Category Archives: Western North Pacific

Western Pacific Typhoons and Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Sonca Near Landfall in Vietnam.

Tropical Storm Sonca neared a landfall on the coast of Vietnam on Monday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Sonca was located at latitude 16.7°N and longitude 108.2°E which put it about 60 miles (95 km) east-northeast of Hue, Vietnam.  Sonca was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 991 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Sonca is fairly small.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  A subtropical ridge north of Sonca is steering the tropical storm toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue for another 24 to 36 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Sonca will make landfall north of Hue, Vietnam in a few hours.

Tropical Storm Sonca will bring gusty winds, locally heavy rain and the potential for floods when it makes landfall.  Sonca will continue to move inland over central Vietnam, central Laos and northeastern Thailand.  Sonca could continue to produce locally heavy rain over those areas as it moves inland and weakens.

Elsewhere in the Western North Pacific the circulations of Typhoon Noru and Tropical Storm Kulap are interacting east-southeast of Japan.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Typhoon Noru was located at latitude 25.9°N and longitude 157.0°E which put it about 1330 miles (2150 km) east-southeast of Tokyo, Japan.  Noru was moving toward the east at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h) and there were gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT the center of Tropical Storm Kulap was located at latitude 32.9°N and longitude 155.8°E which put it about 1095 miles (1765 km) east-southeast of Tokyo, Japan.  Kulap was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Typhoon Noru and Tropical Storm Kulap are close enough to each other to rotate cyclonically around a point between them in what is called the Fujiwhara effect.  Typhoon Noru is the much larger and stronger circulation and upper level outflow from Noru is causing vertical wind shear over Tropical Storm Kulap.  If the two tropical cyclones move closer to each other, it is possible that the circulation of Kulap could be absorbed by the larger, more powerful circulation of Typhoon Noru.

Tropical Storm Roke Close to Landfall Near Hong Kong

Tropical Storm Roke is close to making a landfall near Hong Kong.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Roke was located at latitude 22.4°N and longitude 114.1°E which put it about 35 miles (55 km) east of Hong Kong.  Roke was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum sutface pressure was 1002 mb.

Tropical Storm Roke will make landfall on the coast of China near Hong Kong during the next few hours.  Roke will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall as it move inland over eastern China.  Flash flooding could occur in places that receive heavy rain.

Elsewhere, there are three more tropical storms over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  Tropical Storm 08W is the only other imminent threat to land.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm 08W was located at latitude 17.6°N and longitude 111.5°E which put it about 85 miles (135 km) southeast of Hainan Island.  It was moving toward the west at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Noru was located at latitude 28.3°N and longitude 151.3°E which put it about 920 miles (1485 km) east-southeast of Tokyo, Japan.  Noru was moving toward west at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT the center of Tropical Storm Kulap was located at latitude 30.8°N and longitude 166.8°E which put it about 790 miles (1270 km) north of Wake Island.  Kulap was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Storm Noru Forms Southeast of Japan

Tropical Storm Noru formed southeast of Japan on Thursday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Noru was located at latitude 28.3°N and longitude 157.0°E which put it about 1145 miles (1850 km) east-southeast of Tokyo, Japan.  Noru was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (64 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Tropical Storm Noru had a complicated development.  Noru began as a cold front that became stationary southeast of Japan.  The front stalled over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was near 30°C.  Transfers of internal energy from the ocean to the atmosphere warmed the air and the temperature difference between the two sides of the front gradually diminished.  A surface low pressure system developed along the dissipating front.  An upper level low initially near the front caused strong vertical wind shear over the surface low.  The wind shear kept blowing the tops off thunderstorms that started to develop near the surface low.  Eventually, the upper low moved far enough to the northwest of the surface low for the vertical wind shear to decrease and thunderstorms were able to develop near the surface low.  The low gradually began to exhibit tropical characteristics and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Noru.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Noru is still not well organized.  Although there is a definite center of circulation at the surface most of the showers and thunderstorms are forming in bands in the eastern half of the circulation.  There are few showers and thunderstorms in the western half of the circulation.  Thunderstorms on the eastern side of Noru are generating some upper level divergence which is pumping mass away to the east of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Noru is an environment that is somewhat favorable for intensification.  Noru is moving over water where the SST is near 30°C.  However, the upper low northwest of Noru and an upper level ridge near Noru are generating moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear may be part of the reason for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  Tropical Storm Noru is likely to intensify but the vertical wind shear will slow the rate of intensification.

