Super Typhoon a Serious Threat to the PhilippinesRain totals along the path of Haiyan could reach 8 to 14 inches
Strengthening Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) is posing a serious threat to lives and property across the Philippines.
Haiyan became a super typhoon Wednesday morning, local time, with maximum sustained winds of 240 kph (150 mph), and now this exceptionally dangerous storm has strengthened into the strongest tropical system in the world for the 2013 season as estimated by wind speed and central pressure.
Those winds increased to 280 kph (nearly 175 mph), making Haiyan equal to that of an extremely powerful Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic.
With its current track, Haiyan will cross over the Philippines Friday through Friday night with its strength equivalent to a Category 5 or a strong Category 4 hurricane.
Haiyan should top Utor as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.
"Three storms [Nari, Utor and Krosa] have crossed the Philippines at typhoon strength so far this year. All three tracked across Luzon, while Haiyan is headed toward the central Philippines," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak.
Rain and wind will increase across the east-central Philippines Thursday night (local time) with conditions deteriorating from east to west Friday through Friday night as the powerful typhoon crosses the islands.
Widespread torrential rain and damaging winds will accompany Haiyan through the centralPhilippines, threatening to leave a trail of destruction and triggering life-threatening flash floods.
Rain totals along the path of Haiyan could top 200 mm (8 inches). Mudslides are a serious concern in the higher terrain, where localized totals of 250 to 300 mm (10 to 12 inches) are not out of the question.
The expected track of Haiyan will take it directly over the areas hardest hit by a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 150 people in the middle of October.
Haiyan will also produce a severe and inundating storm surge, especially along the eastern coast of southern Luzon and Samar islands.
Residents are urged to take the necessary precautions now ahead of Haiyan's approach and heed all evacuation orders issued by local officials.
The worst of the storm will bypass the capital city of Manila, but damaging winds of 80 to 120 kph (50 to 75 mph) and rainfall of 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches) are still expected.
Philippines Weather Center
AccuWeather West Pacific Tropical Center
Detailed Forecast for Manila
This satellite image of Haiyan, courtesy of NOAA, was taken Thursday morning, local time.
After slamming the Philippines, Haiyan will remain a dangerous cyclone as it emerges into the South China Sea and continues to move to the west-northwest on Saturday.
The eventual track of Haiyan will bring the storm toward Vietnam by late Sunday into Monday.
These areas will receive multiple rounds of heavy rainfall leading up to the approach of Haiyan as rainfall from former Typhoon Krosa and Tropical Storm 30W will soak the region.
Thus, any additional heavy rainfall from Haiyan early next week will quickly lead to flooding and mudslide threats.
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