Category 5 Super Typhoon Bopha bearing down on the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:41 PM GMT on December 03, 2012

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Extremely dangerous Typhoon Bopha is bearing down on the Philippine island of Mindanao as a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Bopha completed an eyewall replacement cycle on Sunday and has been steadily intensifying today, and will make landfall on Mindanao in the early morning on Tuesday local time. Mindanao rarely gets hit by typhoons, since the island is too close to the Equator, and the infrastructure of Mindanao is not prepared to handle heavy typhoon rains as well as the more typhoon-prone northern islands. Bopha is potentially a catastrophic storm for Mindanao. The typhoon is following a similar track to last year's Tropical Storm Washi, which hit Mindanao on December 16, 2011 with 60 mph winds and torrential rains. Washi triggered devastating flooding that killed 1268 people. Washi was merely a tropical storm, and Bopha is likely to hit at Category 4 or 5 strength, making it the strongest typhoon ever recorded in Mindanao.


Figure 1. Super Typhoon Bopha at 01:45 UTC on December 2, 2012. At the time, Bopha had top sustained winds of 150 mph, as was just below its peak intensity of 155 mph, which it reached from 06 - 12 UTC on December 2. Image credit: NASA.

Bopha: the 2nd most southerly typhoon on record
Bopha became a tropical depression unusually close to the Equator, at 3.6°N latitude. Tropical cyclones rarely form so close to the Equator, because they cannot leverage the Earth's rotation to get themselves spinning. According to hurricane expert Dr. Paul Roundy of SUNY Albany, Bopha got its spin from a large-scale atmospheric wave called a mixed Rossby gravity wave. Because of the lack of atmospheric spin so close to the Equator, it took Bopha over four days to intensify into a typhoon, and it stayed a relatively small storm. Bopha became the 2nd most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific at 06 GMT on November 30, when the storm was at 3.8°N latitude. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center lists Typhoon Vamei of 2001 as the most southerly typhoon on record, at 1.5°N. However, other meteorological agencies do not credit Vamei with reaching typhoon strength, so this record is disputed. The previous most southerly typhoon was Typhoon Kate of 14 - 25 October 1970, which reached typhoon intensity at 4.3°N, 137.4°E. Bopha continued intensifying over the weekend, becoming the second most southerly super typhoon ever recorded (150 mph winds) at 00 GMT on December 1, when it was at 6.1°N latitude. The record most southerly super typhoon was Kate, which reached super typhoon intensity at 6.0°N, 126.3°E. Kate struck the Philippine island of Mindanao as a Category 4 storm, killing 631 people. Bopha further intensified into a Category 5 typhoon on Monday at 7.4°N latitude, becoming the second most southerly Category 5 typhoon on record, next to Typhoon Louise of 1964, which was a Category 5 storm at 7.3°N. According to NOAA's Coastal Services Center, there have been only 4 previous typhoons of at least Category 4 strength to track within 200 nautical miles of Mindanao Island, dating back to 1945: Mike ("Ruping" ) in 1990, Ike ("Nitang") in 1984, Kate ("Titang") in 1970, and Louise ("Ining" ) in 1964.


Figure 2. Tracks of all Category 4 typhoons to affect the southern Philippine Island of Mindanao since 1945. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.

The closest a tropical cyclone has ever been to the Equator is 0.7°N, by Tropical Cyclone Agni in the North Indian Ocean in November 2004. Agni got counter-clockwise spin from the presence of the summer monsoon circulation in the Indian Ocean. The closest a Western Pacific tropical cyclone has been to the Equator is 1.4°N latitude, by Tropical Storm Vamei on December 27, 2001. Vamei hit Singapore after Christmas in 2001, at a latitude of 1.5°N.


Figure 3. This MET-5 visible satellite image taken at 0400 UTC November 28, 2004, shows Agni as a developing tropical storm just north of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting thunderbug91:

Now i like THAT!


Well, Notre Dame has a better coach than they had before, but last time they played LSU in a bowl game they got rolled, and since Alabama is probably much better this year than LSU was that year, I figure the number isn't that far-fetched.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting yoboi:



neap also follows snooki on twiter......
Please, I'm being polite and being serious...
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Quoting RTSplayer:
BCS title game prediction:


Alabama 49 +3/-4
Notre Dame 14 +3/-4



I don't even want a good game. I wanna see ND completely demoralized and shocked by a Bama blowout.
Member Since: July 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1183
Once again Bophas zoom loop, so bad. Landfall imminent.
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183. yoboi
Quoting TomballTXPride:
Nea. You have a fan club. And a following.



neap also follows snooki on twiter......
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Still not even at 8N:

I would still call this storn the 'Biasch', not gonna give it up till she gets it all!
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Quoting TomballTXPride:
Nea. You have a fan club. And a following.
Right
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Quoting RTSplayer:
BCS title game prediction:


