When its maximum winds exceed 150 miles per hour, it qualifies as a “super typhoon”, the equivalent of a powerful Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic. But it grows even more intensely, comparable to the mighty Level 5.
Goni’s leap in strength occurs in waters of about 86 degrees (30 degrees C), about 2 to 3 degrees warmer than usual (1 to 1.5 degrees C). Such a rapid increase is more likely to be caused by man-made climate change, which raises the global ocean temperature.
The Joint Storm Alert Center in Pearl Harbor describes Goni as “a compact but very powerful system”;. On weather satellites, it displays a clearly defined eye and almost perfect symmetry, characteristic of the most intense tropical cyclones.
Goni’s radical transformation, from a devastating tropical storm to a powerful super typhoon, is shown in the animation below:
Goni is expected to move westward and make landfall in central Luzon, northeast of Manila, on Sunday afternoon, weakening some before landing.
In the immediate future, the Integrated Hurricane Warning Center expects Goni to undergo a windshield replacement cycle during which the most intense thunderstorms around its center will be reorganized. Although this process typically reduces the maximum winds of a storm, it often results in a larger storm.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicts that Goni will land in Luzon with winds of more than 140 mph, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.
In the Philippines, Goni is called Hurricane Rolly because a separate naming system is used for hurricanes in its vicinity.
Before the storm, the forecasters of the Philippine Astronomical, Geophysical and Atmospheric Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a tropical cyclone warning. They predict “destructive storm winds” and storm surges as high as 6½ to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) “could cause life-threatening and damaging coastal flooding.” They also called for “heavy rain” that has the potential to cause flooding and landslides.
Conditions are expected to deteriorate rapidly on Sunday mornings and improve from late Sunday late to Monday.
Inquirer, an English-language newspaper in the Philippines, reported that tens of thousands of people are expected to take shelter at government evacuation centers and the country is faced with a “double whale” from the storm. and new coronavirus. Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, encourages wearing masks and staying away from society and says evacuation sites should not be overloaded, the newspaper reported.
Goni is expected to weaken through Luzon before emerging in the South China Sea. Forecasts are expected to weaken further as it heads west toward Vietnam due to the influence of high winds and dry air. A tropical storm hitting Vietnam is forecast around next Wednesday.
While the Philippines has been hit by a number of tropical cyclones in 2020, overall storm activity in the western Pacific remains below normal. The storms generate less than half the energy of an average season, according to Colorado State University. This is in contrast to the tropical Atlantic, which has seen record storm activity.