Tropical Storm Bopha is whirling through Micronesia, a cluster of islands in the Pacific.
Over the last few days, the storm has consolidated and intensified, and it may turn into a typhoon for a brief time this week.
As of November 28th, Bopha was 135 miles west-southwest of Lukunor, 175 miles south of Weno Island, Chuuk, and 255 miles southeast of Puluwat.
It’s expected to pass just south of Woleai on Friday night.
Bopha has strong thunderstorms in its center; it’s bringing heavy rain, up to 2 to 4 inches over the coming day and 6 to 8 inches from Friday to Saturday.
Tides will be up to a foot higher than normal, and Bopha is generating a 10 to 12 foot swell in its center.
Due to dangerous ocean conditions, there are small craft warnings, so small craft should stay in port until the storm passes through.
Over the last day, the storm’s winds have increased to 65 mph. It is expected to continue to intensify, and it may become a typhoon in the afternoon of November 29. This week, Bopha is expected to move west towards Yap and the Philippines.
How Does a Tropical Cyclone Intensify?
Hurricanes begin as winds circle areas with warm water. The warm air over the water rises, leaving an area with low pressure. The surrounding air rushes into the space, becomes warm, and rises too. This process occurs again and again and the tropical storm intensifies. Sometimes it can become so strong that it turns into a tropical cyclone.
Bopha… Sound Familiar?
You may remember Tropical Storm Bopha from the past. Tropical storm and hurricane names are taken from a consistent list of names. If the storm is not particularly memorable, then the name is used again. Tropical Storm Bopha was the name of a storm that occurred in 2000 and another that occurred in 2006.
The 2012 Hurricane Season is Coming to an End
Can we expect more hurricanes this year? The hurricane season is winding down in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. In the Atlantic region, things have been relatively quiet since Hurricane Sandy hit in late October. Officially, the season ends on November 30th, 2012. However, hurricanes are not known for following the rules, and they can still occur as the hurricane season is coming to a close.
NASA. Tropical Storm Bopha. (2012). Accessed November 28, 2012.
NASA. Tropical Storm Bopha (Western North Pacific Ocean). (2012). Accessed November 28, 2012.
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