Typhoon Phanfone Hits Panay Island

Typhoon Phanfone hit Panay Island on Tuesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Typhoon Phanfone was located at latitude 11.9°N and longitude 121.8°E which put it about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of San Jose, Philippines.  Phanfone was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 963 mb.

The eye of Typhoon Phanfone passed over the northern coast of Panay Island on Tuesday.  The southern part of the eyewall affected Roxas City, Kalibo and Ibajay.  Strong winds and heavy rain moved over the northern coast of Panay.  The northern eyewall was over Tablas Island and the northwestern part of the eyewall reached southeastern Mindoro.  Gusty winds may reach Roxas and San Jose on Mindoro.  Heavy rain was falling over over Tablas Island and southeastern Mindoro.

Typhoon Phanfone strengthened slightly even though parts of the eyewall moved over some of the islands in the central Philippines.  The core of Phanfone remained intact and there was a small circular eye at the center of the typhoon.  The strongest winds were occurring in a ring of thunderstorms around the eye.  Winds to typhoon force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 125 miles (200 km).  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Phanfone was 19.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 27.5.

Typhoon Phanfone will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Phanfone will move over water 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 Phanfone could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane if the core of the circulation passes south of Mindoro.

Typhoon Phanfone will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Island.  The high will steer Phanfone toward the west-northwest during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the center of Typhoon Phanfone will pass near the southern end of Mindoro during the next few hours.  The center will pass near Busuanga Island and Culion Island before Phanfone moves over the South China Sea.  Typhoon Phanfone will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Roxas, San Jose and Coron.  Heavy rain on Tablas Island, southern Mindoro, Busuanga Island and Culion Island could cause flash floods.  Floods are most likely on southern Mindoro because of the steep slopes near mountains.  Conditions will improve over Panay Island as Phanfone moves farther away.