Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Typhoon Usagi (Odette) Update #5

Issued (00 UTC) 8am PhT 091913

Usagi (Bagyong Odette) has rapidly intensified overnight and is now a Category 2 Typhoon. The center of the storm was last located approximately 580km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or about 820km east northeast of Manila. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 165kph with gusts of up to 205kph. Typhoon Usagi is moving westward at 10kph.

As of 5am this morning PAGASA, has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #1 for Batanes Group of Islands, Apayao, Isabela, Cagayan, and Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands in anticipation of the approaching Typhoon. Stormy conditions are expected to begin affecting the said areas in the next 24 to 36 hours; high waves should also begin to affect the region today due to the massive circulation of Typhoon Usagi.

IR Image from NOAA

Latest satellite image shows a highly symmetrical storm with hints of an eye starting to appear. The core continues to improve surrounded by strong convective activity. There is also excellent radial outflow due to the favorable upper-level environment in the region. Usagi/Odette should continue intensifying and could become a Category 3 Major Typhoon later today.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Typhoon Usagi (Odette) will continue moving westward today but should start turning more to the northwest by tonight. It is forecast to become a Category 3 today and could become a Category 4 by as early as tomorrow. If intensification continues for another 48 hours, we could see Usagi becoming a Super Typhoon as it crosses Luzon Strait.

Based on the latest computer models and other data, track consensus continues to show a track between the islands of Luzon and Taiwan. We haven't made any significant shifts in our latest forecast track. We still expect Usagi to track between the two islands and then proceed towards Southern China, near Hong Kong by this weekend. Usagi will still affect parts of Luzon beginning today and into tomorrow. Outer rain bands could reach as far south as the Bicol Region while parts of Northern Luzon should see widespread rains and strong winds. Same effects are expected across Southern Taiwan in the next two days.

We'll have another update later today.

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