Typhoon Francisco continues to become better organized in Northwestern Pacific waters as it spins southwest of Guam. The system barely missed the island of Guam twice on its southwestern track before it changed direction to the northeast. Francisco has developed in a similar area to where former Typhoon Wipha formed last week. Francisco is now located southwest of the island and is moving northwest with maximum sustained winds of 96 mph. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast has the storm moving north-northwest towards Japan over the next week.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Typhoon Francisco on October 17, 2013 at 04:05 UTC in the Pacific Ocean as it started turning to the northwest after passing the eastern side Guam. The MODIS image clearly showed Francisco's eye, indicating its strength and organization. (Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)
According to latest report by Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), the center of Typhoon Francisco was located 126 nm west- southwest of Guam. The system is moving northward at speed of 11 knots. Maximum sustained winds are 110 knots with recorded gusts up to 135 knots.
Francisco is expected to slowly track northward under the influence of the subtropical ridge extension for the next 12 to 24 hours, until the system begins to turn more northwestward under the steering influence of a more dominant subtropical ridge located well to the north of Guam. Favorable environmental conditions of low vertical wind shear, warm sea surface temperatures, and ample outflow will allow the system to intensify over the next 72 hours to a maximum of 135 knots. Decreasing ocean parameters will cause a slow weakening trend after.
Typhoon Francisco forecast track (Credit: JTWC)
Francisco will travel over the open waters of the Western Pacific, south of Japan. Favorable conditions should allow further intensification as Francisco takes a track very similar to that of former Typhoon Wipha. So, another round of flooding rain and damaging winds is possible for eastern Japan, including greater Tokyo area. However, Francisco could also slow in speed and track off to the west before being lifted northward by a later frontal boundary, aiming Korean Peninsula or western Japan.
MTSAT Infrared satellite image of Typhoon Francisco taken at 20:30 UTC on October 17, 2013 (Credit: NOAA/MTSAT/UW-CIMSS)
- Storm-Centered Infrared (MTSAT; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Infrared (Aviation Color Enhancement) (MTSAT; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Water Vapor (MTSAT; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Visible (MTSAT; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Visible (Colorized) (MTSAT; NOAA/SSD)
- Tropical West Pacific Infrared (MTSAT2; NOAA)
- Tropical West Pacific Enhanced Infrared (MTSAT2; NOAA)
- Tropical West Pacific Water Vapor (MTSAT2; NOAA)
- Tropical West Pacific Visible (MTSAT2; NOAA)
Featured image: Suomi NPP satellite image shows the storm on October 17, 2013 at 03:35 UTC using the satellite’s true color VIIRS imagery (Credit: NASA/NOAA/Suomi NPP)
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