Potentially catastrophic Super Typhoon Megi approaching the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 17:21 GMT le 17 octobre 2010

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The world's strongest tropical cyclone of 2010 is Super Typhoon Megi, which intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 super typhoon with 180 mph winds this morning. We are fortunate to have a hurricane hunter aircraft in Megi, as part of the Interaction of Typhoon and Ocean Project (ITOP), which is studying how the ocean responds to typhoon growth and movement in the Western Pacific Ocean. As part of ITOP, a C-130 hurricane hunter aircraft was in Megi this morning, and measured some truly remarkable winds and pressures. At 8:09am EDT (12:09 UTC), the aircraft measured winds at flight level (8,000 feet) of 220 mph. The SFMR surface wind measurement instrument recorded surface winds of 186 mph in regions where heavy rain was not contaminating the measurement, but found surface winds of 199 mph in one region of heavy rain. Now, this measurement is considered contaminated by rain, but at very high wind speeds, the contamination effect is less important than at lower hurricane wind speeds, and it is possible than Megi's surface winds are close to a sustained 200 mph. This is supported by the flight level winds of 220 mph, which support surface winds of 199 mph, using the usual 10% reduction rule of thumb. The Hurricane Hunters measured a surface pressure of 893 mb at 12 UTC. This is a phenomenally low pressure, ranking Megi as the 20th strongest typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific. Only three Atlantic hurricane have been more intense than Megi--Wilma (2005) at 882 mb, Gilbert (1988) at 888 mb, and the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, at 892 mb. Megi's intensity easily beats out 2010's other two Category 5 storms, March's Tropical Cyclone Ului in the South Pacific and the East Pacific's Hurricane Celia of June, which both peaked at 160 mph winds. It is still possible that Megi will intensify further, as wind shear is low, less than 10 knots, SSTs are very warm, and the ocean has a very high total heat content.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Megi taken by NASA's Terra satellite at 1am EDT Sunday October 17, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Megi is poised to deal a devastating blow to the northern portion of the Philippines' Luzon Island early Monday morning. If the super typhoon's winds stay near 180 mph, the damage will be catastrophic in the regions where the eyewall makes landfall. The Philippines government is taking Megi very seriously, and has ordered evacuation of all low-lying regions in Megi's path. Equally dangerous will be Megi's torrential rains, which will likely be more than 12 inches over wide regions of northern Luzon, creating dangerous mudslides and life-threatening flash floods. Once Megi crosses Luzon, the storm is expected to re-intensify and hit the Chinese coast between Hainan Island and Hong Kong as a major typhoon on Friday. Storm chaser James Reynolds is in northeast Luzon, and will be shooting pictures and video that he will upload his website typhoonfury.com, and Twitter, @TyphoonFury.

Caribbean disturbance 99L
Heavy thunderstorm activity is currently limited over the southern Caribbean waters just north of Panama in association with a tropical disturbance (Invest 99L). Recent satellite imagery does show this disturbance has some rotation, and wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots, which is low enough to allow some slow development. However, the disturbance is headed west at about 5 mph, and all of the major models predict the storm will move over Nicaragua by Tuesday, limiting any chance for development into a tropical depression.

Next update
I'll have an update Monday morning.

Jeff Masters

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51 Passengers Brought to Safety in Sta. Ana, Cagayan the news from Sunday evening (last night local time)

:::According to Lieutenant Commander Armando Balilo, PCG Public Information Officer and deputy chief of staff for community relations that three vessels identified as M/V Eagle Ferry – 23 passengers; M/B GMA – 10 passengers; and M/B Babylyn – 18 passengers attempted to sail and left the San Vicente Port Terminal around 7 p.m. but few minutes later decided to return in the said port terminal due to rough sea conditions and strong winds cause by the said weather disturbance.:::
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More than a 1000 stranded due to Typhoon Juan aka Megi

:::Several stranded passengers were also reported in the Batangas City Port Terminal (180 passengers); Puerto Real Port in Mindoro (33 passengers); and San Vicente Port Terminal in Sta. Ana, Isabela (51 passengers). The said 51 passenger onboard three passenger shipping vessels were the one rescued by PCG late evening of Sunday after it was hammered by rough sea condition few minutes after it left the said port terminal.:::

The eye came ashore at Isabela Monday around noon, so WTF was this captain thinking putting out to sea 18-20 hours ago?

