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Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W) Slows, Expected to Miss Japan

31.7N 140.6E

September 19th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 19th, 2009

Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 19th, 2009

Enhanced image - September 19th, 2009

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Position of TY 15W - September 19th, 2009

Position of TY 15W

Track of Choi-Wan - September 19th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Choi-Wan

The maximum sustained winds of Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W) slowed to 140 kilometers per hour from 260 kph earlier this week (click here for previous articles) when it was designated as a Category 5 supertyphoon.

Choi-Wan, located 350 nautical miles south-southeast of Tokyo, Japan, has tracked northeastward at 22 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 32 feet.

The typhoon is forecast to continue weakening as it tracks in a northwesterly direction south of Tokyo tonight and early tomorrow. Choi-Wan is not expected to make landfall in Japan, although it has been causing heavy surf, hurricane-force winds and torrential, flooding rains for Japanese islands such as Iwo To.

Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W) Weakens Slightly but Still Category 5 Storm

September 18th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 18th, 2009

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 18th, 2009

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Position of TY 15W - September 18th, 2009

Position of TY 15W

Track of Choi-Wan - September 18th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Choi-Wan

Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W), located approximately 120 nautical miles west-northwest of Iwo-To, Japan, has crested the western edge of the steering subtropical ridge axis and tracked north-northeastward at 11 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 41 feet.

The strongest storm on the planet has weakened a little since the last time it was observed (click here for previous articles). However, it is still a Category 5 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson classification scale, which less than 1% off all hurricanes reach.

As of today, winds speeds are down to 135 knots or 156 mph, although gusts are still measured up to 180 mph. Choi-wan is expected to weaken and turn extratropical over colder water in the next three days.

In contrast to the lull in the Atlantic basin, this storm in the Pacific Ocean had peaked with winds of 160 mph, gusting over 190 mph. Hurricane force winds extended 120 miles away from the center eye, while tropical storm force winds extended 280 miles from the center eye. The highly active and intensive storms in the western Pacific along with the relatively lull Atlantic season are common during an El Nino year, reports the Examiner.

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan

18.6N 146.9E

September 16th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 16th, 2009

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 16th, 2009

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Track of Choi-Wan - September 16th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Choi-Wan

Super Typhoon 15W Choi-Wan, located approximately 250 nm north-northwest of Saipan, has tracked west-northwestward at 09 knots over the last 06 hours.

Recent animated multispectral satellite imagery shows an impressive system with deep convective banding wrapping into a center with a well defined eye. Intensity is based on estimates from PGTW, KNES and RJTD.

Choi-Wan has tracked along the southwestern periphery of a mid-level subtropical ridge (STR) that extends from northeast of Choi-Wan into the vicinity of Iwo To.

Track speeds have remained fairly consistent over the past 12 hours, ranging from 08 to 10 knots. A tropical upper tropospheric trough (TUTT) to the northeast has continued to provide good eastward outflow, in addition to an upper level point source anticyclone over Choi-Wan that has been providing strong radial outflow over the past 24 hours.

The multiple outflow mechanisms in concert with high values of ocean heat content (OHC) and sea surface temperatures (SST) have allowed for Choi-Wan to intensify further over the past 12 hours.

Typhoon Choi-Wan Forecast to Intensify

15.9N 149.0E

September 14th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 13th, 2009

Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 13th, 2009

Enhanced image - September 13th, 2009

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Track of Choi-Wan - September 14th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Choi-Wan

Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W), located approximately 115 nautical miles east-northeast of Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, has tracked west-northwestward at 3 knots over the past six hours.

Animated multispectral imagery shows deep convective bands wrapping into a well-defined low level circulation center, visible along the left edge of the image. Animated water vapor imagery shows excellent dual outflow channels enhanced by a tropical upper tropospheric trough to the north and a mesoscale anticyclone just to the east of the system.

TY 15W is tracking along the southern periphery of a mid-level subtropical ridge to the north in a corridor of low vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. The current position is derived from multiple agency fixes and from a high resolution visible image showing an eye with a thin cirrus canopy. Typhoon Choi-Wan is expected to move in a more northwestward direction as the steering ridge weakens with the approach of two mid-latitude troughs from the northwest.

The current intensity is based on Dvorak estimates averaging T4.5. The system is forecast to further intensify into a very strong typhoon (in excess of 100 knots) as the environment remains favorable for development. Maximum significant wave height is 27 feet.