Philippines on Alert as Typhoon Hagupit Strengthens

December 4, 2014

AccuWeather Global Weather Center reports that a strengthening Typhoon Hagupit is bringing life-threatening dangers to the Philippines.

Hagupit strengthened into a typhoon early Tuesday night PHT (Tuesday morning EST) and has continued to strengthen with sustained winds over 160 kph (100 mph).

Conditions are prime for Hagupit to strengthen further, potentially approaching super typhoon intensity over the waters of the Philippine Sea later this week.

Prior to reaching the Philippine Sea, Hagupit crossed the island of Yap Wednesday night (local time). Rainfall has already totaled more than 75 mm (3 inches) with wind gusts over 65 kph (40 mph), according to AccuWeather.com.

Beyond Yap, AccuWeather.com meteorologists have identified two scenarios for Hagupit. Both involve Hagupit becoming a powerful and dangerous typhoon. However, the extent of the impact on the Philippines will depend on the track Hagupit takes later this week.

The first scenario would be a westerly track, bringing the typhoon into the central Philippines this weekend and in contact with a much more significant population.

“If the storm takes the track into the Philippines, the impacts will be potentially very severe with widespread flooding, damaging winds, mudslides, storm surge and pounding surf,” stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani.

The danger for flooding would become extreme and more life-threatening if Hagupit slows its forward movement and crawls through the Philippines, unloading inundating amounts of rain.

Much of the Philippines would be spared the worst of this cyclone if the second scenario of Hagupit unfolds. In this scenario, the typhoon turns northward through the Philippine Sea just east of the Philippines, then northeastward in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

If the cyclone turns east of the Philippines, the outer bands could bring torrential rainfall to eastern Luzon this weekend, AccuWeather.com said.

Hagupit could stall before making much northward progress, which would keep seas violently stirred up for a prolonged period of time across the Philippine Sea, according to the weather center.

Manila will likely be spared the worst of this cyclone; however, if it tracks west across the Philippines, downpours could still result in flooding as early as Sunday.

Depending on how sharp of a northeastward turn Hagupit takes, the Volcano Islands could be threatened or impacts could be felt along the southern coast of Japan next week.

All interests from the Philippines to Japan should closely monitor the progress of what will become a dangerous typhoon, AccuWeather.com said.

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