Thursday, October 9, 2014

Super Typhoon Vongfong (Ompong) Update #9

Issued (01 UTC) 9am PhT 101014

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Super Typhoon Vongfong (Bagyong Ompong) continues to gradually weaken as it moves closer to the Southern Japanese Islands. The eye of Vongfong was last located approximately 570km south southeast of Okinawa, Japan or about 780km east northeast of Basco, Batanes. Maximum sustained winds are at 240kph with gusts of up to 295kph. STY Vongfong is moving northward at 15kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the eye of Vongfong remains intact. However, it has shrunk and become more rugged over the past 24 hours--a sign of weakening inner core. Vongfong is also undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle which will eventually expand the wind field--not so good news for the Japanese Islands. However, increasing wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures should induce steady weakening of Vongfong over the next few days.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

We are becoming more certain that Super Typhoon Vongfong will move near the islands of Okinawa and Amami-Oshima by Saturday and into Sunday. Typhoon-force winds of up to 180kph are possible in the islands. We expect stormy conditions to start tonight and will last through Sunday. The worst conditions are likely to occur Saturday morning and into early Sunday morning.

Aside from the damaging winds, torrential rains and high waves will threaten the Ryukyu Islands as well. Residents are advised to prepare to evacuate if they live near the coast. In general, everyone should be finalizing their emergency preparations today.

After the Ryukyu Islands, Vongfong is forecast to eventually move into the island of Kyushu as a Category 1 Typhoon. It will weaken to a tropical storm as it moves into Shikoku and Honshu but will still bring widespread heavy rains in the region. We are also expecting Vongfong to move near the city of Osaka by Monday afternoon and will likely bring stormy conditions in the area.

We'll have another update later today. Stay safe!

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