Thursday, September 19, 2013

Super Typhoon Usagi (Odette) Update #6

Issued (1130 UTC) 730pm PhT 091913

Usagi (Bagyong Odette) has rapidly intensified today and has turned into a Category 5 Super Typhoon of a monster! The eye of Usagi was last located approximately 600km northeast of Casiguran or about 780km northeast of Manila. Maximum sustained winds are now at 260kph with gusts that could reach as high as 315kph! Super Typhoon Usagi is moving west northwestward at 15kph.

As of 5pm this afternoon, PAGASA has issued Public Storm Warning Signal #2 for Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan and Babuyan Islands, and Apayao. Signal #1 for Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Abra, Kalinga, and Isabela. These provinces should expect stormy conditions strong winds and widespread rains to begin within the next 24 hours. Most prone areas are near the northern coast of Luzon and the Batanes Islands. If you live in these areas, please prepare now and always consult with your local officials for warnings.

IR Image from NOAA

A clear eye has appeared surrounded by strong and deep convection. Usagi has rapidly intensified into a Super Typhoon and becomes the first Category 5 cyclone of this year in the Western Pacific. The system continues to show improvements by the hour as favorable conditions remain in the region.Usagi could reach its peak intensity by this morning before it weakens just a little bit as it moves into Luzon Strait.

There are not a lot of changes with the forecast track. We still think Usagi will track across Luzon Strait passing just south of Taiwan. Batanes Islands will feel the brunt of this monster as they could experience winds of more than 200kph beginning tomorrow (Friday) and lasting into early Saturday. After that, Usagi is forecast to start weakening slowly and could approach Southern China, especially Hong Kong by Sunday afternoon as a strong Category 3 typhoon.

This is a very dangerous typhoon and though while it is not forecast to make landfall, its impacts could spread into Northern Luzon and Southern Taiwan. Always remain vigilant and continue to watch the developments of this system.

We'll have another update tomorrow morning.

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