Thursday, September 27, 2012
Super typhoon Jelawat is currently northeast of Luzon (the largest Philippine island), lifting slowly northward as a 155 mph storm. Based on satellite imagery this morning, Jelawat is about as textbook of a storm as you'll see -- beautiful satellite imagery, with a solid ring of wind and thunder around a well-defined eye. This is the type of satellite shot you'd expect if you were to google "typhoon" or "hurricane" online. Jelawat is not *quite* a Category 5 storm but is designated a super typhoon as the threshold for adding "super" to the title is 150 mph winds.
Jelawat is expected to take a similar track to Sanba (another typhoon we talked about here earlier in September) for the next couple of days, which could put it in a position to cross or impact Okinawa on Saturday. Unlike Sanba, which continued north towards Korea, an approaching trough will steer Jelawat to the northeast and towards Japan, where it should make landfall on Honshu (the island Tokyo resides on) Sunday night into Monday. Modeling is limited and not as accurate in the Western Pacific as it is on our side of the world as East Asian data points are sketchy and limited compared to what there is in North America so the forecast is an uncertain one and the storm may nudge a bit from the projected track.
Jelawat is projected to weaken a bit as it approaches Honshu -- water temperatures are lower as it moves farther north and some wind shear will impact the storm. That said, it will still spread a lot of rain and probably a good amount of wind across Japan late this weekend.
The "recurving" typhoon could result in a bit of a trough being reinforced across eastern North America towards the end of next week into next weekend if the typical pattern rule applies. The Euro in the longer ranges is hinting at a bit of a trough across the East developing after next Friday.