Palau -The air that now blankets Palau is warm, dry, still, and disturbingly ominous.
Palau’s sky has reason to brood for in less than 24 hours Typhoon Bopha is predicted to make landfall on the tiny nation of the Republic of Palau with a near direct hit. This typhoon has been securing strength and intensity while at sea and is expected to be a monster typhoon with a violent entry.
As of 4am on December 2, 2012, this typhoon is predicted to sustain 150-mph winds and 180-mph gusts when it reaches Palau on early morning Monday. If that were not enough, storm force winds extend out from the center to 120 miles and maximum wave height is now estimated at 48 feet.
Typhoon Bopha defies all parameters with intense rainfall, huge diameters and fierce, harnessed winds. Yet, what makes Typhoon Bopha a “typhoon in a million” is that it has developed five-degrees from the equator, an area which is covered by the “Coriolis force.” The Coriolis effect forces a counterclockwise rotation for all storms in the Northern Hemisphere (storms south of the equator rotate clockwise). According to Wikpedia, since records began, only thirteen tropical cyclones have ever existed between 5°N and 5°S of the equator.
Palau lies on the edge of the typhoon belt and has never seen a typhoon of this magnitude.
US Embassy Issues Emergency Warning To US Citizens in Palau
Emergency Message: Warning of Tropical Storm Bopha
U.S. Embassy Koror
November 29, 2012
The U.S. Embassy in Koror, Palau, alerts U.S. citizens in Palau that there is a possibility of severe weather resulting from Tropical Storm Bopha. As of November 28, the storm is traveling in a west, west-northwesterly direction, and if it continues in the same direction, it could impact the islands of Palau as early as Saturday, December 1. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecasts that Tropical Storm Bopha will increase in speed and intensity in the coming days, reaching typhoon strength by November 29, 2012,
For information on typhoon warnings, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) Tokyo – Typhoon Center.
U.S. citizens are urged to identify shelter in case of severe conditions, monitor local radio and media reports to be aware of weather developments, and to follow all official instructions. Additional information on hurricanes and storm preparedness can be found on the Department of State’s “Hurricane Season – Know Before You Go” webpage. If you have questions or concerns, please call the Embassy at (680) 587-2920 or visit the U.S. Citizens Service website. The Embassy is located in Airai State, in an area known as Omsangel.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens in Palau enroll in the Department of State STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll for STEP directly at the Embassy.
Regularly monitor the Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Palau. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.”
You can get updated information on travel to your destination from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada or, 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.