Saturday, August 10, 2013

Typhoon Utor (Labuyo) Update #8

Issued (04 UTC) 12pm PhT 081113

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Utor (Bagyong Labuyo) continues to intensify and is now a Category 3 Typhoon. Utor was last located approximately 170km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or about 450km east of Manila. Maximum sustained winds are now at 185kph with gusts of up to 230kph. Typhoon Utor is moving west northwestward at 20kph.

As of 11am this morning, PAGASA has raised the Signal Warnings to the following provinces:

Signal #3: Catanduanes, Camarines Provinces, Northern Quezon, Province including, Polilio Island, Aurora, and Isabela.

Signal #2: Albay, Sorsogon, Rizal, Rest of Quezon, Laguna, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Nueva Viscaya, Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Cagayan.

Signal #1: Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Marinduque, Burias, Ticao Islands, Metro Manila, and Northern Samar.

These provinces should expect stormy conditions to occur within the next 12 to 24 hours. Most importantly, provinces under Signal #3 should expect typhoon-force winds of more than 120kph along with widespread moderate to even heavy rains. Residents living in these areas should really start preparing, if not evacuating, as we expect landfall in less than 24 hours!

VIS Image from FNMOC

Latest satellite image shows a pinhole eye is starting to appear surrounded by deep and strong convective activity. Analysis from different instruments suggest that Utor may be underoing another round of intensification. Utor still as about 12 hours of favorable conditions and there is a slim chance of it intensifying into Category 4 before plowing into Luzon.

Radar Image from Virac

Latest radar image out of Virac, Catanduanes shows the eye of Utor passing northeast of the island. Unfortunately, there are blindspots to the north and west of the radar site so we can't get the full picture of this typhoon. Nonetheless, we do know that the outer rain bands are now impacting much of the Bicol Region, Catanduanes, and even Northern Samar. Rains of up to 100mm should be expected throughout today, along with strong and gusty winds.

Eventually, those rains will start spreading northward into Southern Luzon, Metro Manila, and into parts of Central Luzon. We are not expecting any drastic change with the forecast track and we are still thinking of a possible landfall near Casiguran, Aurora by tonight or early tomorrow morning (around midnight to about 4am Philippine Time). Areas near the eye of Utor could see winds exceeding 160kph which could bring damage to many infrastructure. Rains of 200 to as much as 400mm could fall in the mountainous regions in Northern Luzon increasing the likelihood of flashfloods!

We'll have another update later this afternoon. Stay safe!

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