A subtropical ridge to the north of Noru is steering the tropical storm toward the northwest.  The northwesterly motion is expected to continue for another day or two.  The steering currents are expected to weaken in 36 to 48 hours an Noru could meander southeast of Japan during the weekend.

Tropical Storm Talas Makes Landfall in Vietnam

Tropical Storm Talas made landfall on the coast of Vietnam on Sunday.  Talas was bringing gusty winds and heavy rainfall to parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Talas was located at latitude18.6°N and longitude 105.5°E which put the center near Vinh, Vietnam.  Talas was moving toward the west at 17 m.p.h. (27 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 984 mb.

Tropical Storm Talas strengthened before it made landfall in Vietnam.  A primary band wrapped around the western and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Thunderstorms formed near the center of Talas as the tropical storm approached the coast of Vietnam.  The strongest winds in Tropical Storm Talas were occurring in thunderstorms over the South China Sea.  Tropical Storm Talas will weaken as it moves farther inland.

Tropical Storm Talas was bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.  Locally heavy rain could cause flooding, which will be the greatest risk as Tropical Storm Talas moves farther inland.

Tropical Storm Talas Forms East of Vietnam

Tropical Storm Talas formed east of Vietnam on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Talas was located at latitude 17.3°N and longitude 110.1°E which put it about 170 miles (270 km) east-northeast of Da Nang, Vietnam.  Talas was moving toward the west at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.

A large area of showers and thunderstorms persisted over the South China Sea for the past several days.  A distinct center of circulation began to develop in the northern part of the area of thunderstorms.  The Japan Meteorological Agency classified the system as Tropical Storm Talas on Saturday.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Talas is still organizing.  The center of rotation was near the northwestern edge of the area of thunderstorms.  Additional thunderstorms were beginning to form near the center of circulation.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were southwest of the center.  Bands of lighter showers were occurring in the remainder of Tropical Storm Talas.  Thunderstorms forming near the center of circulation were beginning to generate strong upper level divergence which was pumping out mass.

Tropical Storm Talas has about 24 hours to strengthen.  Talas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge north of Talas is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the tropical storm.  There is some vertical wind shear, but the shear appears to have diminished during the past few hours.  Since Tropical Storm Talas will be moving through an environment of very warm water and reduced vertical wind shear, it will likely strengthen during the next 24 hours.

A subtropical ridge north of Talas is steering the tropical storm toward the west and motion a little to the north of due west is forecast.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Talas will pass south of Hainan Island.  Tropical Storm Talas will approach the coast of Vietnam near Vinh in about 24 hours.  Tropical Storm Talas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Central Vietnam when it makes landfall.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol Nearing Kyushu

Tropical Storm Nanmadol was quickly nearing Kyushu on Monday.  At 1:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Nanmadol was located at latitude 31.0°N and longitude 127.4°E which put it about 215 miles (345 km) southwest of Sasebo, Japan.  Nanmadol was moving toward the north-northeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

The structure of Tropical Storm Nanmadol was still consistent with its designation of a tropical cyclone, but there were signs that it could be about to start the transition to an extratropical cyclone.  There was a core of thunderstorms around the center of circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in the inner core which extended out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center.  Several rainbands were on the eastern side of the circulation.  There were far fewer showers and thunderstorms in the western half of the circulation.  There were some indications that Nanmadol could be pulling cooler, drier, more stable air into the western side of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol has probably reached its maximum intensity and it is likely to weaken during the next two days.  Nanmadol is currently over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  However, it has reached the upper level westerly in the middle latitudes and the vertical wind shear is increasing.  Nanmadol will weaken faster when it moves across Japan.