:::Meanwhile, two casualties were already registered in Tuguegarao and Ilocos Sur due to drowning. Lt. Cmdr Balilo said that reports coming from the PCG Northern Luzon District informed them the a certain Vicente Decena, 33-yrs old of Barangay Mamabablan Norte in Tuguegarao City was drowned while securing his fishnet besides the Cagayan River. Search and retrieval efforts continue as of 1:30 p.m. to retrieve the body of Decena.

The PCG Northern Luzon District also reported a certain Joshua Duque Floreno of Barangay Waip Daya Galemuyod Iloco Sur also died due to drowning.

“Floreno was reportedly swimming along the coastal waters of Dapdap in Candon despite typhoon warnings not to swim during stormy weathers”, Balilo said.:::

No comment.
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Quoting oddspeed:
mycam-asia.tv/philippines


Thanks for the link, this'll be good to see what's going on.
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502. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
347
TCNA21 RJTD 180600
CCAA 18060 47644 MEGI(1013) 17171 11218 12424 270// 92615=


Dvorak: T7.0/OVERLAND
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mycam-asia.tv/philippines
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Dunno why that didn't work. Let's try again..

Link
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^^^ I might add that these images are from long before Megi.
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A few images from the rural areas of Palanan, Luzon, Philippines.



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497. JRRP
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Nhc at orange 99L
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Typhoon Megi certainly appears to be either a strengthening TC or at least maintaining his strength at landfall.

Are there any mets or Wx experts on here tonight who can address the hypothesis that tropical cyclones which are in a strengthening or maintaining cycle when they make landfall are more efficient at bringing stronger winds from higher levels in the atmosphere down to the surface than do weakening cyclones?

Examples of this in the US would be Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which clearly was in a rapid intensification phase when it made landfall in South Florida on August 24 of that year at about 3:00 AM, EDT and Hurricane Camille in 1969, also intensifying when it made landfall on the Central Gulf Coast in that year.

Others that likely were intensifying at landfall are the Labor Day Storm of 1935 in the Florida Keys, thought to have had maximum sustained winds of about 200 mph. in its eye wall when it came ashore and Hurricane Charley in 2004 in Port Charlotte, FL, which was officially a strengthening Cat. 4 hurricane at landfall but widely believed to most likely have already reached Cat. 5 status. Charley was a very small and compact hurricane and they can be among the most dangerous when it comes to rapid intensification.
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Quoting TomTaylor:


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Could someone PLEASE answer what is in the quote above, thanks.


I would suspect that there have been other Tropical Cyclones (TC) with a maximum sustained wind (MSW) of 190 mph or greater than those we are currently aware of in the historical record.

As it stands to date, both hurricanes Camille (1969) and Allen (1980) are examples of Atlantic basin hurricanes that have also achieved an estimated MSW of 190 mph during their respective lifetimes.

Since Recon flights have not been used as much in Western Pacific Typhoons-like they have been in Atlantic Basin storms, it is highly likely that some of their strongest Typhoons had a MSW that exceeded this 190 mph threshold. Some of these candidates would most certainly include Typhoon Tip of 1979. It currently holds the record for the worlds lowest measured barometric pressure-at 870 mb!

Since it is difficult to accurately measure and confirm such extreme wind velocities as the aforementioned, most worldwide meterological agencies use a storms minimum central barometric pressure as the best gauge of a particular TC's intensity.

With all the aforementioned in mind, here is what the HRD/NHC technical memorandum has to say regarding your excellent question.

