(Weather Guru)
Wed Sep 27 2006 01:18 PM
Cat 4 Typhoon Xangsane hits Philippines

Typhoon Xangsane exploded into a cat 4 storm overnight just before making landfall in Albay province in the central Philippines. Most forecasts yesterday were for a high end cat 1 or low end cat 2 at landfall. The storm apparently jogged north, missing an early landfall and stayed over water longer than expected, giving it more time to deepen. The official JTWC track takes Xangsane almost right over Manila, although it appears to me that it could stay about 50 miles south. It is then expected to enter the South China Sea, re-intensify into a cat 4 and hit Vietnam in about 4 days.

I know the Philippines are pretty used to typhoons, but I fear the loss of life could be substantial, especially with the storm hitting during a rapid intensification stage. The storm seems to be moving along pretty steadily so hopefully the flash flooding won't be too destructive.

UPDATE (10:30 PM ET) - center appears to have passed Manila, winds have shifted from NNW to SW, gusting to 55 mph.

12:30 AM - oops, apparently not. 12:00 ob has ENE wind at 60mph - gusts to 89 mph. That really makes more sense with the storm passing just south. That 10:00 ob must have just been a bad observation.

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