[QODLink]
Weather

A storm for the record books

The Philippines strongest typhoon of the year makes landfall
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2012 08:30

A shot from space looking down at Typhoon Bopha before making landfall in Mindanao, Philippines [Nasa]

On Monday the Philippines president, Benigno Aquina, warned the country in a national address that “this storm is no joke”, as Bopha was forecast to be the strongest storm to hit the country this year.

That proved to be correct as Super Typhoon Bopha made landfall Tuesday morning on the eastern coastline of Mindanao, in the southern archipelago of the Philippines.

Just hours before making landfall, Bopha increased intensity from “Typhoon” to “Super Typhoon” status with sustained winds of over 255 kph or 160 mph. Since weather records began, Mindanao has never seen a storm of this intensity make landfall before.

That is because of the island’s close proximity to the equator. Normally tropical formation is hindered at this latitude, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Last December’s Tropical Storm Washi hit the island with just 95 kph winds, killing over 1250. The relatively safe nature of Mindanao does mean that when storms do develop, they are lesser prepared than the northern part of the country that normally averages 16 storms a year.

After making landfall, Bopha began weakening rapidly as it moved across central Mindanao at 22 kph. Preliminary rainfall totals across the region have been nearing 100mm in a 12 hour period, while some have been much higher. Davao Airport, south of the storm, reported 300mm of rain in just a 6 hour period.

By Tuesday evening Typhoon Botha will be back into the open waters of the Sulu Sea. The showers and winds across northern Mindanao will have eased considerably.

That’s not the end of the story. The Sulu Sea still has warm enough waters to help fuel a tropical system, and because of that, Bopha is expected to re-intensify as it moves northwest. A second landfall is expected on the Philippine island of Palawan by Wednesday morning, with the equivalent strength a category two hurricane.

 

342

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Featured
The death of Hamed Shehab on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike has triggered fear and anger among journalists in Gaza.
Israel's strategy in Gaza remains uncertain, as internal politics are at play for PM Netanyahu.
Greece is holding as many as 6,000 migrants in detention centres, in conditions that have been called appalling.
Long derided for trivialising women, Bollywood is shrugging off its trademark social apathy by upping anti-rape crusade.
Survey of more than 300 colleges shows 40 percent do; highlights lack of training for administrators, law enforcement.
join our mailing list