Based on this information, it appears that TC Olivia holds the world record for highest winds ever recorded at the surface (although not 1-minute sustained), when it hit Australia in 1996.
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From Wikipedia

Severe Tropical Cyclone Olivia near peak intensity off the coast of Western Australia
Formed 3 April 1996
Dissipated 12 April 1996
Highest
winds
195 km/h (120 mph) (10-minute sustained)
230 km/h (145 mph) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 925 mbar (hPa; 27.32 inHg)
Fatalities 10 injuries
Damage > $2 million (1996 USD)
> $3 million (2010 USD)
Areas
affected Northern Territory and Western Australia
Part of the
1995%u201396 Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season

Severe Tropical Cyclone Olivia was a powerful Category 4 cyclone that produced the highest non-tornadic winds on record, 408 km/h (253 mph).
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491. JLPR2
Hello 99L
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Quoting sunlinepr:


That eyewall isn't deterorating at all.
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At least this is taken as an Official record at the surface... JMasters link

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced that the new world wind speed record at the surface is a 253 mph (113.2 m/s) wind gust measured on Barrow Island, Australia. The gust occurred on April 10, 1996, during passage of the eyewall of Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Olivia.
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Oh, and Super Typhoon Nancy in 1961 is widely regarded, unofficially, as having sustained 1-minute surface winds over 200 mph, though these readings are heavily disputed, and given the vast improvement of technology since that time, it's very possible these readings were contaminated.
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JMasters Info. about extreme wind gusts

Link

Tropical Cyclone Olivia was a Category 4 storm on the U.S. Saffir-Simpson scale, and generated sustained winds of 145 mph (1-minute average) as it crossed over Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Australia on April 10, 1996. Olivia had a central pressure of 927 mb and an eye 45 miles in diameter at the time, and generated waves 21 meters (69 feet) high offshore. According to Black et al. (1999), the eyewall likely had a tornado-scale mesovortex embedded in it that caused the extreme wind gust of 253 mph. The gust was measured at the standard measuring height of 10 meters above ground, on ground at an elevation of 64 meters (210 feet). A similar mesovortex was encountered by a Hurricane Hunter aircraft in Hurricane Hugo of 1989, and a mesovortex was also believed to be responsible for the 239 mph wind gust measured at 1400 meters by a dropsonde in Hurricane Isabel in 2003. For reference, 200 mph is the threshold for the strongest category of tornado, the EF-5, and any gusts of this strength are capable of causing catastrophic damage.
Quoting TomTaylor:


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Could someone PLEASE answer what is in the quote above, thanks.
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Quoting TomTaylor:


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Could someone PLEASE answer what is in the quote above, thanks.


Though not official, Camille in 1969 is estimated by some to have sustained surface winds of 205 mph at landfall.
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Quoting TomTaylor:


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Could someone PLEASE answer what is in the quote above, thanks.


I'm not aware of any storm over 190, although there have been quite a few storms that have hit 190.
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Quoting goldmind:
Link
typhoon Megi 865 mbars???
this is a joke?


Twas a type-o, but I just edited it to fix it.
Member Since: 24 août 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting shoreacres:
I've got friends in Baquio who were tweeting up until about two hours ago. Cantore's been in touch with a guy named Jim Reynolds who's tweeting under the name typhoonfury. He's a videographer based in HongKong, apparently.


There's mention of James Reynolds and a link to his web page in Doc M's blog header, and the page has a link to Reynolds on twitter. Apparently he is N of the landfall area and will move southward after the typhoon passes.

Hope your friends do okay through this. Well, I hope everyone over there does.
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Japan Met.

