Super Typhoon Jelawat Roils the Pacific; No Present Threat to Land

September 26, 2012

Super typhoon Jelawat, or “sty 18w,” packing winds of 135 knots (155 mph – 250km/h) is currently located around 414 miles, 662 km, east-northeast of Manila, Philippines, according to the Pacific Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). It is moving slowly northwestward at around 5 mph, app. 7 km/h.

The JTWC’s bulletin, which is highly technical, said “recent animated water vapor satellite imagery shows that deep convection surrounding a 15 nm [17.26 mile, 27.6 km] eye has warmed slightly over the past six hours.” On the Saffir-Simpson scale used to measure the force of hurricanes, Jelawat would be a category 5 tropical cyclone, the most dangerous and destructive.

However, it is still far out in the Pacific Ocean; forecasts indicate that it will continue its northwestward movement as it moves towards the Equator. Once it reaches this “mid-latitude”, the JTWC expects it to show a “slower translational speed followed by a sharp turn to the east-northeast. Favorable upper-level conditions and passage over very warm water will enable sty 18w to remain a super typhoon or very strong typhoon for the next 24 hours.

“Thereafter, the peripheral upper-level flow around the building near-equatorial ridge will restrict outflow and vertical wind shear will increase slightly, inducing slow weakening through tau 72.” If Jelawat continues on that east-northeast track, it would not pose a serious threat to any land mass.

Source: Joint Typhoon Warning Center

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