Tropical Storm Ruby Updates as of Dec 9 2014

December 9, 2014 — At 4:00 a.m. today, Tropical Depression “RUBY” was estimated based on all available data including Tagaytay doppler radar at 80 km Southwest of Ambulong, Tanauan City, Batangas or at 90 km West Northwest of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro (13.7°N, 120.4°E) with maximum winds of 60 kph. It is forecast to move West at 13 kph. Northeast monsoon affecting Northern Luzon.

Metro Manila and the provinces of Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Mindoro including Lubang island will have rains with gusty winds with moderate to rough seas. The rest of Central Luzon and CALABARZON, Bicol region and MIMAROPA will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms. Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos region will experience cloudy skies with light rains. Visayas and Mindanao will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over the rest of Luzon and coming from the southwest to southeast over the rest of country with moderate to rough seas.

Tropical storm Hagupit continues to cross the Philippine Islands…before moving out over the South China Sea towards south Vietnam

This tropical storm was located approximately 51 NM south-southeast of Manila, Philippines, moving west-northwestward at near 7 mph.

According to the JTWC, satellite imagery showed increased, deep central convection obscuring the low level circulation center.

Upper level analysis reveals tropical storm 22W is now in an area of moderate (20 knot) wind shear, offset by a robust poleward outflow channel…tapping into the mid-latitude prevailing westerlies.

Maximum sustained surface winds, according the JTWC warning #31, have fallen to 45 knots…with 55 knot gusts. TS 22W is expected to maintain its current strength through the next 24 hours, with decreasing strength thereafter, even as it leaves the Philippines behind….crossing the South China Sea.

This tropical storm is expected to maintain a general west-northwestward track during the next 24 hours, and then emerge within 36 hours over the South China Sea. Thereafter, it will take a turn towards the west-southwest. This weakening tropical storm will dissipate quickly as it encounters the southern coast of Vietnam…and moves inland. As this storm moves over southern Vietnam with time, there are forecasts that areas where the storm hits the coast…will pick up to 15 inches of rainfall.

The primary threat now isn’t from the gusty winds, but rather the heavy rainfall…causing localized flooding problems. Here’s the GFDL Total Precipitation Forecast graphic for Hagupit. Hagupit has been moving across the Philippines at a slow pace, which has allowed torrential rains to fall. Localized rainfall amounts of 10-15 inches have occurred thus far. The following 2-day rainfall totals from the storm include 17.06″ at Catbalogan, 15.55″ at Borongan on Samar Island…and 9.14″ on Masbate Island.

The JTWC is noting that there’s high confidence in the current track forecast. Here’s the current JTWC forecast track, along with the latest JMA’s forecast track – and the PAGASA forecast track.

The current JTWC track takes Hagupit through the central Philippine Islands, before passing to the south of Luzon Island. This brings the Manila area, with its highly populated cosmopolitan area within reach of the storms outer rain bands and potential gusty winds. The latest forecast track brings the center of this tropical cyclone within 48 miles south of Manila.

The resultant weather conditions will have a bearing on life in this largest city…interrupting transportation among other things. Hagupit is currently tracking close to this capital city as a tropical storm. As a result, locally heavy rains of 5-10″ will likely affect the southern portion of this city of ~12 million.

There are reports now of 21 people having died as a result of this tropical cyclone, mostly in Samar…according to the Philippine Red Cross.

Super Typhoon Hagupit was the seventh Category 5 storm of the year, and the most intense storm for 2014. This in turn makes 2014 the most active year for these strongest of tropical cyclones since 2005. Hagupit is the fifth Category 5 tropical cyclone in the Western Pacific this year.

Source: Pacific Disaster Center, NASA, NOAA and PAGASA