Typhoon Kammuri Turns Back Toward the Philippines

After jogging toward the north on Thursday, Typhoon Kammuri turned back toward the Philippines on Thursday night.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Typhoon Kammuri was located at latitude 14.1°N and longitude 138.0°E which put it about 1150 miles (1850 km) east of Manila, Philippines.  Kammuri was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 970 mb.

Typhoon Kammuri strengthened gradually on Thursday.  The eye that was forming on Wednesday was not yet apparent on conventional infrared or visible satellite images.  Microwave satellite images still indicated that an eye was developing at the center of circulation.  So, high clouds from thunderstorms around the center of Kammuri must have been obscuring the eye on other satellite images.  The upper part of the circulation may have been tilted toward the north by southerly winds blowing around the western end of an upper level ridge.  Winds to typhoon force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 145 miles (230 km) from the center.

Typhoon Kammuri will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Kammuri will move over water in the Philippine Sea where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Typhoon Kammuri will continue to intensify and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a major hurricane during the next 24 to 48 hours.  There could be a period of rapid intensification after the eye and eyewall are fully developed.

Typhoon Kammuri will move south of a high pressure system that extends from eastern Asia over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Kammuri toward the west during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Kammuri could approach Luzon in about four days.  Kammuri could be the equivalent of a major hurricane when it reaches Luzon.