Thursday, October 17, 2013

Typhoon Francisco Update #4

Issued (0030 UTC) 830am PhT 101813

Francisco continues to intensify at a quick pace and is now a Category 3 Major Typhoon. The eye was last located approximately 260km west of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 215kph with gusts of up to 260kph. Typhoon Francisco is currently moving northward at 15kph.

The National Weather Service continues to post Tropical Storm Warning for Guam while a Tropical Storm Watch is posted for Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. Winds of 65kph or stronger are possible along with light to moderate rains and high waves.

IR Image from FNMOC

Latest satellite image shows the eye continues to tighten and become more symmetrical. Convective activity around the eye has also expanded and intensified. Radial outflow is also very strong and very organized; helping the system undergo rapid intensification.

Radar Image from NWS

Latest radar from Guam shows the bands of light to moderate rains moving from south to north and affecting Guam and nearby islands. Guam International Airport has recorded around 40mm (1.5in) so far although an additional 30 to 50mm of rain is still possible through tonight. Some thunderstorms may also be embedded along these bands which could bring a brief period of heavy rains and gusty winds. For the latest radar images and weather warnings from Guam, click HERE (NWS Website).

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Typhoon Francisco should start turning to the northwest later today. It will continue tracking under the subtropical ridge as it moves across the Philippine Sea. Favorable conditions are expected along the path of the storm and we expect continued intensification over the next two days. There is a high possibility of Francisco becoming a Super Typhoon this weekend.

By Sunday, Francisco will start turning more to the north as it nears the Ryukyu Islands. Latest computer model guidance have slightly shifted to the west and brings the typhoon closer to the islands. However, the most threatened areas will be the islands of Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu in Mainland Japan. Francisco will keep moving north and could hit Japan as a strong typhoon by early next week. Same areas impacted by Wipha could feel the same stormy conditions by that time.

We'll have another update later today.

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