Typhoon Surigae Rapidly Intensifies to Equivalent of Cat. 5 Hurricane

Typhoon Surigae rapidly intensified to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simspson Scale on Saturday. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Typhoon Surigae was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 128.8°E which put it about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of Laoang, Philippines. Surigae was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 180 m.p.h. (290 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 215 m.p.h. (345 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 900 mb.

Typhoon Surigae continued to intensify rapidly on Saturday. There was a circular eye with a diameter of 20 miles (32 km) at the center of Surigae. 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 large quantities of mass away from the typhoon in all directions.

Typhoon Surigae was a large and powerful typhoon. Winds to typhoon force extended out 65 miles (105 km) from the center of Surigae. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 215 miles (345 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Surigae was 42.2. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 23.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 65.9.

Typhoon Surigae will move through an environment capable of supporting a powerful typhoon 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 western part of an upper level ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge will produce southeasterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation. However, the winds at lower levels in the atmosphere will also blow from the southeast and there will be little vertical wind shear. Typhoon Surigae may have attained its maximum intensity even though it will move through a very favorable environment. 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 north-northwest during the next 24 hours. After that time Typhoon Surigae will move more toward the north. On its anticipated track the core Typhoon Surigae with the strongest winds is forecast to pass east of the Philippines.