Issued (03 UTC) 11am PhT
Like our FACEBOOK PAGE for the latest updates on this storm!
Meranti (Bagyong Ferdie) has intensified even further and is now a Category 5 Super Typhoon. It has also become the strongest typhoon in 2016 so far. The eye of Meranti was last located approximately 330km east southeast of Basco, Batanes or about 680km southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds are now at 295kph with gusts reaching up to 360kph. STY Meranti is currently moving west northwestward at a speed of 20kph.
As of 11am this morning, PAGASA has issued Public Storm Warning Signal #4 for Batanes Group of Islands. Signal #3 has been issued for Babuyan Group of Islands. Signal #2 for Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and Northern Cagayan; while Signal #1 is for the Rest of Cagayan, Northern Isabela, Kalinga, and Northern Ilocos Sur.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows the well-defined pinhole eye of Meranti surrounded by very strong convective activity. Outer rain bands can also be seen nearing parts of Northern Luzon and small islands to the north. This morning's trend has shown intensification leveling off. Nevertheless, Meranti is still packing really dangerous winds and unfortunately, Batanes Islands and extreme Southern Taiwan may get impacted within the next 24 hours.
The biggest change in the forecast consensus is the shift to the south for the track. We are no longer expecting Meranti to make landfall in Taiwan, but rather continue moving west northwestward possibly towards Southern China. However, very strong winds and heavy rainfall are still possible for Southern Taiwan and Northern Philippines. In particular, Batanes and the town of Basco could get hit with winds of greater than 200kph along with heavy rains and storm surge of up to 2 meters.
COAMPS 72-hr Rainfall Forecast (NOT OFFICIAL)
The image above depicts possible rainfall accumulation over the next 72 hours with the heaviest rainfall across Taiwan where areas may receive as much as 400mm. Parts of Batanes and Babuyan Islands are also forecast to receive high rainfall accumulations. Some rain bands may also make their way down towards Northern Luzon bringing occasional rains in the region.
Super Typhoon Meranti is forecast to continue heading west northwestward, slowly losing strength as it crosses into the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). Current projections show Meranti possibly making landfall in the province of Guangdong in Southern China by early Thursday morning.
We'll have another update later today.