Powerful Typhoon Yutu Threatens Northern Luzon

Powerful Typhoon Yutu continued to pose a threat to northern Luzon on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Typhoon Yutu was located at latitude 18.0°N and longitude 129.6°E which put it about 475 miles (765 km) east of Cape Engano, Philippines.  Yutu was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 185 m.p.h. (295 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 929 mb.

There were minor fluctuations in its intensity on Saturday, but Typhoon Yutu remains a very powerful tropical cyclone.  A circular eye is at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of Typhoon Yutu.  Storms around the core are generating strong upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the typhoon in all directions.

Typhoon Yutu has a large circulation.  Winds to typhoon force extend out about 75 miles (120 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 250 miles (400 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Yutu is 31.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 28.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 59.9.  Typhoon Yutu is capable of causing wide spread significant damage.

Typhoon Yutu will continue to move south of a ridge of high pressure over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Yutu in a generally westerly direction for another 36 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Yutu will reach northern Luzon in about 36 to 42 hours.  Yutu will create a storm surge at the coast.  It will cause significant wind damage over northern Luzon.  Yutu will also drop locally heavy rain and cause flash floods over parts of northern Luzon.