Typhoon Mangkhut Brings Wind and Rain to the Marianas

Typhoon Mangkhut brought wind and rain to the Marianas on Sunday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 14.4°N and longitude 146.6°E which put it about 175 miles (285 km) east-northeast of Guam.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west at 19 m.p.h. (31 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 955 mb.  Typhoon Warnings were in effect for Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam.  The airport on Saipan was reporting sustained winds of 41 m.p.h. (66 km/h) and wind gusts to 61 m.p.h. (98 km/h).

Typhoon Mangkhut had a well organized circulation.  There was a circular eye at the center of Mangkhut.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Mangkhut.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon.

Winds to typhoon force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut was 13.9.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 13.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index was 27.4.  Typhoon Mangkhut was capable of causing regional significant damage.

Typhoon Mangkhut will move through an environment favorable for intensification.  Mangkhut will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge north of Mangkhut will cause easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Typhoon Mangkhut could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane later this week.

The ridge north of Typhoon Mangkhut will steer the typhoon in a westerly direction.  The core of Typhoon Mangkhut will move over the Marianas during the next few hours.  It will bring strong winds and it will drop locally heavy rain.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut could be east of Luzon later this week.