Strengthening Typhoon Phanfone Makes Landfall in Central Philippines

A strengthening Typhoon Phanfone made landfall in the central Philippines on Tuesday morning.  At 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Typhoon Phanfone was located at latitude 11.6°N and longitude 124.1°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Placer, Philippines.  Phanfone was moving toward the west-northwest at 19 m.p.h. (31 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.

Typhoon Phanfone strengthened quickly as it made landfall in the central Philippines.  A small circular eye became more distinct on  satellite imagery.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Winds to typhoon force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 120 miles (195 km) from the center.  The Hurricane intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Phanfone was 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 10.8 and the Hurricane Wind intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 28.6.

The center of Typhoon Phanfone made landfall near Guiuan on Samar.  The center of Phanfone passed near Tacloban on Leyte before it moved over the Visayan Sea.  Typhoon Phanfone brought strong winds and heavy rain to Samar and Leyte.  The winds were strong enough to cause serious damage and regional power outages.  The heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Typhoon Phanfone moved through a favorable environment that allowed to strengthen.  Phanfone moved over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was near 29°C.  It moved through a region where the upper level winds were weak and there was little vertical wind shear.  The core of Phanfone moved quickly over narrow portions of Samar and Leyte and the core remained intact.  Typhoon Phanfone could strengthen while the enter moves across the Visayan Sea and it could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane.

Typhoon Phanfone will move south of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean during the next several days.  The ridge will steer Phanfone toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track the center of Typhoon Phanfone will pass near Masbate and the northern end of Panay Island.  Phanfone could be near Mindoro in about 12 hours.  Typhoon Phanfone will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Masbate, the northern end of Panay Island, the northern end of Negros and Mindoro.  Conditions will improve gradually when Phanfone moves away from Samar and Leyte.