Typhoon Surigae Rapidly Intensifies to Equivalent of Major Hurricane

Typhoon Surigae rapidly intensified to the equivalent of a major hurricane on Friday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Surigae was located at latitude 10.3°N and longitude 131.6°E which put it about 220 miles (330 km) northwest of Palau. Surigae was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 944 mb.

Typhoon Surigae rapidly intensified on Friday as it moved farther away from Palau. A small circular eye was present at the center of circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Surigae. Storms near the core generated strong upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the typhoon in all directions. The removal of mass allowed the pressure to decrease rapidly.

The circulation around Typhoon Surigae increased in size on Friday. Winds to typhoon force extended out 50 miles (80 km) from the center of Surigae. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 180 miles (290 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Surigae was 25.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 18.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 43.9. Surigae was a large, dangerous typhoon capable of causing major damage.

Typhoon Surigae will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Surigae will be over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures will be near 30°C. It will move under the southwestern part of an upper level ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation. However, the winds at lower levels in the atmosphere will also blow from the east and there will be little vertical wind shear. Typhoon Surigae will likely continue to intensify during the next 24 hours. If the inner end of a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Surigae to weaken.

Typhoon Surigae will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean during the next several days. The high will steer Surigae toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. After that time Typhoon Surigae will move more toward the north when it moves around the western end of the high pressure system. On its anticipated track Typhoon Surigae could be east of the Philippines in 36 hours.