22. Tropical Storm MERBOK (Violeta)         Print this Article
>> November 22-23, 2004

Merbok: contributed by Malaysia, is the spotted-necked dove, most commonly found in rural areas and in wastelands, and is popular as a caged bird by Malaysians.

Storm History

Tropical Storm Merbok emanated from a disturbance located in the Philippine Sea and was first recognized as Tropical Depression Violeta by PAGASA at 0000 UTC 22 November when that agency began issuing warnings. Six hours later, JMA began writing bulletins and upgraded the system to a 35-kt tropical storm at 22/1200 UTC, naming the tropical cyclone Merbok. Tropical Storm Merbok tracked slowly towards the northwest and made landfall south of Baer on the east coast of Luzon. The storm's intensity held steady at 35 kts (its peak strength) as it ambled its way across the mountains of Luzon, finally emerging off the northwest coast at 0600 UTC 23 November. By this time, Merbok had lost most or all of its deep convection, the remnants continuing slowly north- westwards before dissipating southwest of Taiwan. Both JMA and PAGASA ceased warning coverage at 23/0600 UTC.

Tropical Storm Merbok added to the misery caused by Typhoon Muifa/ Unding in the Philippines, killing 31 people and injuring 187 others. In addition, 17 persons were reported missing. A total of 337 houses were destroyed and 1,286 damaged. Total estimated damage reached 253 million pesos with agriculture especially hard hit (210 million pesos.)

Huang Chunliang Report

       === Brief Report on Tropical Storm VIOLETA {MERBOK} ===
                 (Rainfall Obs from Philippines)

Only daily amounts >= 100 mm listed:

CASIGURAN (WMO98336 16.28N 122.12E)    185.2 mm  [22/00-23/00Z]
TUGUEGARAO (WMO98233 17.62N 121.73E)   129.3 mm  [22/00-23/00Z]

Additional Discussion

This system was classified as only a tropical depression by PAGASA and HKO. Agencies classifying Merbok as a tropical storm included JMA, NMCC, CWB of Taiwan, and the Meteorological Department of Thailand. I asked Dr. Karl Hoarau to perform an analysis of this tropical cyclone and his conclusion was that Merbok was a tropical storm from around 0000 UTC on 22 November through landfall on Luzon at 1500 UTC that same day, peaking at 40 kts (1-min avg) at 0600 UTC. The Merbok system was never mentioned in the STWOs issued by JTWC. (This paragraph added by Gary Padgett.)

(Report written by Kevin Boyle with significant contributions by Huang Chunliang)

Source: Gary Padgett's Monthly Tropical Cyclone Summary - November 2004

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