Super Typhoon Koppu hits Philippines as a Category 4 or 5 storm – ‘We are looking at the possible worst scenario’Posted by Jim at Saturday, October 17, 2015
By Andrew Freedman
17 October 2015
(Mashable) – Super Typhoon Koppu, known as Typhoon Lando in the Philippines, made landfall close to 1 a.m. local time on Sunday morning near the town of Casiguran in Luzon's Aurora Province, as a powerful Category 4 or 5 storm.
The storm was on the cusp of being declared a Category 5 monster from one of the official storm monitoring agencies in Japan and the U.S. before it crossed over land, officially with winds of 150 miles per hour, just shy of Category 5 strength.
Super Typhoon Koppu underwent a nightmarish period of rapid intensification that may have caught many of the 15 to 20 million residents of Luzon off guard. […]
This storm is going to do something few storms of this strength do — sit and spin over land, and then near land, for three to four full days, dumping almost unheard of rainfall totals in the process.
Acting weather bureau chief Esperanza Cayanan said another typhoon farther east and a high pressure area north of the country would hold Koppu in a "semi-stationary" position and shroud most of Luzon in rain for days. […]
Some computer models are projecting that rainfall totals in northwestern Luzon will eclipse 50 inches, or 1,270 millimeters, by the time rain ends on Tuesday or Wednesday. If some projections are born out — and there is little reason to doubt them considering that there is historical precedent for such deluges from such tropical weather systems in the Philippines — rainfall totals could climb even higher, toward 60 to 80 inches, or about 1,500 to 2,000 millimeters or more.
As weather.com's Nick Wiltgen wrote, this would be the equivalent of receiving an entire year's worth of average precipitation in Miami, Florida, which is 61.92 inches, in just three or four days. [more]
By Oliver Teves
17 October 2015
MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Typhoon Koppu grew stronger but was moving slower toward the northeastern Philippines late Saturday as the government urged local authorities to issue forced evacuations of residents in flood-prone areas.
Local officials have been advised to conduct the "forced evacuation" of communities historically hit by flash floods and landslides as well as coastal villages at risk from destructive storm surges that could reach as high as 3 meters (10 feet), civil defense chief Alexander Pama said.
"The situation is critical because the winds are getting stronger and it will get stronger as (Koppu) moves closer," he said.
Regional civil defense chief Norma Talosig said villagers had been voluntarily moving to safer ground or emergency shelters since early Saturday. She could not immediately give the number of evacuees.
Heavy rains are expected to inundate many areas on the main northern island of Luzon even before the typhoon makes landfall early Sunday, acting weather bureau chief Esperanza Cayanan said.
Cayanan said another typhoon farther east and a high pressure area north of the country would hold Koppu in a "semi-stationary" position and shroud most of Luzon with an enormous band of thick rain clouds.
"We are looking at the possible worst scenario, not to scare but to allow us to prepare," Cayanan said. "If it stays 24 hours … and the downpour is sustained, we will surely have floods and landslides."
Forecasters said the typhoon's cloud band had expanded to about 650 kilometers (406 miles) in diameter by late Saturday, unleashing the most intense rain close to the center.
By 6 p.m. Saturday, the typhoon was about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Aurora province, where Koppu is expected to make landfall. It was packing sustained winds of 175 kilometers (109 miles) per hour, and gusts of up to 210 kph (131 mph). It slowed to a crawl from 15 kph (9 mph) Friday to 10 kph (6 mph). Forecasters said it could grow stronger before it hits land.
AccuWeather said the combination of a typhoon's slow movement and its powerful winds "could spell a disastrous situation for residents and communities in its path."
President Benigno Aquino III appeared Friday on national television to warn Filipinos about the typhoon and appealed for cooperation to prevent casualties.
It was the first time Aquino had personally issued a storm warning on television since super Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,300 dead or missing.
Aquino said an estimated 1.5 million families, or about 7.5 million people, would need relief assistance. [more]
By Jeff Masters and Bob Henson
16 October 2015
(wunderground.com) – Heavy rains have begun on the Philippines' main island of Luzon as intensifying Typhoon Koppu heads west-northwest at 11 mph towards the Philippines. At 8 am EDT Friday, Koppu was a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds, and satellite loops showed that Koppu had an impressive ring of eyewall clouds with very cold cloud tops that extended high into the atmosphere.
The combination of low wind shear, warm ocean waters that extend to great depth and the presence of two impressive upper level outflow channels make it likely that Koppu will rapidly intensify to Category 4 status before landfall occurs near 18 UTC (2 pm EDT) Saturday on Luzon.
Unfortunately for the Philippines, Koppu will then slow and turn to the north as the storm begins to feel the steering influence of a trough of low pressure passing to its north, and the center of the storm is likely to spend 2 - 2.5 days over Luzon before finally emerging to the north of Luzon on Monday or Tuesday. This will subject the island to an extended period of torrential rains, and some truly prodigious amounts of rainfall are being predicted.
The 06Z (2 am EDT) Friday runs of the both the HWRF and GFDL models predicted that Koppu would intensify to Category 4 strength before making landfall, and showed large areas of 24+ inches of rain for Luzon over the next five days. The capital of Manila (population 12 million) was near the southern boundary of the predicted 12-inch rainfall totals. While rainfall forecasts from these two models are often overdone by 50%, it appears likely that a historic rainfall event is likely for the Philippines. Expect widespread damaging flooding capable of causing a top-five most expensive disaster in Philippine history. [more]
By Jeff Masters
17 October 2015
(wunderground.com) – Intensifying Super Typhoon Koppu is pounding the Philippines' eastern Luzon Island with torrential rains as the storm crawls west-northwest at 6 mph. Koppu (called "Lando" locally in the Philippines) could achieve Category 5 status before making landfall between 2 - 6 pm EDT Saturday. At 8 am EDT Saturday, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Koppu was a Category 4 super typhoon with top winds of 150 mph, and the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated a central pressure of 930 mb. According to wunderblogger Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Koppu is the nineteenth Category 4 or 5 tropical cyclone this year in the Northern Hemisphere, setting a new record for these most powerful of storms. The previous record was eighteen such storms in 2004. Satellite loops on Saturday morning showed that Koppu had an impressive ring of eyewall clouds with very cold cloud tops that extended high into the atmosphere, and a prominent 23-mile diameter eye. The combination of low wind shear, warm ocean waters that extend to great depth and the presence of two impressive upper level outflow channels will support continued intensification right up until landfall. Extreme winds, a large storm surge, and heavy rains are all major threats from Koppu, but it is the storm's rains that will cause most of the storm's destruction. Recent satellite estimates showed Koppu's maximum rainfall rate was likely 20 inches of rain per 24 hours. [more]