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Tropical Storm Pakhar (02W) by Vietnam – April 1st, 2012

11.7N 108.2E

April 1st, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Pakhar (02W) - March 30th, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of Tropical Storm Pakhar (02W) - March 31st, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 02W

On March 17, an area of disturbed weather associated with a cold front formed about 300 km (190 mi), to the northwest of Palau Island. At that time, the low pressure area was located in an area of moderate vertical wind shear, with unfavorable water temperature.

Over the next couple of days, it slowly moved towards the Samar area, and crossed the Visayas region. On March 20, the low pressure area remained almost stationary, about 140 km (85 mi) to the northwest of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The cause of the low’s stalling was due to a high pressure system, that was building up to the northeast of the system, extending into Vietnam. At the same time, the JMA upgraded the storm to a disturbance.

The system remained stationary for more four days, before the JMA upgraded it to a tropical depression. However, on March 25, the JMA downgraded the tropical depression to a disturbance, as the storm’s outer rainbands began to collapse, and its low level circulation center began to be fully exposed.

Early on March 26, the JMA re-upgraded the disturbance to a tropical depression, as the storm began to reorganize. By this time, the depression became well organized, due to low vertical wind shear associated with favorable water temperatures.

During the afternoon of March 27, the tropical depression started to move southwest slowly, due to the weakening of the high pressure system in Vietnam. At the same time, the building of another Subtropical Ridge, located to the northeast of the system, began turning the tropical depression westwards. Simultaneously, the cold front associated with strong northeast monsoon allowed the depression to become more well organized. In addition, water temperatures still under favorable conditions allowed the storm to continue strengthening.

On March 28, JTWC issued a TCFA to the disturbance as its LLCC starts to consolidate more. Early on the next day, the JMA upgraded the tropical depression to a tropical storm and named it Pakhar, because the storm’s convection completely wrapped around the center of circulation. During the next several hours, Pakhar curved towards the northeast, as the storm continued to intensify. At the same time, the JTWC upgraded the disturbance into a tropical depression, and upgraded it to a tropical storm, just a few hours later.

On March 29, Pahkar continued to organize, as the storm slowed down. Early on March 30, the JTWC upgraded Pakhar to a category 1 typhoon. Because of land interaction and colder sea surface temperature, the JTWC downgraded Pakhar to a tropical storm early on March 31.

Pahkar did not make landfall in the Philippines. However, torrential rains and strong winds resulted in heavy traffic, in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Flooding also occured in different parts of central and southern Luzon, and the northern Visayas region. Landslides were also reported and caused flooding in some provinces. The NDRRMC reported that 2 people drowned, and other 2 people are reported as missing. In Bacolod City at noontime, on March 29 (Philippine Time), 5 cars were destroyed, couple of trees lining up along the streets laid to waste, and business establishments were damaged, near the Universtity of St. La Salle. During the event, 23 people were injured, including one baby girl. Pahkar also spawned a tornado that lasted for 10 minutes.

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