Issued (01 UTC) 9am PhT 100914
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Vongfong (Bagyong Ompong) has slightly weakened overnight but remains a strong and dangerous Category 5 Super Typhoon. The eye of Vongfong was last located approximately 830km south southeast of Okinawa, Japan or about 850km east southeast of Basco, Batanes, Philippines. Maximum sustained winds are down to 270kph with gusts of up to 325kph. Super Typhoon Vongfong is moving northwestward at 10kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows the eye of Vongfong remains well-defined and symmetrical. Convection around the periphery and the radial outflow remains strong as well. However, cloud tops have slightly warmed and we are seeing slight impingement on the western section of the circulation. Wind shear is starting to increase and the sea surface temperatures in the area are getting less favorable for cyclone development. These factors will contribute to further weakening of Vongfong in the coming days.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
We have shifted our forecast track to the west and now think that Super Typhoon Vongfong will move close to the Southern Japanese Islands, including Okinawa. Stormy conditions are forecast to begin Friday evening and lasting into Sunday evening. The worst conditions are forecast to happen around Saturday morning and into the evening. Typhoon-force winds of up to 160kph are possible across Okinawa and nearby islands. Amami-Oshima will likely see similar winds Saturday evening and into Sunday. There will also be the threat of torrential rains and high waves.
Even though Vongfong will have weakened to a Category 3 typhoon at this time, this system will still be dangerous and destructive. By Monday, the system will threaten Kyushu, Shikoku, and Western Honshu. Vongfong will be weakening to a Category 1 Typhoon and eventually to a Tropical Storm around this time frame.
We urge everyone living in the region to please prepare now! Stock up on food and water, and bring loose objects inside. Always heed the warning of your local officials and seek shelter if told to.
We'll have another update later today.