon Watches remain issued for parts of Yap and Palau according to the National Weather Service. For the latest info and forecasts, please click HERE. We're looking at the worst conditions occurring Sunday into Monday. We urge everyone in the said locations to please prepare now and always consult your local officials for any warnings and instructions for your area.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Bopha is currently rapidly intensifying; moving from a Tropical Storm to a Category 2 Typhoon! A small eye has developed which is surrounded by a ring of strong convective activity. Radial outflow is also pretty good, aided by the weak wind shear in the region. Due to the latest trends we've seen, it is possible that Bopha attains Category 4 status by tonight!
Typhoon Bopha is still forecast to strike Palau by Sunday evening and lasting into Monday morning. Winds of up to 185kph are possible along with rainfall amounts of up to 150mm. Yap Island, which is farther north, will be spared from the worst conditions although Tropical Storm winds and occasional rains are still possible.
By Sunday, Bopha is also expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility and will then be given the local name, "Bagyong Pablo" by PAGASA. Computer models and forecast agencies are coming into better agreement regarding the storm's track by next week. As it stands right now, chances are increasing of a landfall along the eastern portions of the Philippines by Tuesday or Wednesday. It is still too early to pinpoint where exactly but anywhere from Mindanao all the way to the Bicol Region must closely follow the developments of Bopha.
We'll have another update later this afternoon. Our affiliates at westernpacificweather.com will be holding a live update at 11am (Philippine Time) today. Meteorologist Robert Speta will be giving updates on YouTube as well as answering reader questions live. You can head to his channel by clicking HERE
Issued (2230 UTC) 630am PhT 120112