Jim Andrews

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Super-typhoon Jelawat

September 24, 2012; 10:05 AM

Strengthening of Typhoon Jelawat Monday has boosted the mighty storm's status to "Super-typhoon."

The powerful and extremely dangerous storm has continued to be of great interest to residents of northern Philippines and Taiwan. Those land masses could eventually feel directs effects of Jelawat, depending upon the path it takes.

Jelawat was not yet a "super-typhoon" at the time (about 0600 UTC Monday) of this impressive visible satellite shot, showing the tight, small eye of a well-wrapped tropical cyclone. Southern Philippines is at the lower left. (Joint Typhoon Warning Center)

By 1200 UTC, Monday, top sustained winds about the tightly wrapped storm were reckoned to be 130 knots, or 150 mph, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) said.

The JTWC define "super-typhoon" as a typhoon having highest 1-minute surface winds of at least 65 m/s (130 knots, 150 mph).

Late Monday morning, Eastern Time, the eye of Jelawat was located about 435 miles east of Manila, Philippines. Storm movement was towards the north-northwest at 5 mph, according to the JTWC.

The storm's dangerous winds and heaviest rains were well east of the Philippines. However, interaction of the storm with the monsoon flow was triggering locally excessive rains in southeastern Philippines.

As it drifts towards the north and west, Jelawat will pose little or no direct threat to land before at least Wednesday, although it will continue to be a very powerful and dangerous storm.

However, beginning Wednesday, the exact path taken by the storm would be critical for both the Philippines and Taiwan.

Although the JTWC have forecast a track east of any land through at least Friday, when a position east of Taiwan is expected, some numerical forecast models have shown a more westerly track, passing over or near the northern mainland of the Philippines. Likewise, the more westerly scenarios could imply a late-week threat to Taiwan.

Elsewhere, Jelawat was joined as of Monday by a second tropical cyclone, the much weaker Tropical Storm Ewiniar.

Ewiniar was only a minimal tropical storm as of late morning, Eastern Time, having a center about 1,000 miles south of Tokyo, Japan.

Ewinar was forecast to strengthen by midweek, but without posing any threat to mainland Japan or any other sizable land mass.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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