Monday, December 1, 2014

Tropical Storm Hagupit Update #2

Issued (0430 UTC) 1230pm PhT 120214

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Tropical Storm Hagupit continues to slowly intensify as it moves across the Western Pacific. The system was last located approximately 940km east southeast of Yap. Maximum sustained winds are now at 85kph with gusts of up to 110kph. TS Hagupit is moving westward at 30kph.

The National Weather Service has issued a Typhoon Watch for Ngulu (Yap) and a Typhoon Warning for Woleai (Yap). Residents under these advisories should start preparing for the approach of this cyclone. As always, heed the warnings from your local officials!

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows Hagupit continuing to consolidate with a strong and deep convective activity right over the circulation center. Tight banding near the center continues to improve and is starting to show an eyewall-like feature. Furthermore, radial outflow remains robust. Favorable conditions in the region will promote continued intensification over the next few days.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Our preliminary forecast track is positioned closely with the ECMWF (European) computer model output. It is one of the two main scenarios regarding Hagupit's path. The other scenario is for an early recurvature that would take the system north and away from the Philippines; which is what the GFS model is showing. The eventual track depends on the strength of the subtropical ridge over the Pacific and the approaching mid-latitude trough across Northeastern Asia. These factors will need to be continually monitored to get a sense on Hagupit's final track.

For now, Yap State should prepare as Hagupit is forecast to move near the islands tomorrow, possibly as a Category 1 Typhoon. It will enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday and will be named "Bagyong Ruby" by PAGASA. It will continue moving across the Philippine Sea and could undergo a period of rapid intensification. After that, our forecast confidence drops as there are still massive differences with the different computer models that we use.

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

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