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 KoritheMan:


People keep expecting that huge drought region to disappear. I don't think it will though, at least not for any meaningful (as in a decade or longer) period of time. Global warming is seriously changing the structure of the weather on this planet, and there is no reason to assume it won't continue to do so. Incidentally, I do believe said drought is what's causing the subsident flow/sinking air pattern we've seen plague the Atlantic basin for the last two years. Also, I strongly believe the loss of arctic sea is contributing to the recurve pattern by enhancing an upstream east coast trough. Teleconnection patterns do exist.

People keep expecting to see another season like 2005 or 2008 (myself included), and while we will likely still see some, I think the hurricane seasons of old are a thing of the past. If I'm correct, major hurricanes will become rarer.

As of now, this is still an untested hypothesis, but it makes sense from a meteorological standpoint. It's a subject I intend to do much more research on. But I think 10 or 20 years down the line, it will have gained some credibility.
perhaps in the near future people in the ne conus will watch Icelandic highs as we in the se watched Burmuda highs as preventing storms from going out to sea
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Quoting bappit:

Anonymous tweets are not newsworthy.


Primy Cane ‏@PrimyCk
Mayor declared Code Red in CDO at 7 but OIC Police Chief Montalba at 8 am said forced evac cant start yet bec he is still "having breakfast"

Priscilla Tanjuatco ‏@XillaXill
@PrimyCk Wow! I guess "having breakfast" is more important THAN the lives of the people in CDO. #PabloPH
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need. derp. boots.
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6049
Quoting AussieStorm:
Mayor declared Code Red in CDO at 7 but OIC Police Chief Montalba at 8 am said forced evac cant start yet bec he is still "having breakfast"

Tayag: Hospitals now on white alert due to Typhoon Pablo.

Anonymous tweets are not newsworthy.
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A bit much????

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Not unless it's waffles.
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429. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #66
TYPHOON BOPHA (T1224)
9:00 AM JST December 4 2012
=======================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon Overland Mindanao

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Bopha (940 hPa) located at 7.9N 125.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 90 knots with gusts of 130 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 15 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: Overland

Storm Force Winds
================
80 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
===============
210 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 10.0N 120.7E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Sulu Sea
48 HRS: 11.5N 118.7E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) South China Sea
72 HRS: 12.1N 117.1E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) South China Sea
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45561
I thought the same thing.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

wtf?


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Mayor declared Code Red in CDO at 7 but OIC Police Chief Montalba at 8 am said forced evac cant start yet bec he is still "having breakfast"

Tayag: Hospitals now on white alert due to Typhoon Pablo.
Take his damn donuts with him in his cruiser.
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424. Skyepony (Mod)
Masters mentions hurricane expert Dr. Paul Roundy of SUNY Albany, Bopha got its spin from a large-scale atmospheric wave called a mixed Rossby gravity wave.. The bottom of this, MRG..that's the mixed Rossby wave. You can see how it really strengthened as the MJO (top one) came over. Though it all clears out before Bopha starts pulling it together on 11-25 this is how it happens..Although the expected Rossby Kelvin wave structure was present in the background winds within the active MJO, tropical cyclone genesis does not occur within the trailing Rossby gyres, but 2500 km to the west and north.

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Quoting AussieStorm:
Mayor declared Code Red in CDO at 7 but OIC Police Chief Montalba at 8 am said forced evac cant start yet bec he is still "having breakfast"
wtf?
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Mayor declared Code Red in CDO at 7 but OIC Police Chief Montalba at 8 am said forced evac cant start yet bec he is still "having breakfast"

Tayag: Hospitals now on white alert due to Typhoon Pablo.


If that's real that guy needs to be fired immediately.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Mayor declared Code Red in CDO at 7 but OIC Police Chief Montalba at 8 am said forced evac cant start yet bec he is still "having breakfast"

Tayag: Hospitals now on white alert due to Typhoon Pablo.
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CDO City Mindanao
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Jacinto transformer exploded. Blackout at ADDU Jacinto. Generators on
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as of 8AM, ndrrmc reports zero casualties, zero injuries, zero missing. thank you God! let's pray it stays that way.
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ABS-CBN News @ABSCBNNews
.@atomaraullo: Rain has not been as strong as expected in St. Bernard, evacuation done as a preemptive measure to keep people safe #PabloPH


.@atomaraullo: Gov't has been more cautious, residents near mountainsides have been evacuated since yesterday in St. Bernard #PabloPH



On ANC, @atomaraullo reports that in St. Bernard, So.Leyte, wind has been picking up. Power lines toppled, causing power outages #PabloPH
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Twitter: ABS-CBN News Channel ‏@ANCALERTS
Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon tells ANC power & most of communication lines are down in their province
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
Quoting SherwoodSpirit:


It means we will likely be innundated by a ton of DERP any minute now. ;)

i guess i should feel insulted...because my question probably qualifies as derp.
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Quoting hydrus:
from the looks of that they will need them.


