Friday, September 20, 2013

Super Typhoon Usagi (Odette) Update #9

Issued (0130 UTC) 930am PhT 092113

Super Typhoon Usagi (Bagyong Odette) continues to move across Luzon Strait passing near the Batanes Islands this morning. The eye of Usagi was last located approximately 50km northwest of Basco, Batanes; 260km north of Aparri, Cagayan; or about 490km south of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds remain at 240kph with gusts of up to 295kph. STY Usagi is moving west northwestward at 20kph.

As of 5am this morning, PAGASA is keeping Public Storm Warning Signal #4 for Batanes Group of Islands. Signal #3 for Calayan and Babuyan Groups of Islands. Signal #2 is in effect for Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte. Signal #1 for Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, and Ifugao.

Provinces mentioned above will continue to experience stormy conditions throughout today. Areas under Signal #4 and #3 will continue to get damaging winds in excess of 120kph in the next 6 hours. Heavy rains with accumulations of more than 100mm are also possible in many areas across Northern Luzon.

IR Image from NOAA

Latest satellite image shows the eye of Usagi getting clouded a little bit as it continues to undergo eyewall replacement cycle. The inner core remains intact even though the outer eyewall is almost complete. However, we do expect the ERC to finally get complete later today as the new core begins to take over. We should see a new eye develop later today and winds will begin to spread out from the center as well.

Radar Image from Aparri (PAGASA)

Latest radar image from Aparri, Cagayan continue to show widespread light to moderate rains move in as Super Typhoon Usagi passes just north of Luzon Island. Some areas in Northern Luzon are already reporting more than 50mm of rain so far with more rains on the way. We could see 100mm to even 200mm being reported in some locations. Further to the south, the southwest monsoon will be the primary cause of rains especially across Southern Luzon and parts of Visayas. For the latest weather updates and warnings, click HERE (PAGASA).

Aside from the heavy rains, strong winds have also been reported from Luzon and the islands north of it. A station in Batanes recorded sustained winds of 180kph along with pressure readings of 910mb. Those figures are highly unusual and just proves how strong Usagi is right now. It will be very interesting how Basco fared from this system considering the eye passed within 50km of this small town!

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Super Typhoon Usagi (Odette) will continue moving west northwestward today passing just south of Taiwan. Strong winds and heavy rains will continue across Northern Luzon and Southern Taiwan today but should start to die down by tomorrow. The focus, then, shifts towards Southern China where we could see the eye of Usagi move towards Hong Kong by early Monday morning. Fortunately, Usagi should start to weaken by tomorrow as it moves into an area of cooler sea temperatures. However, it will remain a powerful and dangerous typhoon that will bring damaging winds and heavy rains across Hong Kong.

We'll have another update later today.

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