Rammasun (WP09) struggles to intensify

Tropical Storm Rammasun, WP092014, is still moving towards the northern Philippines, but not organizing or intensifying as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center was forecasting yesterday.  Here is the current wind swath forecast based on the JTWC track and intensity, showing a mid-week landfall:

The Japan Meteorological Agency objective ensemble, as well as their official forecast, both have landfall north of the Capital, as a tropical storm. If the JTWC forecast is correct, it might just barely become a minimal Typhoon (Hurricane) before landfall on the island of Luzon, bringing tropical storm force winds to Manila.  Impacts for this scenario would be under $100 Million.  The HWRF objective model forecasts a jog to the south, across Ragay Bay, and slightly higher intensity which places hurricane force winds right over the Capital.  In that scenario, shown here, damage could be nearly 10 times higher:

Next up would be another landfall on the coast of China, south of Hong Kong.  JTWC has the storm strengthening to a 80kt storm by then, as does the HWRF model, but their latest forecast discussion notes that “Confidence is low” in that part of the forecast – I agree.

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