As of 7:05AM, at least 22,000 individuals have been evacuated in Cagayan de Oro City

A total of 8,312 families evacuated (preemptive) to 69 evacuation centers in Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Iligan and CDO.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Solar Maximum (of the 11 year cycle, not the long term cycles,) plus record high CO2, plus no sea ice, plus widespread droughts from previous year...

This could be the new normal, and I do mean literally.


People keep expecting that huge drought region to disappear. I don't think it will though, at least not for any meaningful (as in a decade or longer) period of time. Global warming is seriously changing the structure of the weather on this planet, and there is no reason to assume it won't continue to do so. Incidentally, I do believe said drought is what's causing the subsident flow/sinking air pattern we've seen plague the Atlantic basin for the last two years. Also, I strongly believe the loss of arctic sea is contributing to the recurve pattern by enhancing an upstream east coast trough. Teleconnection patterns do exist.

People keep expecting to see another season like 2005 or 2008 (myself included), and while we will likely still see some, I think the hurricane seasons of old are a thing of the past. If I'm correct, major hurricanes will become rarer.

As of now, this is still an untested hypothesis, but it makes sense from a meteorological standpoint. It's a subject I intend to do much more research on. But I think 10 or 20 years down the line, it will have gained some credibility.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
So it hit as a Category 5 after all. Kinda wish I was around to blog about it, as I've never done a Category 5 landfall before (in fact, the only Category 5 I've done since I started forecasting was Super Typhoon Jelawat earlier this year, and it was over the open ocean at that point).

Now we wait to hear from the disaster regions...


Yes, I'm convinced it was a cat 5 landfall, just a matter of how strong.

Based on the NOAA estimates, I think the eye hit land as a T 7.2, because on the very next update after that is when the big temperature change happened in the eye.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting AllyBama:
Praying for the people in Mindanao and the surrounding islands...
from the looks of that they will need them.
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So it hit as a Category 5 after all. Kinda wish I was around to blog about it, as I've never done a Category 5 landfall before (in fact, the only Category 5 I've done since I started forecasting was Super Typhoon Jelawat earlier this year, and it was over the open ocean at that point).

Now we wait to hear from the disaster regions...
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Cebu City live stream cam.
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Quoting barbamz:


Found by twitter:
MiGs ‏@buddymigs
Here's a video i took kanina showing gano kalakas ang hangin ni #typhoonPablo dito sa Tagum Davao del Norte


You might not have gotten your worst weather yet, if you're where Google Earth says you are. I think what's left of the eye is a tad ENE of your position.



You can still make out the eye wall, even though it's covered over by clouds, there's enough of a color change.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting barbamz:


Found by twitter:
MiGs ‏@buddymigs
Here's a video i took kanina showing gano kalakas ang hangin ni #typhoonPablo dito sa Tagum Davao del Norte


Here's a video I took a while ago showing how strong the wind's # typhoonPablo here in Tagum Davao del Norte
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Praying for the people in Mindanao and the surrounding islands...
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I wonder what Bopha will do when it fully gets connected with the Westerlies!!!
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Quoting MTWX:


It was almost 80 here today! Our average for this time of year is 58!! Our forecasted low for tonight isn't much lower than our average high!


Solar Maximum (of the 11 year cycle, not the long term cycles,) plus record high CO2, plus no sea ice, plus widespread droughts from previous year...

This could be the new normal, and I do mean literally.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520


Found by twitter:
MiGs ‏@buddymigs
Here's a video i took kanina showing gano kalakas ang hangin ni #typhoonPablo dito sa Tagum Davao del Norte
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
Quoting AussieStorm:

LOL seriously....!
LOL!
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Quoting NJcat3cane:
possible start of a pole shift have anything to do with this storm forming and getting this strong this far south?

