Typhoon Mekkhala (WP012015) is making landfall on the Philippines as a minimal Typhoon. The current forecast track/intensity, using the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast and my Taru model, is below. JTWC continues the trend last year of not doing a great job on intensity forecasts – Thursday the landfall intensity was only forecast as 50 knots, but the storm is significantly stronger today, at 70 knots.
Estimated impacts are around $150 Million USD, although the misery will be out of proportion to that due to the ongoing recovery from last year’s storms.
Mekkhala has forced the Holy Father to cut short his papal visit, barely making it out ahead of the storm. Unfortunately, there was a fatality when some scaffolding near the stage collapsed, and an airplane carrying government officials overshot the runway and ended up in a ditch just after he left. I’ll not comment on the theological implications of that.