Elsewhere in Weather News: December 8th, 2012

Typhoon Bopha Makes Landfall

(Follow-up to last week’s EIWN article “Typhoon Bopha Takes Aim at the Philippines”)

Typhoon Bopha made landfall on Monday, December 3rd, on the southernmost island of the Philippines. The typhoon was classified as a dangerous category five, where winds exceeded 250km/h. As expected with category five typhoons, the devastation and destruction caused extensive damage to infrastructure and crops; one fourth of the banana crops in the region were destroyed. As of Friday, December7th, it was reported that over 500 people had died as a result of the storm, and about 350 were still missing. Rescue workers are working feverishly, looking for survivors assumed to be trapped in their houses because of mudslides, or gold miners trapped in mines. In total, Bopha displaced about 250,000 Philippine residents who mostly took shelter in public buildings to ride out the storm. The Red Cross is providing funds and food to the ravaged country. Bopha appears to be the strongest, southernmost typhoon on record, to have ever affected this region of the Philippines.


Infra-red satellite image of Bopha on Friday evening. It does not have a distinct eye and is showing signs of weakening. Forecast track is in white. (Source: CIMSS)

After Bopha made landfall in the Philippines, it emerged into the South China Sea and has re-strengthened to a category three hurricane with a well-defined eye. Its track has taken a northerly direction which was followed by a north-easterly track, which means its outer bands will affect the north-west islands of the Philippines later this weekend. Bopha will continue its somewhat circular track and is predicted to eventually head out in a south-westerly manner towards Vietnam next week. There is a lot of uncertainty as to what will happen after that, but there are some signs that show the storm will weaken off to a tropical depression.


Incredible damage in New Bataan, a southern Philippine city. (Source: AFP)

In other news, New Zealand experienced its deadliest tornado on record this past week where an EF-2 struck a suburb of Auckland and killed three people. It’s not a common sight to see such a strong tornado in Auckland but the conditions on December 6th greatly contributed to this, as warm, humid air, fueled severe thunderstorms in that area.

Short collection of videos of what it was like being inside the New Zealand Tornado. (Source: AP)


Matt has been a member of the AWM team since January 2012, writing the weekly feature Elsewhere in Weather News which highlights weather news from across the globe. Matt has lived in Winnipeg all his life and has been a weather enthusiast since a very young age. He is currently completing his B.Sc. in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

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