Issued (1630 UTC) 1230am PhT 102013
Super Typhoon Francisco continues to intensify and is now at Category 5 strength--the strongest in the Saffir Simpson Scale. The eye of Francisco was last located approximately 840km northwest of Guam or about 1,460km southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds are now at 260kph with gusts of up to 315kph.
IR Image from FNMOC
Latest satellite image shows the well-defined eye of Francisco surrounded by strong and deep convective activity. In our last update, we noted the slight weakening going on in the southern periphery of the storm but it looks Francisco has managed to recover and intensify a little bit more. While outflow is not as good as before, it's still providing ample exhaust for the system and the warm sea surface temperatures across the Philippine Sea will continue to provide enough energy in the next few days.
Super Typhoon Francisco will continue moving on a northwesterly direction but should start turning more to the north by tomorrow. It may briefly enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility but we're not expecting any impacts from this typhoon. Francisco will then pass east of Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu Islands by Tuesday and Wednesday and may bring some rough surf and breezy conditions.
Francisco will then head northward and will likely impact Mainland Japan, especially the islands of Shikoku and Honshu beginning Wednesday and into Thursday. Strong winds, high waves, and heavy rains are possible during these times.
We'll have another update later in the morning.