Super Typhoon Bopha (Pablo)

A weak stationary front is draped across Bermuda bringing stiff easterly winds and scattered showers. This front is expected to weaken further and start to clear out tomorrow. Cooler than average temperatures will be the theme this week in Bermuda.

Typhoon Bopha approaching Palau yesterday, the cyclone has since passed the island nation and is headed towards the Philippines.
Typhoon Bopha approaching Palau yesterday, the cyclone has since passed them and is headed towards the Philippines. MODIS imagery catching Bopha to the southeast of Palau on December 1st.

Meanwhile, in the Tropical West Pacific, Super Typhoon Bopha (Pablo in the Philippines region of responsibility) scraped Palau overnight December 2nd local time. This typhoon is rather unusual. It is very unusual for a storm to became so strong at a very low latitudes (eg.below 5N as was the case here). Storms struggle to form at low latitudes because they are close to the equator where the Coriolis force is weaker. Additionally, the storm has a very tiny eye that is intermittently obscured; this is strange since very powerful tropical cyclones typically have well formed eyes that are clearly seen on infrared or visible satellite imagery where this storm’s eye was, at times, only visible on microwave imagery. This may have to do with the storm’s proximity to the equator limiting its size and multiple eye-wall replacement cycles – something common in strong storms with small eyes.

The forecast has this Typhoon headed to the southern islands of the Philippines including Mindanao. The storm should be there sometime in the next 24hours and atmospheric/oceanic conditions appear favorable for maintenance of intensity or restrengthening during that period. This could be a very damaging storm if the core passes over any populated areas, however, the relatively fast forward speed, and small size of Bopha/Pablo should limit flooding issues.

The latest advisory from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has a weakened Typhoon Bopha at 120mph (1-minute sustained), while the official Japanese Meteorological Agency has it at 105mph (10-minute sustained) and 940mb.


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