Alabama 49 +3/-4
Notre Dame 14 +3/-4


Now i like THAT!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BCS title game prediction:


Alabama 49 +3/-4
Notre Dame 14 +3/-4

Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Still not even at 8N:

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Quoting Neapolitan:
Best stick with Brad, Beck, and Harry; you'll probably have better luck getting an audience with one of them than you would with me. ;-)

It's definitely warm today in much of the eastern 2/3 of the U.S. In fact, many stations appear to be setting new all-time high temperature records for the month of December, with a wide band of 60s and 70s stretching from Kansas to Virginia...
I guess there is no chance of a meeting then Nea... Hey, I'm only 80 miles away as the crow flies... We could meet at Pelican Larry's and I will buy you a Yuengling. Just let me know, I have much to say.
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Quoting Ameister12:
Category 5 Super Typhoon Bopha.

what a monster.
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Category 5 Super Typhoon Bopha.
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It's possible some light sheer or the land interaction is starting to hurt the eye now.

Eye temperatures in the past 3 estimates:


11.18
4.13
-14.27


The -14.27 means some clouds have covered enough of the eye that it's not seeing the surface. Most recent peak in intensity would have been an hour and a half ago, if eye temperature alone was used.

I think the real peak intensity probably happened at 1530, when the core temperature was highest and pressure was within one tenth of a millibar of the lowest.


Could clear back up in another frame or two, or it could already be dying.

Either way, I think it's probably still a cat 5, maybe even still near-record landfall intensity if it holds together...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
171. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
PAGASA tweet at 50 mins ago..

At 3:00AM 4/DEC/2012, the eye of Typhoon #Pablo was located @ 50km Eastern coast of Davao Oriental
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45319
Quoting Slamguitar:
I love this blog when we talk weather!
And anything else that is civil
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Best team since Ara and Montana and Theisman

Roll Tide
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo.......18 days left.Hmmm. Guess I need to start my bucket list.
1. Brad Pitt
2. David Beckham
3. Prince Harry
4. And an hour with Neapolitan to express myself
Best stick with Brad, Beck, and Harry; you'll probably have better luck getting an audience with one of them than you would with me. ;-)

It's definitely warm today in much of the eastern 2/3 of the U.S. In fact, many stations appear to be setting new all-time high temperature records for the month of December, with a wide band of 60s and 70s stretching from Kansas to Virginia...
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Well, Palau got the miracle it needed. Now the Philippines need one, and fast:

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It is to warm today for my taste.Hate it to bits and peices.
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I love this blog when we talk weather!
Member Since: July 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1183
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Do you have the link to his outlook?

Thoughts on the 2012-2013 winter
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32080
Levi's little map looks promising for us snow lovers.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Levi released his personal forecast for the winter of 2012-2013. I agree with it wholeheartedly and it goes along with what I've been saying here for a while now: warmer in the west and neutral/slightly below average in the east.


Image credit to Levi.


Do you have the link to his outlook?

Edit=I just saw his blog.
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Quoting ARiot:
How does that song go?

Chestnuts roasting on my Chevy's hood.
Sunblock dripping off my nose...


hahaha

Gonna be in the 80s today in St. Louie. Yeesh.
The wind is just roaring out there too.
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Quoting thunderbug91:

You forgot the NHL lockout.
And also the fact that Notre Dame is in the BCS title...
Best team since Ara and Montana and Theisman
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Rantoul ?


I'm south about 60 miles in a little farm town, Tuscola.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


High of 73-76 today...but still no severe weather coming


That had to be a tough pill to swallow on Saturday night. Why on earth did your quarterback not spike the ball?!?! They could of had an easy two more plays maybe even three! Even still that was one sick game! Definitely two top 5 teams without question, maybe the two best.
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At 0347 UTC on Dec. 3, NASA's TRMM satellite flew above a dangerous typhoon Bopha. Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) to hit the island of Mindinao in the Philippines with winds of 135 kts (155 mph) later today.

This 3-D image from TRMM's Precipitation Radar showed some strong convective thunderstorms on the eastern side of Bopha's eye were reaching heights of over 16 km (~9.94 miles).

A TRMM analysis showed that Bopha had a well-defined eye with very heavy rain falling at a rate of over 80mm/hr (~3.1 inches) falling in the eye and in intense rain bands spiraling around the eye.

Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6037
1830 image is out.




Annoyingly persistent, and the high clouds are wrapping the eye wall again, which could be from land interaction now, so doesn't mean a lot IMO regarding intensity, since it's about to hit anyway. I don't think 5 or 10mph either way is going to make much difference at this point.

NOAA has it at 884mb consecutively, which is actually the lowest pressure it's had. Even if it's wrong by 15mb, it's still an 899mb storm, which is still stronger than Camille's landfall based on pressure.


