RESIDENTS in Northern Luzon where Typhoon Lando (Koppu) is expected to traverse will have to be extra careful and prepared to seek higher grounds as a weather expert who blogs for wunderground.com sees a “historic rainfall event” and warns of a “widespread damaging flooding capable of causing a top-five most expensive disaster in Philippine history”.
Dr. Jeff Masters, who co-writes the wunderground.com article “Disastrous Rains Possible in Philippines from Typhoon Koppu; Mudslides Wallop SoCal” with Bob Henson points out that as of 8 a.m. Friday (EDT) “Koppu was a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds, and satellite loops showed that Koppu had an impressive ring of eyewall clouds with very cold cloud tops that extended high into the atmosphere”.
“The combination of low wind shear, warm ocean waters that extend to great depth and the presence of two impressive upper level outflow channels make it likely that Koppu will rapidly intensify to Category 4 status before landfall occurs near 18 UTC (2 pm EDT) Saturday on Luzon,” he wrote.
Possible damage will be enhanced because even as the typhoon is expected to slow down as it hits land, it is predicted to go north and straddle land for two to two and a half days before emerging north of Luzon on Monday or Tuesday.
Prediction models show that Lando will intensify to Caregory 4 in strength just before landfall and will be bringing in large areas of 24+ inches rain for the next five days.
“The best historical analogue for the rains expected from Koppu may be an extreme monsoon rainfall event on August 18 - 21, 2013, which was enhanced by moisture from Tropical Storm Trami (Maring). Up to 600 millimeters (23.5 inches) of rain fell during one 24-hour stretch, and about 60% of metro Manila was under water at one point. At least 27 people died, and damage was estimated at $2.2 billion, making it the Philippines' second most expensive disaster in their history,” Masters wrote.
The article lists the top five most expensive disasters in Philippine history, according to EM-DAT (dollar values unadjusted for inflation): 1) Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), 11/8/2013, $10 billion 2) Monsoon rains increased by Tropical Storm Trami (Maring), 8/20/2013, $2.19 billion 3) Super Typhoon Bopha (Pablo), 12/4/2012, $898 million 4) Super Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda), 7/15/2014, $821 million 5) Tropical Storm Nina (Helming), 9/4/1995, $700 million.