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A december tropical storm has rapidly formed east of the Philippines. Winds are at 45kts. The storm is rapidly consolidating, with tight convective banding features and healthy central convection. Conditions are ripe for further rapid strengthening with very low shear, superb radial outflow and warm sea temperatures. A west-northwesterly track is expected into the Philippines, so Melor needs closely watching. Melor could be quite a strong typhoon at landfall...

 

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Melor has rapidly strengthened and is now a 90kt, cat 2 typhoon. The typhoon has developed a well defined eye. Further intensification is expected, with cat 3 status forecast by JTWC before Melor slams into the Philippines.

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The rapid strengthening episode is not over. Winds have reached 115kts, a cat 4 on the SS scale. Melor is now expected to become a 135kt super typhoon before slamming into the central Philippines. This is not good news at all.

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Finally in kuala lumpur.... No hassel really .... Reminants of melor heading this way for later in the week..... Already caused enhanced thunderstorms around here and singapore yesterday... Half the hotel full of tourists whove had to stay here overnight and today due to severe storms last night/this morning.... Its 32c atm and is humid but nowhere near as humid as singapore.... Looking forward to a few good thunderstorms later this week.... Off to pangkor laut tomorrow.... 

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Melor did not strengthen beyond 115kts before it's initial landfall yesterday. However, it has done something unexpected. As it threads it's way through the islands of the Central Philippines, it has strengthened and attained an intensity of 125kts. The eye has remained over water generally over the last 12hrs, allowing for this intensification. Once Melor heads out into the South China Sea, weakening will be rapid due to strong shear and dry air.

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59 minutes ago, Somerset Squall said:

Melor did not strengthen beyond 115kts before it's initial landfall yesterday. However, it has done something unexpected. As it threads it's way through the islands of the Central Philippines, it has strengthened and attained an intensity of 125kts. The eye has remained over water generally over the last 12hrs, allowing for this intensification. Once Melor heads out into the South China Sea, weakening will be rapid due to strong shear and dry air.

Really impressive how Melor has been able to put up a round of intensification while being almost completely surrounded by land. In fact, before landfall an eye was still clearly visible. It is quite unusual for tropical cyclones to intensify between landmasses, though I can remember Tropical storm Fay of 2008 doing a similar thing over Florida. This does not look good for the areas which are now being hit by the cyclone.

 

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Visible satellite loop of Melor. Courtesy: NOAA.

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As expected, Melor is falling apart quickly in the South China Sea. Winds are down to 40kts. Shear and dry air will soon dissipate Melor as it drifts southwestwards away from Luzon.

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