If max wind guts = 175 knots then that eq. to 201.6 mph

Scale Large
Intensity Very Intense
Center position N1725'(17.4)
E12235'(122.6)
Direction and speed of movement W 20km/h(10kt)
Central pressure 885hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center 65m/s(125kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 90m/s(175kt)
Area of 50kt winds or more Wide 200km(110NM)
Area of 30kt winds or more NE650km(350NM)
SW410km(220NM)
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Quoting TomTaylor:
WAIT, so lemme get this straight real quick:

Megi (Juan) reached peak 1 minute sustained winds of 190 mph. So does this tie her (or him) for first place? Or has there been a hurricane with over 190 mph 1 minute sustained winds before?


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Could someone PLEASE answer what is in the quote above, thanks.
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477. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
JMA never went down to 865 so it is likely vandalism
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Quoting goldmind:
Link
typhoon Megi 865 mbars???
this is a joke?


If you read the context it's just a typo, they meant 885.
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Quoting shoreacres:
My gosh - look at this map of tweeted reports from Megi. Those from the - uh - center? Yikes!


Reported first casualty...
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Twitter: @wikihurricanes
From @dost_pagasa — #Typhoon #Megi / #Juan has made landfall at Divilacan Peak, Isabela at 11:25 am local time (04:15 10/18 UTC) #hurricane
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Link
typhoon Megi 865 mbars???
this is a joke?
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472. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Twitter

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
OCTOBER 18,2010

Based on our Aparri Radar THE "EYE" OF TYPHOON JUAN HAS MADE LANDFALL AT SIERRA MADRE MT. ESTAGNO POINT AT DIVILACAN PEAK AT 11:25 AM.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Landfall




Thanks for posting these excellent satellite images of Typhoon Juan/Megi!:)

That last image is extremely close to an "official" landfall. However, the absolute center of the "eye" has to have crossed (i.e. intersect) the coast for there to be an "official" landfall designation. Based on that visible satellite image, it appears only about 1/4 of the eye has made it onto shore.

That being said, I would suspect that the next satellite image will show an "official" landfall of the storm with the eye having fully intersected the coastline.
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Good night to all and God Bless..
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@hydrus & FLWaterFront -Thanks for the info on Baguio. Scary stuff for sure.
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WAIT, so lemme get this straight real quick:

Megi (Juan) reached peak 1 minute sustained winds of 190 mph. So does this tie her (or him) for first place? Or has there been a hurricane with over 190 mph 1 minute sustained winds before?
Member Since: 24 août 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting FLWaterFront:


I also know a guy here in Florida who is originally from Baguio.

Baguio City is an inland city in the mountainous region of Central Luzon Island. There, the biggest threat from the typhoons comes from extreme rainfall, freshwater flooding and mudslides.

This man can remember a time when the walls of his family home came crashing down as the side of the mountain slid through the house, the roof caved in and pouring rain mixed with mud in their living room. He and his family members struggled to survive while the surging mud rushed through the house, torrents of water fell on top of them all and howling winds raged outside.

Pretty scary stuff!
I believe there was a record set for rainfall in Baguio.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well iam out with the landfall lets hope for the best expect the worst till the am later all
G,night Keep.
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well iam out with the landfall lets hope for the best expect the worst till the am later all
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463. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
HOURLY UPDATE OF TYPHOON “JUAN”
(WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

AS OF 11:00 AM TODAY (MONDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2010), TYPHOON “JUAN” WAS LOCATED 20 KM EAST FROM THE COAST OF PALANAN, ISABELA OR AT 80 KM EAST OF TUGUEGARAO CITY (17.5°N, 122.4°E).

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 225 KPH NEAR THE CENTER
GUSTINESS: UP TO 260 KPH
FORECAST MOVEMENT: WEST SOUTHWEST
SPEED: 17 KPH
ESTIMATED CENTRAL PRESSURE: 922 hPa
EYE SIZE: 50 KM

POSSIBLE LANDFALL AREA: PALANAN, ISABELA

POSSIBLE TIME OF LANDFALL: 12NN – 2PM (MONDAY, OCTOBER 18).


