Stuffed animals were hung out to dry in Boston, Philippines, Monday. Almost a week after Typhoon Bopha struck the country, officials said the death toll surpassed 600, mostly from flash floods that wiped away precarious communities. (Photo: Erik De Castro / Reuters via The Wall Street Journal)
WAVING THE FLAG. A Philippine flag flies on the top floor of Cateel Central Elementary School destroyed by typhoon Pablo while a resident sifts through debris in Cateel town, Davao del Norte on Dec. 11, 2012. (MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo)
Smoke rises from the devastation caused at the height of Typhoon Bopha in the coastal town of Boston, Davao Oriental in southern Philippines on Dec. 10. Typhoon Bopha killed 647 people and caused crop damage worth $210 million. The most intense storm to hit the Philippines this year wiped out about 90 percent of three coastal towns in Davao Oriental province and buried an entire town in neighboring Compostela Valley province under mud. (Photo: Erik De Castro / Reuters via NBC News)
A rare cloud formation is seen amidst destroyed banana plantations four days after Typhoon Bopha left at least 600 dead and rendered extensive damage in Compostela Valley, southern Philippines on Saturday. More than 300,000 residents remain homeless. (Photo: Bullitt Marquez / AP via CBS News)
Pablo is a big boy. He slowed down for a while, but he’s back up to Super Typhoon (Cat 5) status. He hits the south of Philippines in the morning. The whole country is braced. Strongest typhoon in 22 years. Currently 260 km/hr.
Typhoon Bopha killed at least six people in the Philippines on Tuesday as the strongest storm to hit the country, this year, forced more than 50,000 to seek refuge in emergency shelters.
Bopha, which made landfall on the island of Mindanao in the south of the country at dawn, brought with it driving rain and packed gusts of up to 210 kilometres (130 miles) an hour causing trees and utility poles to topple over.
Rescuers carry body bags containing bodies of victims recovered from the debris swept by floodwaters at the height of Typhoon Bopha, in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, southern Philippines on Dec. 7. The death toll from the storm, which struck the island of Mindanao, has surpassed 500, with more than 400 missing; at least 310,000 residents lost their homes. (Photo: Erik De Castro / Reuters via NBC News)
A strong typhoon dubbed Bopha has spun up in the Northwest Pacific Ocean this past week and is taking aim at the Philippines. The typhoon is currently located at 4.5°N which means that it’s still located within the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). This is an area north and south of the equator where north-east and south-east winds meet and cause daily convectional thunderstorms. Near the equator, there is little Coriolis effect which would explain why tropical cyclones rarely form (lack of spin). Since Bopha will move towards the west north-west, it will hold together. If it were moving towards the equator, it would be less likely that it would maintain form.
All typhoon tracks between 1985 and 2005 with equator and Bopha’s approximate location (pink). (Source: Wiki Images)
Bopha’s basic into from Friday night, it’s expected track and strength. (Source: Humanitarian Early Warning Service)
It’s expected that Bopha will strike south of Manila and likely make landfall on the Island of Samar on early on Monday, December 4th. It is likely to be a violent typhoon, bringing severe storm surge, copious amounts of rain to areas that are prone to mudslides and flooding. Winds will almost certainly be a problem as it’s predicted that Bopha will make landfall as a category 3, accompanied by winds around 200km/h. As of Friday evening the storm already had a central pressure of 965mb with sustained winds near 200km/h. On Friday evening, it was quickly intensifying with very cold cloud tops around its centre and a well-defined eye was starting to develop.
Microwave imagery from Bopha on Friday night. The eye was becoming well defined. (Source: CIMSS)
Infra-red satellite imagery from Bopha as a category 4 hurricane. (Source: CIMSS)
On average, the Philippine Islands see an average of 9 hurricanes make landfall annually, with 1-2 usually developing in the month of December. Their peak season for typhoon activity runs at about the same time as the Atlantic Hurricane Season, though it’s not unusual to see typhoons in that area after November 30th.