'Yolanda' Super Typhoon Serious Threat: 10 Things to Know about Haiyan; Forecast and Affected Areas

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By Arlene Paredes | November 7, 2013 10:24 AM EST

Super typhoon Haiyan is making headlines in international news and updates for its strength and present location, the Philippines, which has already suffered from a number of mean and deadly typhoons this year. Locally known as Yolanda, the serious threat is presently moving toward the country's central region. No typhoon signals have been raised, but the country is preparing for the brunt of severe weather this Friday. Here are ten things to know about this severe weather system.

Super Typhoon Haiyan aka Yolanda (local name): 10 Things to Know

10. Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist at accuweather.com, writes Haiyan aka Yolanda poses "a serious threat to lives and property across the Philippines." The latest information and updates on the weather system does not bode well for the country.

9. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announces Yolanda currently shows maximum sustained winds of "215 kph near the center" and "gustiness of up to 250 kph." The country's weather center is not raising any signal number just yet. But some cities and provinces in the Philippines could possibly be hit by Typhoon Signal Number 4 (very strong winds above 185 kph). 

8. In many areas of the Philippines, a typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 55-100 kph (under public storm signal number 2) can already cause floodings and agricultural harvest damages.

7. PAGASA further reports that Yolanda is "forecast to move West Northwest at 30 kph." This is a relatively fast motion forward, which implies stronger impact to houses and people on its path.

6. Follow this link (wunderground.com) for an image of Haiyan's forecast movement, showing Yolanda ETA between the break of dawn and sunset Friday. The typhoon is already within the Philippine Area of Responsibility, but its brunt is expected to hit the populated central areas Friday.

5. As of Nov. 7 (Thursday) 4 a.m. (GMT +8) in the Philippines, Yolanda was located "at 822 km East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (08.4°N, 133.8°E)." The area mentioned is in the south eastern part of the country, still far to cause damages, but can fall trees when it reaches central Philippines by Friday, during which public storm signal number 3 or 4 could be announced -- if the disturbance doesn't weaken during its movement.

4. Pydynowski writes Yolanda "has strengthened into the strongest tropical system in the world for the 2013 season as estimated by wind speed and central pressure." She further noted Yolanda's "winds increased to 280 kph (nearly 175 mph), making Haiyan equal to that of an extremely powerful Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic."

3. For Philippine residents, it is best to cancel Friday weekend plans in the capital city of Manila and neighboring provinces. Evacuations are already underway in low-lying portions of the typhoon's affected areas. Rain forecast indicates the number could go above 200 mm (8 inches) along Yolanda's path.

2. According to PAGASA, these areas are already affected by Yolanda: "Bicol Region, Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms. The regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos will be partly cloudy to cloudy with light rains. Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms."

1. "After slamming the Philippines, Haiyan will remain a dangerous cyclone as it emerges into the South China Sea and continues to move to the west-northwest on Saturday," Pydynowski wrote. This implies Vietnam is on Haiyan's path.

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