(Weather Guru)
Sun Oct 17 2010 05:19 AM
First STY of West Pac Season to Hit Philippines

What has been an extremely quiet season in the Western Pacific has been rudely broken as a very dangerous system has formed. Supertyphoon Megi formed SW of Guam a few days ago, tracked west and then northwest and is now due east of the northern tip of Luzon Island. A strong ridge has moved north of the cyclone and is pushing it south of due west at about 14 mph.

Northern Luzon island figures to take a devastating hit from Megi. The JTWC believes it may increase in strength to 145 kts, and looking at the improving satellite presentation, I think even that may be a little conservative. Landfall looks to be in about 24 hours and probably in southern Cagayan province or perhaps northern Isabela province. The JTWC has had the track over this area for several days so hopefully people should have had plenty of time to get out of low-lying areas.

Crossing the island will take a lot of steam out of Megi but it should still be a solid typhoon when it re-emerges over the South China Sea. It will likely restrengthen and reach the end of the ridge forcing it to turn northwest. Folks along the south coast of China west of Hong Kong are really going to have to watch this as Megi will likely be approaching the coast in about a week.

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