Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Super Typhoon Lekima Update #4

Issued (00 UTC) 8am PhT 102413

Super Typhoon Lekima has maintained its strength as it moves north of the Marianas Islands. Lekima's eye was last located approximately 830km north northeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds remain at 260kph with gusts of up to 315kph. STY Lekima is moving west northwestward at 25kph.

IR Image from FNMOC

Latest satellite image shows the well-defined eye of Lekima moving north of the Marianas Islands. Strong convective activity continues to surround the eye and no weakening occurred despite an eyewall replacement cycle. Outflow channels remain impressive as well. We may see slight weakening begin today as the system begins to track towards cooler sea surface temperatures.

The northernmost islands of Pagan, Agrihan, and Asuncion, among others, will see strong winds and moderate to heavy rains as Lekima will move within 300km of the said islands later today. However, the heavily populated islands of Rota, Saipan, and Guam are not expected to be significantly impacted by Lekima. High surf is possible especially along the northern regions, but aside from that, we're not expecting any stormy conditions for the said areas.

Super Typhoon Lekima should start to slowly weaken later today as the ocean heat content decreases. We are also expecting a slight increase in wind shear in the next 24 hours which should help with the weakening. Lekima will also begin to turn northward as it rounds the subtropical ridge. It will pass east of Iwo To and the Bonin Islands later tonight and could bring gusty winds and light rains in the island chain.

Super Typhoon Lekima will, then, recurve northeastward as the subtropical ridge weakens. Lekima will move harmlessly towards the Northern Pacific, weakening along the way. We are not expecting any major land areas (i.e. Japan) to be affected by this powerful storm.

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