Powerful Typhoon Yutu churned toward northern Luzon on Friday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Yutu was located at latitude 17.7°N and longitude 135.9°E which put it about 900 miles (1450 km) east of Cape Engano, Philippines. Yutu was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 195 m.p.h. (315 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 920 mb.
After completing an eyewall replacement cycle Typhoon Yutu strengthened again on Friday. Yutu is once again the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The eyewall replacement cycle also caused an increase in the size of Typhoon Yutu’s circulation. Winds to typhoon force extend out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 260 miles (420 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) is 35.0. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 28.9 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 63.9.
Typhoon Yutu has a large, very well organized circulation and it will remain in an environment capable of supporting a powerful typhoon for several more days. Yutu will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 31°C. It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Typhoon Yutu could strengthen a little more during the next 12 to 24 hours. At some point another rainband is likely to wrap around the existing eye and eyewall, and another eyewall replacement cycle could occur. If there is another eyewall replacement cycle, then Yutu would weaken, at least temporarily.
Typhoon Yutu will move south of a ridge of high pressure over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge will steer Yutu in a generally westward direction. On its anticipated track Typhoon Yutu could reach northern Luzon in about four days. Yutu is very likely to be a strong typhoon when it approaches Luzon.