Issued (04 UTC) 12pm PhT 100214
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Typhoon Phanfone has rapidly intensified this morning and is now up to Category 3 intensity. The system was last located approximately 980km northwest of Guam or about 1,300km southeast of Okinawa. Maximum sustained winds are now at 195kph with gusts of up to 240kph. Typhoon Phanfone is currently moving west northwestward at 25kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows a pinhole eye has developed in the center of Phanfone. This small eye is surrounded by deep and strong convective activity. Furthermore, the outflow remains very excellent and is helping the system effectively ventilate all that heat. The warm sea surface temperatures across the Philippine Sea and the weak wind shear in the region should promote continued intensification over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Computer models are finally starting to agree on a track for Typhoon Phanfone. We have made little change with our forecast track from our yesterday. Our current track is closely positioned to that of the model consensus as well as that of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Based on our track above, Phanfone should continue moving generally northwestward over the next 24 hours. It should, then, start turning more to the north by Saturday as a mid-latitude trough weakens the sub-tropical ridge over the North Pacific. Our track is expecting Phanfone to stay well east of Okinawa by the weekend. However, the Japanese Islands may still see some light rains, gusty winds, and definitely high waves. The larger impact will be felt across Shikoku and Honshu as we move into Saturday evening and into Sunday. The system could make landfall in Honshu, south of Nagoya, by early Monday morning as a strong and dangerous typhoon and even moving close to Tokyo around that time.
We urge everyone from Okinawa and especially into Mainland Japan to continue closely following the progress of this typhoon. We'll have another update tomorrow.