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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Update:

5:00am local time at the time of this post.

Sorry all I had fallen asleep for awhile.

Well the rain here has slowed to just a trickle.

The wind, however, has picked up considerably.
Were getting big gusts now maybe 40 to 60mph.

Good news for us is that the Typhoon has decided to drift more south, so we are not going to get the direct hit. The bad news is that all the warnings and evacs were issued for more of the northern towns etc of Mindanao. So these southern areas had almost no warning. My heart goes out to them, as this is a surprise attack. The other thing is the area of Davao and North Davao is quite a bit more populated than the path that was expected.

It looks like the Eye is going to Hit Bislig, Mindanao head on, in just under a hour.

Power Grid is now starting to Stress. Our lights are flickering, The UPS's keep clicking in and out.


Will keep you updated. Need some Coffee now :-)

Boro
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Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5984
One of the rare positives about Bopha's landfall is that the Philippines should fare pretty well against the storm surge provided from the cyclone due to the deep waters right off the shore of the Philippines. Look how close the Philippine Trench is to the coastline of the Philippines. The lack of a wide continental shelf will prevent a large surge from building, contrary to what we would see in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Dr Masters is quoted in this news article found at abs.cbnnews.com

Pablo's track similar to Sendong's

Other foreign weather agencies and meteorologists have been tracking Pablo for days.

Dr. Jeff Masters, co-founder of Michigan-based commercial weather forecasting service Weather Underground, said the typhoon is following a similar track to last year's Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong), which hit Mindanao on December 16, 2011 and killed more than 1,200 people


LINK
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/03/12/pablo- category-5-supertyphoon-us-scientists
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well guess no rain for us this week..........
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I will say this......Montee Ball is one of the best I have ever seen.....He is fun to watch.


Yes he is fun to watch. I was surprised they got Nebraska that bad Saturday night.
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Quoting FtMyersgal:


Very true Largo. I worry about fires.
..yes i agree..the wooded area's are real dry now, cold front coming mid week..going to drop us down a degree or two they say and a slight chance of a sprinkle..gee guess humidity just isnt high enough for any rain
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Bopha looks to be headed into the town of Baganga. On Wikipedia, it's population is given as 43,000. However, if you look at it on google maps, it's nothing like that size. Looks more like a village of perhaps 2,000.

I've been all the way up the coast where Bopha is going to hit on Wiki map, and all I see are small communities. There's an offshore island right in the path of the eye with lots of shacks and fishing boats. That's gonna be obliterated, but probably only a few hundred people there.

Might not be as bad as you'd think, but it'll carry on past Mindanao, hitting other Philippine islands, before reaching China as a much weaker storm.
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Quoting FtMyersgal:


Sorry Wisconsin Badgers all the way.. :)
I will say this......Montee Ball is one of the best I have ever seen.....He is fun to watch.
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Quoting LargoFl:
same here for me its 0ver 6 weeks now, and i know this is our dry season but..a lil sprinkle or two wouldnt hurt huh..


Very true Largo. I worry about fires.
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Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

SuperTyphoon Bopha makes landfall. Satellite intensity estimates 135-155 knots; JTWC going with 140-knots. Cat 5 equiv http://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/275705651181805 568
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...NOVEMBER 2012 ENDS UP IN THE TOP TEN DRIEST ACROSS MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL
AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA...
NOVEMBER 2012 WAS RATHER DRY ACROSS WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WITH
MOST LOCATIONS RECEIVING LESS THAN ONE HALF OF AN INCH OF RAIN FOR THE MONTH
AS SEEN IN THE IMAGE BELOW. THEREFORE, MANY SPOTS ENDED UP AS ONE OF THE TOP
TEN DRIEST FOR NOVEMBER.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And Ohio State Buckeyes


Sorry Wisconsin Badgers all the way.. :)
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


We'd better get our 8 straight.....
And UGA falls out of BCS bowls with their loss and it took a lot of negotiation form the SEC to get us into the Capital One Bowl with horrible Nebraska, (they wanted texas a&m) and so we almost fell to playing somebody on kent state's level in the Nothing Bowl....
This BCS 2 teams per conference sucks.


Being a loyal resident of Kerrville, TX, I'm pulling for "Johnny Football" to win the Heisman and then lead the Aggies to a butt-whipping of the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.
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Got up to 76 today and now at 72!:)
Quoting calkevin77:


Yeah its ben months here in Austin since any measurable rainfall and this past saturday it got up to 84 with high humidity. Its hovering around 80 here today. I was sweating putting up all the Christmas decorations. Go figure.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Here in WPB at 4PM it is 73 and Humidity is 53%!!:)


Yeah its ben months here in Austin since any measurable rainfall and this past saturday it got up to 84 with high humidity. Its hovering around 80 here today. I was sweating putting up all the Christmas decorations. Go figure.
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Look at what was roaming around my county for 3 years....................they finally caught it
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267. VR46L
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Nea...You have been replaced by shoes, Is that acceptable to you??


LOL
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Here in WPB at 4PM it is 73 and Humidity is 53%!!:)
Quoting LargoFl:
same here for me its 0ver 6 weeks now, and i know this is our dry season but..a lil sprinkle or two wouldnt hurt huh..
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from June 2011...come on Back!!..please lol...........Last Thursday's torrential downpour gave Largo some much-needed rain. Largo has had the heaviest rainfall in Pinellas County recently. Some areas have received more than 12 inches of rain, officials reported. According to officials, lingering storms appear to have contributed to the heaviest rainfall, during the afternoon.

