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Monday, October 19, 2009

Super Typhoon Lupit setting its sights on Luzon

Typhoon Lupit continued to strengthen over the weekend and shifted its course to the north in a zigzag that gave the false impression that this storm could pass to the north of Philippines northern island. Instead the Category 4 storm is slowly turning towards the west-southwest.

Typhoon 2000 is indicating that there is a slight potential for Lupit to be steered more towards the south which to me appears that it could hit the island head on. This scenario will only occur if the high pressure system off eastern China builds and pushes the storm southward. Even so, the storm track has consistently been projected to pass over anywhere from the northern tip of the island to as far south as to be near Manila.

Forecast Outlook: LUPIT is expected to start accelerating and turning more westerly w/in the next 12 to 24 hours. Its wind speed will continue to decrease as it moves closer to Northern Luzon.

The 2 to 5-day Long-Range Forecast shows LUPIT moving into a WSW direction, as the High Pressure Steering Ridge building off China strengthens and extends across Ryukyu & Okinawan Islands. This ridge will steer LUPIT into Extreme Northern Luzon...making landfall over Northern Cagayan between 2 to 4 PM on Thursday Oct 22...passing directly or very close to Aparri.

The core (eye & eyewall) of LUPIT shall cross Abra, Kalinga and exit over Ilocos Sur Thursday evening and shall be over the South China Sea Friday, Oct 23 - turning West to WNW towards Hainan Island-Vietnam Area on Saturday Oct 24.

*Alternate Forecast Scenario: There is a possibility that LUPIT might track more WSW-ward earlier than expected with a strike across the southern part of Northern Luzon thru Isabela Province or Southern Cagayan. This scenario is likely if the high pressure steering ridge located off Eastern China strengthens more and dig deeper southward. The probability of this alternate forecast still remains low.

Please be reminded that the Forecast Outlook changes every 6 hours, so a shift to the left or right of its future track and other conditions must be considered.


Typhoon Lupit continues on path to Philippines (Examiner)

For the storm weary Philippines, the latest forecast models do not bear good news. The JTWC is now forecasting the path of the storm to make a direct hit on Luzon. Early models indicated it may pass to the north of the island. Sometime near 24 hours from now the storm is forecast to turn toward the west-southwest setting the storm on a path for Luzon.

Lupit is expected to lose some strength as it continues toward the Philippines. Dry air and increased shear are playing a factor despite the fact the hurricane remains over warm water. By the time it reaches the Philippines the storm is forecast to be packing 100 mph sustained winds and gusts to 126 mph – the equivalent of a Category 2 storm.

Assuming the forecast holds true, Lupit will become the third major storm to strike the storm weary Philippines in recent weeks. Much of the northern part of the nation suffered through Typhoon Parma (Pepeng) and Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy). The storms brought deluges of rain and caused mudslides and flooding that claimed more than 900 lives. The Cagayan-Aparri area is in particular danger due to already saturated ground from the previous storms.

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