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Typhoon Ruby comprehensive forecast in layman's term

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    In Naga now. Latest weather forecast(s) in layman’s term, courtesy of Jonas Cabiles Soltes

    1. Super Typhoon Ruby according to various weather agencies is currently located at about 600 kilometers to the east of Guiuan, Samar. It is near enough for us to feel its presence but still far enough for us to feel storm-force winds.

    2. Ruby is still moving in a west-northwest direction. It means it’s moving in the general direction of our country and not to the sea as of the moment.

    3. According to PAGASA, Ruby most probably will make landfall in Northern Samar and head towards Masbate and Romblon. But the possibility of hitting mainland Bicol, anywhere from Sorsogon to Camarines Norte, and Eastern Visayas down to Leyte remains.

    4. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning System (JTWC) of the US Navy, Ruby may brush the east coast of Bicol and may make landfall in the islands to the east of Albay and go straight towards Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte via Lagonoy Gulf. As of now, JTWC says the possibility of recurve or the typhoon heading out to the sea and sparing landmasses is low. THIS IS THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO FOR US IN NAGA CITY AND CAMSUR. This may bring memories of Typhoons Sening (1970) and Loleng (1998).

    5. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) consistently indicates a landfall in Eastern Visayas although it has changed the possible landfall area from Leyte to Eastern Samar, in the vicinity of Borongan City. This is a slight jump-up. JMA, however, still includes places anywhere from Surigao to Northern Bicol as possible landfall areas.

    6. According to JTWC, Ruby slightly weakened in wind speed from 285 kilometers per hour to about 280 kph. The slight weakening is NEGLIGIBLE of course. The typhoon remains super. The slight weakening is due to what weathermen call as eyewall replacement cycle, which means that the innermost strongest winds of the typhoon are being replaced by outer and weaker but STILL VERY STRONG winds. Usually, typhoons weakens during an eyewall replacement cycle. But after the cycle, there are three possibilities: 1. The typhoon may weaken. 2. The typhoon may regain its previous strength. 3. The typhoon may only become stronger. As of now, JTWC projects a weakening trend. But the weakening is not enough to make Ruby less of a super typhoon. Ruby remains devastating.

    7. Ruby has slowed down. When a typhoon slows down, three things usually happen: 1. It may change direction. 2. It may pickup more strength because it has more time sucking energy from warm ocean waters. 3. It may weaken if it stays in the same general area for long because it may run out of energy to pick up. Ruby is slowing down as of the moment but does not show signs of changing direction.

    8. All weather agencies suggest that Ruby will hit land with very dangerous winds. The typhoon also packs up intense rains especially on its western and southern sides. The storm is LARGE. STORM-FORCE WINDS extend over a hundred kilometers from the point of landfall or from the eye.

    9. Ruby may pass through areas notorious for allowing typhoons to gain strength rapidly. These include seas off Northern Samar, Albay Gulf, and Lagonoy Gulf.

    10. Forecasts are projections. Forecasts are just for guidance. Ruby may or may not follow them.

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