Although the city’s Public Works Department reported localized street flooding during these rains, there were no documented cases of blockages or pipe collapses being at fault.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I love seafood :).Mainly shellfish,clothes can't get enough of those either.I married and committed so my men looking days are over.I love a good boating trip and as far as alchohol And beer I keep that stuff to a minimum.
I have an ex also..... That is where I obtained my interest in weather... He was an Air Force weather observer then later an Air Force weather forecaster... I traveled many many, many miles with him... Some good, some bad
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Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

Digital Typhoon gives me 57 storms since 1950 within 350 km of Bopha. Red is most intense. http://agora.ex.nii.ac.jp/digital-typhoon/search_p lace.html.en … pic.twitter.com/Jy8hzDAm

38 minRyan Maue‏@RyanMaue

From Digital Typhoon, Bopha appears to be strongest, lowest-latitude Typhoon in records to encounter Philippines at 7.5°N latitude.

40 minRyan Maue‏@RyanMaue

Tropical Storm Son-Tinh took same track as Bopha during late-October but was less organized. Made landfall in Vietnam as powerful Cat 3.

46 minRyan Maue‏@RyanMaue

Bopha has peaked at 140-knots, equivalent to Category 5 landfall over Davao Region Philippines. Some higher terrain will disrupt circ.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Went to OSU many years ago... Heck , I can remember Woody slugging the receiver
'

Oh that was great, different world now that'd lead to arrests.
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not a drop today.....................
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


BOOOOOO lets go Penn State!
Went to OSU many years ago... Heck , I can remember Woody slugging the receiver
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And clothes, and men, and beer, and seafood, and boating, and Nea
I love seafood :).Mainly shellfish,clothes can't get enough of those either.I married and committed so my men looking days are over.I love a good boating trip and as far as alchohol And beer I keep that stuff to a minimum.
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Quoting FtMyersgal:


I hear ya Tomball. at 3 pm it is 82°F in Fort Myers. Humidity is a low 31%. My only complaint is we do need rain. It's not rained at my house for a month.
Quoting FtMyersgal:


I hear ya Tomball. at 3 pm it is 82°F in Fort Myers. Humidity is a low 31%. My only complaint is we do need rain. It's not rained at my house for a month.
same here for me its 0ver 6 weeks now, and i know this is our dry season but..a lil sprinkle or two wouldnt hurt huh..
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And Ohio State Buckeyes


BOOOOOO lets go Penn State!
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Quoting VR46L:


Agreed on most of that list ....especially Sports, Clothes ,men ,beer and seafood but I would replace the other two for shoes....


anyway Bopha about to make landfall

Nea...You have been replaced by shoes, Is that acceptable to you??
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I don't care if this has been posted before, but this is an incredible image here of Bopha/Pablo...
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253. VR46L
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And clothes, and men, and beer, and seafood, and boating, and Nea


Agreed on most of that list ....especially Sports, Clothes ,men ,beer and seafood but I would replace the other two for shoes....


anyway Bopha about to make landfall

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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And clothes, and men, and beer, and seafood, and boating, and Nea
And Ohio State Buckeyes
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Because you can't separate a man from his sports.Its like well...separating a women and clothes.

Palmbeachweather are you a female?.If so very good for you.I have a niece that is insane with sports to.
I am, and I am
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I love sports
And clothes, and men, and beer, and seafood, and boating, and Nea
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Still looks really good under the CDO:

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Quoting thunderbug91:

How'd you guess?
Because you can't separate a man from his sports.Its like well...separating a women and clothes.

Palmbeachweather are you a female?.If so very good for you.I have a niece that is insane with sports to.
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Quoting FtMyersgal:


Current time in Manila is 4:30 AM 12/4/12

Thx
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Quoting thunderbug91:
What is the EST forecast time for Bopha's landfall? I know its 4-6 AM Manila time but what is it for our time?


Current time in Manila is 4:30 AM 12/4/12
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Landfall occurring presently.

Looks like a solid cat 5 landfall.



and




Assuming this image is properly aligned on the background map, it looks to be hitting that corner between Cateel and Baganga, threading the needle between them.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1494
Quoting washingtonian115:
Wow how'd we get from typhoon to sports?.One word...Men....
I love sports
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Wow how'd we get from typhoon to sports?.One word...Men....

How'd you guess?
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Wow how'd we get from typhoon to sports?.One word...Men....
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Just like all 12 of the other teams have done this year with ND. Give them no respect and then they lose. Alabama should be favored but ND's front 7 is very good and they offense has improved as the year went on. Alabama in a close one 24-20 and I would not be surprised is ND pulled it off.

Bama wont respect but bama wont be cocky either. It will be a systematic dismantling of the Notre Dame defense while the offense gets completely smothered out.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:


I'll take heat. I'll take humidity.

I'll take anything over cold and snow.

Cold and Snow does not = a happy Girl.

As a kid, great.

A young adult.

Um no thanks. haha.






I hear ya Tomball. at 3 pm it is 82°F in Fort Myers. Humidity is a low 31%. My only complaint is we do need rain. It's not rained at my house for a month.
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Weakening Flag: ON
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4997

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About JeffMasters

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