Typhoon Rammasun crossed the Philippines leaving at least twenty dead and forcing more than 400,000 people to evacuate their homes. Rammasun was the first typhoon to strike the Philippines since devastating Category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, which left over 7,300 people dead or missing. Four southeastern provinces on Luzon declared a state of calamity.
Rammasun made landfall as a Category 3 typhoon near Legazpi City in the southeastern part of the northern Philippines on July 15, 2014 with sustained winds of 200 km/h (125 mph) and heavy rainfall. Rammasun had dropped more than 200 mm (8 inches) of rain on parts of Luzon, Samar and Panay.
The Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis image, collected by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) from July 13 to July 16, 2014. Heavier rainfall is shown in dark blue. (Credit: NOAA/TRMM)
The center of the typhoon passed within 40 miles of the city of Manila, and had top winds rated at 170 km/h (105) mph by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), which makes Rammasun one of the most powerful typhoons ever to directly affect Manila.
On July 16, 2014 at 02:40 UTC Typhoon Rammasun had entered the South China Sea after crossing the Philippines. Rammasun is moving northwesteard as a Category 1 typhoon. Warm ocean waters and light vertical wind shear will allow the system to become better organized. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Rammasun to strengthen to 195 km/h (121 mph) by July 18 before weakening again. The system will likely bring winds close to 161 km/h (100 mph) to Hainan Island.
Rammasun is expected to pass north of Hainan Island, China on July 18 around 06:00 UTC. China Meteorological Administration (CMA) expects Rammasun to approach the coastal area of eastern Hainan Island to western Guangxi on the mainland. Storm surge up to 2.5 meters (8 feet) will be possible in northern and eastern Hainan Island as well as the southwest coast of Guangdong, including the Leizhou Peninsula. Flooding rain, mudslides and coastal storm surge will pose the greatest risk.
Hong Kong expects higher surf and a few downpours as the outer bands of the storm pass through the area.
Rammasun will quickly weaken as it moves inland and interract with the rugged terrain of northern Vietnam. It is forecasted to become a post-tropical low by July 20, 2014. Northern Vietnam residents could expect torrential rain which will lead to a widespread flooding and mudslides across the region.
Forecast tracks by Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting and China Meteorological Administration (CMA)
Typhoon Rammasun forecast track by JTWC
New tropical low pressure with a consolidating low-level circulation center is located within 100 miles to the west-northwest of Yap in the western Carolina Islands. High sea-surface temperature and low vertical wind shear could lead to tropical depression formation within 6-12 hours. Movement is likely to towards the northwest in the open Philippines Sea.
MTSAT IR satellite image taken at 22:30 UTC on July 16, 2014 (Credit: NOAA/UW-CIMSS)
- Storm-Centered Infrared (MTSAT2; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Infrared (Aviation Color Enhancement) (MTSAT2; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Water Vapor (MTSAT2; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Visible (MTSAT2; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Visible (Colorized) (MTSAT2; NOAA/SSD)
- Storm-Centered Infrared (MTSAT2; CIMSS)
- Storm-Centered Enhanced Infrared (MTSAT2; CIMSS)
- Storm-Centered Water Vapor (MTSAT2; CIMSS)
- Storm-Centered Visible (MTSAT2; CIMSS)
- South China Sea/West Pacific Infrared (MTSAT2; NOAA)
- South China Sea/West Pacific Enhanced Infrared (MTSAT2; NOAA)
- South China Sea/West Pacific Water Vapor (MTSAT2; NOAA)
Featured image: Typhoon Rammasun seen by MODIS on July 16, 2014. (Credit: LANCE Rapid Response)