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Super Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) Churning in the Pacific, Sets Sights on the Philippines; Could Impact Densely Populated Manila

4 Dec 2014, 4:19 pm


Super Typhoon Hagupit is churning in the western Pacific Ocean and has its sights firmly set on the Philippines. The storm currently has winds sustained at 150-mph, making it the equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. At one point, early Thursday, Hagupit had been packing sustained winds of 180-mph, with gusts near 200-mph.

According to the Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the storm is located about 534 miles east-southeast of Manila — the densely populated capital of the Philippines — and is tracking north-northwest at 11-mph.

The current forecast has the system tracking to the north-northwest over the next five days or so. The system isn’t expected to impact land until early Sunday morning, local time.

People living on that island of Samar could see sustained winds in excess of 130-mph and gusts north of 160-mph. This is same area that was ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

The storm will begin to lose some strength as it interacts with the land, but expect a Category 3-like storm as it pushes onto the southeastern most part of the island of Luzon. Winds late Sunday will still be sustained in the 115-mph range.

Hagupit will then begin to significantly slow. So, in addition to the threat from high winds, excessive rainfall could cause massive flooding and possible lahares. Lahares are a slurry mix of volcanic ash and rain runoff.


The center of the storm is forecast to pass near the center of Manila, on Monday. Manila is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and nearly 12 million people — in greater Manila — could be weathering the storm late Monday afternoon.

The current forecast has Hagupit with winds near 95-mph as it passes by the region. If you have family in the region, tell them to prepare now. Having water, non-perishable food and other supplies is definitely a good idea if they live in the central part of the country.

The forecast for Hagupit, like any tropical forecast, is likely to change in the coming days. Check back with WeatherNation frequently for updates on the storm and any additional information.

Hagupit’s History

Hagupit formed, as a tropical depression, just above the Equator on Dec. 1. It quickly became a tropical storm and was a full-fledged typhoon within 30 hours. The storm began a general movement of north-northwest, strengthening along the way and moving in the general direction of Palau and Yap.

Luckily, the storm passed right between the two islands, sparing both from taking a direct hit. The storm then rapidly intensified from a Category 3 to a Category 5 over the span of about 12 hours.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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