Wednesday morning dawns in the WPAC with a monster in the works to the southeast of Yap Island, and an uncertain future for impacts to other parts of the WPAC region.
Typhoon 22W HAGUPIT has gained a great deal of strength overnight, and as the sun rises over the region, we are now dealing with a Category 2 typhoon. The latest information from the JTWC at 02/2100z on HAGUPIT is as follows:
Position: 6.9N, 141.3E
Location: 445 km. southeast of Yap Island
1,680 km. ESE of Bislig, Mindanao, PHL
Pressure: 959 mb
Winds: 85 kt. with gusts to 105 kt. (157 kph/194 kph)
Movement: West-northwest at 15 kt. (28 kph)
Strength forecast: HAGUPIT is expected to continue to strengthen over the next 72 hours, and become a Category 4 super-typhoon on Friday. Warm SST’s (sea-surface temperatures) and favorable upper-level conditions will allow this storm to become the monster many were expecting within this time frame. After this point, models and agencies agree that the storm will start to weaken due to influences from a continental trough (cold front) coming in from the north, and the upper-level influences of a strong NE atmospheric surge, creating unfavorable VWS (vertical wind shear) conditions over the region. Strength forecasts show weakening to near Category 2 force by 07 DEC.
Track forecast: Models agree on a general WNW track for HAGUPIT through the next 72 hours. After that, the models diverge a bit from a uniform prediction of the path of the system due to the unknown future influences of the aforementioned trough and surge.
I have listed the following models in chronological order, in reference to landfall, exit from the region, or dissipation of the storm. The models show the following:
ECMWF: This model continues to show a rapid westerly track for HAGUPIT, bringing it onshore in the Philippines near Leyte Island on 06 DEC. This is the same area ravaged by last year’s tragic storm HAIYAN (Yolanda), and this scenario would be doubly tragic for that region due to the lack of reliable infrastructure available following last year’s event. Strength forecasts for the ECMWF model are higher than all other models, showing landfall as a Category 2 strength system.
JMA: This model is more in line with the ECMWF model than other models, and also shows a rapid westerly track, with landfall on southern Leyte Island 07 DEC as a category 2 storm. It is important to note that the JMA track is only about 30 km south of the ECMWF track upon landfall.
JTWC: This model basically utilizes the average of all other models for its forecast, and shows HAGUPIT tracking generally WNW with a reduction in speed by 05 DEC, and a general downward trend in strength coinciding with the slower speed, brought on by the influences of the factors mentioned previously. The end of the forecast track shows the system about 200km east of Samar Island, PHL as a category 3 storm on 07 DEC.
GEM: This model shows a general WNW track with a mere wobble due to the effects of incoming weather systems on 06 DEC. The system will recover and then make landfall in northern parts of Samar Island, PHL, as a category 1 storm on 08 DEC.
NAVGEM: This model shows a general WNW movement and strengthening of the storm through 07 DEC, where it will stall a bit just to the east of Samar Island, PHL under the influences of the incoming weather factors. NAVGEM then shows the system slowly tracking northward, parallel to the eastern coast of Luzon, PHL as a category 2 or 3 storm. The run ends with the storm about 200 km east of Pollilo Island on 08 DEC.
Parallel GFS: This model also predicts a lull in forward movement on 08 DEC just east of the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it will be caught up in the COL (weak steering wind currents) brought on by the struggle between the trough to the north, and the STR (Sub-Tropical Ridge) to the east. This model is in line with the GFS models, showing landfall in Luzon on 10 DEC near the province of Isabela as a very weak tropical depression.
GFS: This model predicts a lull in forward movement on 06 DEC, with a slow track to the north, while weakening, parallel to the eastern coast of Luzon, Philippines by 09 DEC. At this time the model forecasts the storm to head to the WSW, and landfall as a tropical depression on the island of Luzon near the province of Isabela on 11 DEC.
Some of the other models are still showing a chance for recurvature, but that is appearing LESS likely as time goes on. It would appear as time goes on, the influence of the trough and surge are expected to be weaker than anticipated, and landfall appears to be the trend in the forecasts. Since these factors have yet to fully reveal themselves, residents along the eastern seaboard of the Philippines should continue to monitor developments of typhoon HAGUPIT for any changes in the forecast.
Have a super-duper humpday!
CIMSS, JTWC, JMA, NRL, FNMOC, Tropical Tidbits, mit.edu