Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Typhoon Francisco Update #2

Issued (0230 UTC) 1030am PhT 101713

Tropical Depression 26W has rapidly intensified into a Category 1 Typhoon; it has also earned the name "Francisco." Typhoon Francisco was last located approximately 330km southwest of Guam. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 130kph with gusts of up to 165kph. Typhoon Francisco is currently moving west southwestward at a slow speed of 10kph.

The National Weather Service has issued Tropical Storm Watches for Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. These islands should be prepared for the possibility of strong winds of up to 65kph within the next 24 to 48 hours.

IR Image from FNMOC

Latest satellite image shows an eye has developed surrounded by a ring of convective activity. Francisco rapidly evolved from a mere tropical depression to a strong typhoon in about 24 hours! Very favorable conditions in the region is allowing Francisco to intensify at a fairly quick pace. We expect these conditions to linger and could even help Francisco undergo rapid intensification.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Our first forecast track is closely positioned with the model consensus and forecasts from other agencies in the region. Typhoon Francisco is located in a weak steering environment and that is why it's moving at a snail's pace right now. However, we expect the typhoon to eventually more northward passing west of Guam and the rest of the Marianas Islands by tomorrow. High waves, strong winds, and light to moderate rain showers are still possible across the islands in the next two days.

Due to the favorable conditions that exist in the Philippine Sea, Typhoon Francisco should continue strengthening and could even undergo a period of rapid intensification in the near future. Our intensity forecast is expecting a peak intensity of around Category 4 strength although we won't be surprised if Francisco becomes a Super Typhoon by this weekend.

Long-range forecasts paint a somewhat disturbing forecast for Japan. Essentially the consensus is showing a track very similar to that of Typhoon Wipha. However, please do note that this is still a long rang forecast which is subject to change constantly. For now, we advise anyone from the Ryukyu Islands all the way towards Honshu to closely monitor the developments of Francisco and the forecasts for this developing typhoon.

We'll have another update later today.

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