Typhoon Koppu is gaining strength and looks likely to deliver heavy rainfall over parts of Luzon in the northern Philippines this weekend and early next week, which may trigger dangerous flooding and mudslides, according to a report from Weather Underground.
On Thursday afternoon (mainland U.S. time) Koppu, the 24th named storm of 2015 in the northwest Pacific Ocean, became the 15th to reach typhoon strength, the report said.
Known as “Lando” in the Philippines, Typhoon Koppu is one of two tropical cyclones hitting the west Pacific. (Tropical Storm Champi is further east and hit the northern Mariana Islands on Friday with winds and waves.)
“There is still some potential that [Typhoon Koppu] could rapidly intensify before reaching the northern Philippines this weekend and [grind] to a near halt,” the report went on to say.
“Satellite imagery Thursday night showed an expansive area of convection, or thunderstorm activity, along with the tell-tale pattern of high, thin cirrus clouds fanning out in curved bands from the periphery of the cyclone,” explained Weather Underground. “Such patterns are signs of a strengthening tropical cyclone.”
The report cautioned that Koppu could become the equivalent of a major hurricane with top sustained wind speeds reaching or exceeding 111 mph (178 kph).
Weather Underground forecasts rainfall totals in excess of a foot (300 millimeters) across much of Luzon, generally from Manila northward.
The heaviest totals will generally occur where winds blow directly from the sea into mountain ranges where rainfall totals of 20 to 40 inches (500 to 1,000 mm) are likely, the report continued.
“Even in the typhoon-prone Philippines, rainfall amounts exceeding 40 inches (1,000 mm) from a single typhoon are relatively rare, and always extremely dangerous. Far lower rainfall amounts from past typhoons have proven deadly time and again,” Weather Underground said.
The Philippine weather agency, PAGASA, has issued Storm Signal No. 1 for a number of provinces in northern and southeastern Luzon, which indicates winds of 30 to 60 kph (19 to 38 mph) are possible within 36 hours, the report noted.
The full Weather Underground report on Typhoon Koppu, written by Nick Wiltgen, is available from the company’s website.
Source: Weather Underground
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