Typhoon Bopha (Bagyong Pablo) continues to slowly weaken as it moves closer to Northern Luzon. The system was last located approximately 180km west of Vigan City, 200km southwest of Laoag City, or about 260km northwest of Dagupan City. Maximum sustained winds are now down to 165kph with gusts of up to 215kph. Bopha is moving east northeastward at 20kph.
As of 5pm this afternoon, PAGASA has issued the following Public Storm Warning Signals to these provinces:
Signal#2: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union
Signal #1: Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Batanes Group of Islands, Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Mt. Province, Benguet, Pangasinan, and Zambales
These provinces should expect stormy conditions to impact their area beginning tomorrow. Strong winds and light to moderate rains are possible. Please be on high alert and if you live in hazardous areas, we suggest to coordinate with your local officials and continue to monitor the radio or tv for the latest warnings and developments.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows the clouds of Bopha moving nearer to Luzon. The system, as a whole, looks very asymmetrical as it feels the strong upper-level winds. Rain bands could begin to impact Ilocos Regions by tonight and into tomorrow.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
There are still huge uncertainties with the forecast track as we are still unsure whether Bopha will actually make landfall. PAGASA is forecasting a landfall in Ilocos Norte tomorrow. Meanwhile, JMA and JTWC are forecasting a loop-moving near Ilocos first tomorrow, and then quickly turning southwestward away from Luzon. Whatever scenario actually happens, the possibility of heavy rains are increasing, along with strong winds particularly along the coast. Again, if you are under a Signal Warning you need to be on high alert.
For our own Forecast Track, we have decided to go in the middle. We are expecting this system to continue moving eastward and perhaps turn southwestward, eventually making landfall in Ilocos Sur by tomorrow. It will be rapidly weakening as strong shear and dry air will disrupt the system. However, if it becomes a Tropical Storm, it can still bring heavy rains across Northern Luzon, especially in mountainous areas, increasing the likelihood of flooding and landslides--hopefully it won't be as bad as what Mindanao experienced 3 days ago.
We'll have an important update tomorrow morning. Stay safe!
Issued (1130 UTC) 730pm PhT 120812