Typhoon Rammasun hit Philippines as Category 3 typhoon


Typhoon Rammasun (locally known as Glenda) made landfall in the eastern part of the central Philippines, in the Visayas region, early on July 15, 2014, as a Category 3 typhoon. Wind gusts up to 200 km/h (125 mph) were recorded. Torrential rains and heavy winds caused significant infrastructural damage.

One death was reported so far, dozens were injured.

MTSAT-2 IR satellite image of Typhoon Rammasun at 08:30 UTC on July 15, 2014. Rapu-Rapu Island is visible in the center of the eye. (Credit: NOAA/MTSAT)

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that a total of 145,627 individuals or 33,065 families have been evacuated in provinces in Bicol and in Samar and Tacloban City, whose residents have yet to recover from the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). The state of Calamity was issued for the provincial governments of Albay and Camarines Sur. 

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Typhoon Rammasun on July 15, 2014 at 05:00 UTC, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument known as MODIS took a visible image of the storm (left image). The MODIS image showed Rammasun's eye just east of the Visayas region. Rammasun's clouds stretched over the entire country and west into the South China Sea. On the right is MTSAT-2 visible satellite image of Typhoon Rammasun at 09:01 UTC on July 15, 2014. (Credit: NOAA/LANCE/FNMOC)

Rammasun was intensifying rapidly as it approached landfall, and system's central minimum pressure dropped to 945mb around 09:00 UTC on July 15, 2014, as the storm was making landfall. Rainfall amounts of 150-250 mm (6-10 inches) were recorded across parts of Samar Island, in northern Visayas and southeast Luzon. Estimated rainfall amount of 7.5 – 30 mm per hour (heavy to intense) is expected within the 500 km form the center of the system.

The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this infrared image of powerful thunderstorms (purple) from Rammasun over the Philippines on July 15 at 04:59 UTC (left). TRMM satellite passed over Rammasun on July 15 at 12:10 a.m. EDT and found moderate rainfall (35 mm/1.4 in/hr) around the center and moderate to heavy rainfall (50 mm/2 in/hr) over the central and northern Philippines.

Rainfall rate of Typhoon Rammasun as estimated by the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS) instrument on the DMSP F-17 polar orbiting satellite at 09:12 UTC on July 15, 2014. (redit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey)

Rammasun is bringing very heavy rains and flooding to much of Luzon, including the capital of Manila, where 12 million people live. Storm surge flooding, damaging winds, flash flooding and mudslides will remain threats through July 16, 2014. The eye is forecast to pass slightly south of Metro Manila, affecting the provinces of Batangas and Cavite.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has also included Metro Manila and other provinces in Southern Luzon in the list of areas covered by public storm warning signal number 3 (Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Quezon including Polillo and Alabat Island, Rizal, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Marinduque, northern part of Mindoro provinces including Lubang Island).

Winds of up to 185 km/h (115 mph) are expected across the region as Rammasun crosses the landmass.

Forecast track map and Public Storm Warning Signals as of July 15, 2014. (Credit: PAGASA)

The system is moving to the northwest at speed of 16.5 km/h (10.3 mph) and is forecast to pass close to Manila early on July 16, 2014.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasters expect Rammasun to weaken while moving over the Philippines and then re-intensify under the influence of warm sea surface temperatures and generally low vertical wind shear in the South China Sea.

Rammasun is expected to make a second landfall over northern Hainan Island, China on July 18, 2014, as a typhoon, before a final landfall in northern Vietnam, near Hanoi.

Typhoon Rammasun forecast track (Credit: JTWC)

Meanwhile, another tropical disturbance is developing southwest of Guam, and could target the northern Philippines early next week.

Satellite Animations

Featured image: MTSAT-2 IR satellite image of Typhoon Rammasun at 08:30 UTC on July 15, 2014. (Credit: NOAA/MTSAT)

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