LOL seriously....!
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400. MTWX
Quoting goosegirl1:



Take heart. WVU gets to play in the Toilet ... oops, I mean New Era Pin Stripe Bowl
(whatever that is). At least they get to play their old rival Syracuse.


It was freakishly warm here today at 69 degrees, and may be 70 tomorrow. Who needs to move south at this rate?


It was almost 80 here today! Our average for this time of year is 58!! Our forecasted low for tonight isn't much lower than our average high!
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Quoting NJcat3cane:
possible start of a pole shift have anything to do with this storm forming and getting this strong this far south?


I highly doubt that. Seems like atmospheric circulation patterns wouldn't be affected much by a magnetic pole reversal.

Now space weather is a different deal. :)
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possible start of a pole shift have anything to do with this storm forming and getting this strong this far south?
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Quoting MrMixon:


The small town being threatened is Estes Park, the gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park. The fire has been smoldering since it started way back on October 9th and recent winds have rekindled the fire. Still dry as a bone here in Colorado...




Here's the latest from inciweb:

"Due to the hard work of firefighters, high winds in the Fern Lake Fire area did not cause the fire to spread any closer to Estes Park, and it is still contained within Rocky Mountain National Park boundaries. Approximately 150 firefighters and 19 engines worked on the Fern Lake Fire overnight. Spot fires continue to burn in the Steep Mountain area and crews continue working to keep it from moving further to the south. Structure protection crews are still stationed along Bear Lake Road to try to keep the fire within the park.

The fire management team is optimistic about the fire after fire lines held last night in spite of heavy winds. Forecasted weather conditions are also favorable with cooler temperatures in the mid-30s to low 40s and lighter winds for today. Calm winds are expected tonight. Today an air tanker is available and will help support firefighting efforts if wind conditions allow. Helitankers will also fly if winds allow."




Link to the inciweb page for the Fern Lake Fire

Thanks
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Quoting Doppler22:
Off of the tropics.... There is a wildfire that is 20% contained headed for a small town in Colorado and the town may be evacuated... Its called The Fern Lake Fire


The small town being threatened is Estes Park, the gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park. The fire has been smoldering since it started way back on October 9th and recent winds have rekindled the fire. Still dry as a bone here in Colorado...




Here's the latest from inciweb:

"Due to the hard work of firefighters, high winds in the Fern Lake Fire area did not cause the fire to spread any closer to Estes Park, and it is still contained within Rocky Mountain National Park boundaries. Approximately 150 firefighters and 19 engines worked on the Fern Lake Fire overnight. Spot fires continue to burn in the Steep Mountain area and crews continue working to keep it from moving further to the south. Structure protection crews are still stationed along Bear Lake Road to try to keep the fire within the park.

The fire management team is optimistic about the fire after fire lines held last night in spite of heavy winds. Forecasted weather conditions are also favorable with cooler temperatures in the mid-30s to low 40s and lighter winds for today. Calm winds are expected tonight. Today an air tanker is available and will help support firefighting efforts if wind conditions allow. Helitankers will also fly if winds allow."




Link to the inciweb page for the Fern Lake Fire
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Quoting whitewabit:


Do you have a link ??



Link

Here^^^^


This isn't the link i used tho because I saw the story on The Weather Channel and they were saying how the town is close to being evacuated... Don't be suprised if something pops up on TWC soon
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394. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)



TCNA21 RJTD 280600
CCAA 28060 47644 CHABA(1014) 18248 11292 12344 265// 90508=


I really miss this information from JMA. I have no idea where they post this anymore for cyclones in the western pacific.
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old but still wow!!
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Widespread news on twitter now (Estimated Population of Davao City: more than 1.5 Mill.)

"DAVAO DEL SUR IS ON STORM SIGNAL 3. NO CLASSES ON ALL LEVELS IN DAVAO CITY."

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6006
391. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting Doppler22:
Off of the tropics.... There is a wildfire that is 20% contained headed for a small town in Colorado called Estes Park and the town may be evacuated... Its called The Fern Lake Fire


Do you have a link ??
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Really close to a world record pressure according to the chart TA13 posted. It would only be 5 millibars from Typhoon Tip.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
hm, yeah lets see

I'll take Kate Upton, Bar Refaeli, and all the Victoria's Secret models.

Elle (the body) Macpherson
Erin McNaught
Jennifer Hawkins
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Great microwave pass hit Bopha just as it was coming ashore:



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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.