In yesterday’s blog we reported on the formation of Typhoon Hagupit and its potential threat to the Philippines. At that time, winds averaged over one minute were estimated to be near 180 mph. During the last 24 hours Hagupit has weakened slightly, but winds are still estimated to be above 140 mph and the typhoon still shows an impressive structure as seen in the latest satellite image.
Forecasting the track of Typhoon Hagupit has been very problematic. Three possible scenarios were described in yesterday’s blog. One of these – that Hagupit would turn north and not make landfall – is considered highly unlikely now. It seems likely that Typhoon Hagupit will make landfall on the coast of the Philippine island of Samar. However, some uncertainties still remain.
One possible scenario is that landfall occurs during Saturday and Hagupit takes a fast and westward track across the Philippines. This is likely to result in structural damage due to strong winds and a storm surge of a few metres along the coast of Samar Island.
An alternative scenario is that Hagupit slows its forward motion as it approaches the Philippines and makes a slight northwards turn. Landfall will still occur, but not until Sunday. The effects of strong winds and several hundred millimetres of rain will be felt in a broad swath including areas as far north as Manila and central Luzon. The heavy rain could last for days and would have the potential to cause significant flooding and landslides.
Below is the latest projection of the typhoon produced by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA):
As reported yesterday, Met Office scientists have been working closely with counterparts at the Philippines weather service PAGASA. We are providing the latest information on computer model predictions and are discussing the range of possibilities, highlighting which of the possible forecast outcomes is the most likely; this is helping PAGASA to manage their risks. We have also been providing information to Government departments such as FCO and DFID on the likely impacts of Typhoon Hagupit.
Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance.
Met Office StormTracker provides a mapped picture of tropical cyclones around the globe with access to track history and six-day forecast tracks for current tropical cyclones from the Met Office global forecast model and latest observed cloud cover and sea surface temperature. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.