POSSIBLE EXIT AREA: ILOCOS SUR – LA UNION AREA
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Landfall




Wow... just.. wow.
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460. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #40
TYPHOON MEGI (T1013)
12:00 PM JST October 18 2010
=================================

SUBJECT: Category Five Typhoon In Sea East of The Philippines

At 3:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Megi (885 hPa) located at 17.4N 122.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 125 knots with gusts of 175 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 10 knots

Dvorak Intensity:

Storm Force Winds
=================
110 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
350 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant
220 NM from the center in southwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 16.5N 118.9E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
45 HRS: 17.0N 117.0E - 85 knots (CAT 4/Strong Typhoon)
69 HRS: 18.1N 115.9E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
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459. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #9
TYPHOON JUAN (MEGI)
11:00 AM PhST October 18 2010
=======================================

Typhoon "JUAN" has continued to slow down as it interacts with the landmass of eastern coast of Isabela.

At 10:00 AM PhST, Typhoon Juan (Megi) located at 17.6°N 122.8°E or 120 kms East of Tuguegarao City has 10 minute sustained winds of 120 knots with gustiness up to 140 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 9 knots.

Signal Warnings
==============

Signal Warning #4 (>185 kph winds)

Luzon Region
------------
1.Cagayan
2.Isabela
3.Kalinga
4.Mt. Province
5.Ifugao

Signal Warning #3 (100-185 kph winds)

Luzon Region
------------
1.Babuyan Group of Islands
2.Calayan Group of Islands
3.Northern Aurora
4.Quirino
5.Nueva Vizcaya
6.Benguet
7.Ilocos Norte
8.Ilocos Sur
9.Abra
10.La Union
11.Apayao

Signal Warning #2 (60-100 kph winds)

Luzon Region
--------------
1.Polillio Island
2.Nueva Ecija
3.Pangasinan
4.Tarlac
5.Batanes Group
6.Rest of Aurora

Signal Warning #1 (30-60 km/h winds)

Luzon Region
----------
1.Cavite
2.Bulacan
3.Pampanga
4.Bataan
5.Zambales
6.Northern Quezon
7.Metro Manila
8.Rizal
9.Laguna
10.Batangas

Additional Information
========================
Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under Public Storm Warning Signals are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides.

Residents in coastal areas under signals #4, #3 and #2 are alerted of possible storm surges.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions, monitor the hourly updates and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 PM today.
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Landfall


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Quoting shoreacres:
I've got friends in Baquio who were tweeting up until about two hours ago. Cantore's been in touch with a guy named Jim Reynolds who's tweeting under the name typhoonfury. He's a videographer based in HongKong, apparently.


I also know a guy here in Florida who is originally from Baguio.

Baguio City is an inland city in the mountainous region of Central Luzon Island. There, the biggest threat from the typhoons comes from extreme rainfall, freshwater flooding and mudslides.

This man can remember a time when the walls of his family home came crashing down as the side of the mountain slid through the house, the roof caved in and pouring rain mixed with mud in their living room. He and his family members struggled to survive while the surging mud rushed through the house, torrents of water fell on top of them all and howling winds raged outside.

Pretty scary stuff!
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My gosh - look at this map of tweeted reports from Megi. Those from the - uh - center? Yikes!
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Typhoon 'Juan' slows down as it nears landfall around noon
10/18/2010 | 11:38 AM

Super-typhoon "Juan" (Megi) slightly slowed down and weakened as it neared landfall at the eastern coast of Isabela province before noon Monday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said "Juan" may make landfall at Palanan, Isabela between noon and 2:00 p.m.

As of 10:00 a.m., it said "Juan" was estimated at 120 kilometers (kms) east of Tuguegarao City, with maximum winds of 225 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph.

"Juan" was moving west-outhwest at 17 kph and is expected to be 150 km west-northwest of Baguio City Tuesday morning; and 540 km west-northwest of Baguio City Wednesday morning.

Still under Storm Signal No. 4 are Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga
Mt. Province, and Ifugao.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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