2012DEC03 183000 7.5 884.0/ +5.0 /155.0 7.3 7.4 7.4 NO LIMIT ON OFF 4.13 -79.88 EYE -99 IR 7.57 -127.05 COMBO
2012DEC03 185700 7.5 884.0/ +5.0 /155.0 7.2 7.1 7.1 NO LIMIT ON OFF -14.27 -79.50 EYE 15 IR 7.60 -126.94 COMBO
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting thunderbug91:

You forgot the NHL lockout.
And also the fact that Notre Dame is in the BCS title...


I dont follow sports.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Levi released his personal forecast for the winter of 2012-2013. I agree with it wholeheartedly and it goes along with what I've been saying here for a while now: warmer in the west and neutral/slightly below average in the east.


Image credit to Levi.


I hope Levi is right.

Because I dont want another snow drought.

I want blizzards!
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Quoting FunnelVortex:
Powerful tropical cyclones.

Devastating droughts.

No more Twinkies.

I guess the world really is going to end this year...

You forgot the NHL lockout.
And also the fact that Notre Dame is in the BCS title...
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.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6037
Second day in the mid 70's for StL, yesterday set new record, little harder today. We're at 69 w/ 60 dew pt (75% RH). Rem a birthday over 40 yrs ago this warm, maybe one or two more close, but quite rare for C IL on Dec. 3rd, certainly never this muggy. Feels like May instead Dec. No complaints here though!
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Levi released his personal forecast for the winter of 2012-2013. I agree with it wholeheartedly and it goes along, amazingly (I'm a bad winter weather forecaster =P), with what I've been saying here for a while now: warmer in the west and neutral/slightly below average in the east.


Image credit to Levi.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32080
Powerful tropical cyclones.

Devastating droughts.

No more Twinkies.

I guess the world really is going to end this year...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VR46L:



ROFL


But for me it would be

Valentino Rossi (motorbike favourite of mine)

Brad Pit

Colin Farrell

Very nice choice VR
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Quoting LargoFl:
LOL good luck..I have my list also..just in case
Largo.Can't wait to hear your list.Please.
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Cateel is a 1st class municipality in the province of Davao Oriental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 28,655 people in 5,731 households.

Cateel is the home of the Aliwagwag Falls, located at barangay Aliwagwag. It is a towering waterfalls considered by hydraulic engineers as the highest in the country and regarded as one of the most beautiful falls in Mindanao. It is a series of 84 falls appearing like stairway to heaven with various heights among the steps ranging from 6 to 110 feet (34 m). One step is measured 72 feet (22 m) and another is 67 feet (20 m). Overall Aliwagwag Falls is 1,110 feet (340 m) of cascading energy and 20 meters in width. All these in the midst of virgin forest. River at the foot of the falls. 13 rapids to cross.


Now add 15 inches of rain...
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6037
Quoting ILwthrfan:


I had an overnight low of 63 degrees here in Central Illinois. It be warm today!


I loled at that.

That's completely ridiculous.


Look at this from yesterday. No lows, and 363 record highs or high minimums.



Total Records: 422
Rainfall: 54
Snowfall: 5
High Temp: 180
High Min Temp: 183


Even though a lot of these are ties, some break the old records by 5 degrees or more.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting ILwthrfan:


I had an overnight low of 63 degrees here in Central Illinois. It be warm today!
Rantoul ?
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Quoting ILwthrfan:


I had an overnight low of 63 degrees here in Central Illinois. It be warm today!


High of 73-76 today...but still no severe weather coming
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:





My favorite!!!
Love em Doug
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140. VR46L
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo.......18 days left.Hmmm. Guess I need to start my bucket list.
1. Brad Pitt
2. David Beckham
3. Prince Harry
4. And an hour with Neapolitan to express myself



ROFL


But for me it would be

Valentino Rossi (motorbike favourite of mine)

Brad Pit

Colin Farrell

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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Avatar anyone.....?




Scott Bachmeier @CIMSS_Satellite 35m

Category 5 Super Typhoon Bopha, approaching the Philippines: 375-meter resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS IR image: go.wisc.edu/7x9g3f


Done....the change should go through soon.
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Quoting RTSplayer:
ON temperature, we're way above average near Hammond, LA as well. Even with the partly cloudy, sometimes overcast skies, we've maintained 77f for quite a while today and are still there now. So that's 11f above average high, and our daily mean for today is also a degree above the average high for today, which is sickening I guess.


I had an overnight low of 63 degrees here in Central Illinois. It be warm today!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
I wish I could find some news coverage, webcams, and such for this event. This is a serious event. This things like a buzzsaw rolling into the coast.

NRL has it at 140kts with a 918mb pressure.

You're right.... looks like it will saw into anything. This is horribly amazing. Now this is a 'Superpower'. Sickening to watch and know that there will be lives lost from this storm.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.