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Northern Luzon and Babuyan Islands, Philippines

17.2N 120.8E

June 16th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Philippines - May 23rd, 2011

This image shows the northern part of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. The northern area contains the large mountain range, the Cordillera Central which is covered in a mixture of Luzon tropical pine forests and Luzon montane rain forests.

Visible across the Babuyan Channel, to the north of the island, are the Babuyan Islands. They form an archipelago consisting of five major islands located in the Luzon Strait north of Luzon island in the Philippines. Geologically the islands are part of the Luzon Volcanic Arc.

Visible at the lower left is the Lingayen Gulf, an extension of the South China Sea by Luzon that sits between the Zambales Mountains and the Cordillera Central. The Agno River drains into the gulf.

Typhoon Parma (19W) Hits Northern Philippines

October 2nd, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Parma (19W) - October 2nd, 2009

Typhoon Parma (19W) - October 2nd, 2009

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Track of Parma - October 2nd, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Parma

Typhoon Parma (19W) located approximately 245 nm east of Manila, Philippines, has tracked northwestward at 15 knots over the past six hours.

Typhoon 19W continues to track on the southern periphery of the the sub-tropical ridge to the northeast. The system is expected to continue on a west-northwestward to northwestward track towards the northeastern coast of Luzon, making landfall near tau 12.

The system will weaken as it crosses northern Luzon into the Luzon Strait before moving slowly into the south China Sea. The available numerical model guidance is in poor agreement, with several aids (NGPS, EGRR, GFDN) crossing north-central Luzon and moving further into the south China Sea.

The remaining aids (JGSM, AVNO, WBAR and TCLP) indicate a recurvature scenario, with avno being the most agressive of these (reaching Tokyo at tau 120). This forecast favors the more westward grouping, but reflects the uncertainty in the extended period, tracking much more slowly in the after tau 72.

Maximum significant wave height at 020600z is 32 feet. Please click here for a previous article on both typhoons.

Tropical Storm 07W (Molave/Isang) Expected to Make Landfall Near Hong Kong This Weekend

20.6N 117.4E

July 18th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm 07W - July 17th, 2009

Tropical Storm 07W - July 17th, 2009

enhanced image

enhanced image

Track of TS 07W - July 17th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 07W

Tropical Storm Molave (07W), named Isang in the Philippines, is located approximately 305 nautical miles north-northeast of Manila, Philippines, has tracked northwestward at 10 knots over the past 6 hours. Maximum significant wave height is 14 feet.

TS07W continues tracking along the southwestern periphery of an extension of the subtropical ridge, located to its northeast. Multispectral imagery indicates that the low level circulation center (LLCC) has quickly become organized with tightly curved banding developing toward it.

As Molave tracks to the north of Luzon, the inflow of relatively drier air (apparent in total precipitable water products) has led to a decrease in deep convection on the southeastern periphery. However, this has been offset by increased deep convection on the northern periphery.

Upper level analysis still indicates strong equatorward outflow is present. Sea surface temperatures are favorable for development, and the ocean heat content (OHC) products indicate there is a large region of deep, warm water between Luzon and Taiwan helping to fuel a brief period of rapid development.

High pressure to the north and northeast of 07W will steer the storm into the South China Sea this weekend and will take aim at China. However, the OHC will decrease as TS07W tracks into the northern portion of the South China Sea and, in association with increased vertical wind shear, will begin to weaken. Molave is forecast to make landfall near Hong Kong around TAU 36 and quickly begin to dissipate, with full dissipation by TAU 72.

Before it reaches China, 07W will pass through the Luzon Strait Friday. Despite remaining over water, 07W will impact Luzon Island with locally heavy rains and strong, damaging wind gusts Friday. Rainfall amounts could exceed 5 inches (125 mm) in some areas, resulting in flash flooding and landslides. Wind gusts could be as high as 70 mph (115 kph) during the day as well.

Taiwan and Remnants of Chan Hom (02W)

May 12th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Remnants of 02W near Taiwan - May 12th, 2009

Remnants of 02W near Taiwan - May 12th, 2009

Detail of Taiwan

Detail of Taiwan

The island of Taiwan, off the coast of mainland China (left), is 394 kilometers (245 miles) long and 144 kilometers (89 miles) wide and consists of steep mountains covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation.

It is bound to the south by the South China Sea and the Luzon Strait, to the west by the Taiwan Strait, to the north by the East China Sea, and to the east by the Pacific Ocean.

East of Taiwan, in the Pacific, the spiralled shape of the remnants of Typhoon 02W (Chan Hom)  are visible. After being downgraded to a Tropical Depression yesterday, Chan Hom has since dissipated.

Mountains and Valleys of Luzon, Philippines

March 26th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Philippines - March 22nd, 2009

Philippines - March 22nd, 2009

Luzon is the largest and most economically and politically important island in the Philippines and one of the three island groups in the country. As an island group, it includes the island of Luzon itself, plus the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the main and outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro in the south.

Luzon’s area is 104,688 square kilometers, making it the world’s 15th largest island. It is the fifth most populous island in the world. Located on Luzon are the country’s capital, Manila, and its most populous city, Quezon City.

To the west of Luzon island is the South China Sea (Luzon Sea in Philippine territorial waters), to the east is the Philippine Sea, and to the north is Luzon Strait containing Babuyan Channel and Balintang Channel.

The main part of the island is roughly rectangular in shape and has the long Bicol Peninsula protruding to the southeast. The northern part of the island contains the largest mountain range in the country, the Cordillera Central, where Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain in the country at 2,922 meters, is located.

To the east of the Cordillera Central is the large Cagayan Valley. To the east of the valley rises the Sierra Madre mountain range, easily the longest range in the country, which snakes southwards into the central and southern part of the island. Between it and the Zambales Mountains to the west is the largest plain, the Central Luzon plain. This plain, approximately 11,000 km² in size, is the country’s largest producer of rice.

The largest lake in the country, and also the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia, the Laguna de Bay (Old Spanish, Lake of Bay town). Its size and green waters make it easily identifiable towards the southern part of the island.