The westerly winds in the middle latitudes have turned Tropical Storm Nanmadol toward the north-northeast.  As Nanmadol moves farther north, the speed of the westerlies will increase and the tropical storm is forecast to move quickly toward the east-northeast across southern Japan.  On its anticipated track, Tropical Storm Nanmadol will reach Kyushu in a few hours.  Nanmadol will also move over Shikoku and Honshu.  Tropical Storm Nanmadol will bring a brief period of gusty winds and the potential for locally heavy rain when it moves across southern Japan.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol Brings Wind and Rain to Southern Ryukyu Islands

Tropical Storm Nanmadol brought wind and rain to the southern Ryukyu Islands on Sunday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Nanmadol was located at latitude 24.4°N and longitude 124.7°E which put it about 40 miles (65 km) east of Ishigaki, Japan.  Nanmadol was moving toward the north-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (34 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

The core of Tropical Storm Nanmadol continued to organize on Sunday.  A ring of thunderstorms wrapped tightly around the center of circulation.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms formed outside the core.  Thunderstorms were beginning to generate more upper level divergence which was pumping out mass in all directions.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Nanmadol was fairly small.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol will be in an environment that is very favorable for intensification for about another 24 hours.  Nanmadol will be moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is near 29°C.  The circulation of Tropical Storm Nanmadol is underneath the center of an upper level ridge and the upper level winds are very weak.  Warm SSTs and almost no vertical wind shear will permit Tropical Storm Nanmadol to intensify during the next day and there could be a period of rapid intensification.  Nanmadol could strengthen into a typhoon before it reaches a less favorable environment.  The tropical storm will move over cooler SSTs and it will move into an area of stronger upper level westerly winds in a couple of days.  Nanmadol will begin to weaken when that happens.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which is steering it toward the north.  A general northward motion is expected to continue for about another 24 hours.  Nanmadol will reach the westerly winds in the middle latitudes in about a day and those winds will turn it toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Nanmadol will pass west of Okinawa.  Nanmadol could approach Kyushu in about 36 hours.  Tropical Storm Nanmadol will continue to cause gusty winds and locally heavy rain over the southern Ryukyu Islands for another 12 to 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol Forms Southeast of Taiwan

Tropical Storm Nanmadol formed southeast of Taiwan on Saturday.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Nanmadol was located at latitude 20.7°N and longitude 127.1°E which put it about 475 miles (765 km) southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.  Nanmadol was moving toward the northwest at 24 m.p.h. (35 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

A center of circulation consolidated rapidly on Saturday in an area of thunderstorms southeast of Taiwan.  A primary band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the northern and western side of the circulation.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms developed in the northern half of the circulation.  The thunderstorms near the center began to generate upper level divergence which pumped out mass to the north of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol will move through an area favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Nanmadol will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge northeast of Nanmadol is producing southeasterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the tropical storm, but there is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Nanmadol is likely to intensify on Sunday.  When Nanmadol moves farther north, it will move over cooler water and it will be effected by the upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes.  Cooler water and more vertical wind shear will cause Nanmadol to start to weaken at that time.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which is steering it quickly toward the northwest.  Nanmadol will move in a general north-northwesterly direction on Sunday.  It will turn toward the northeast in 24 to 36 hours when it begins to be steered by the mid-latitude westerlies.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nanmadol could approach the southernmost Ryukyu Islands including Ishigaki Jima in about 12 hours.  The center is expected to pass west of Okinawa.  Tropical Storm Nanmadol could approach Kyushu in a couple of days.  An intensifying Tropical Storm Nanmadol will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the southernmost Ryukyu Islands.

Tropical Storm Merbok Makes Landfall Near Hong Kong

Tropical Storm Merbok made landfall near Hong Kong on Monday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Merbok was located at latitude 23.5°N and longitude 114.9°E which put it about 55 miles (85 km) north-northeast of Hong Kong.  Merbok was moving toward the north at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

Tropical Storm Merbok intensified before it made landfall and the maximum sustained wind speed was around 55 m.p.h. (85 km/h) at the time of landfall.  Merbok began to weaken after landfall and the strongest winds are now occurring in bands over the the open water.  Merbok is producing locally heavy rain in bands east of the center if circulation.  The heavy rains represent the greatest risk and flooding is possible over parts of eastern China.  Merbok is a fairly small tropical storm and the heavier rain will fall primarily to the east of the track of Merbok.  Merbok should gradually spin down as it moves farther inland.

Tropical Storm Merbok Moves Closer to China

Tropical Depression 04W intensified into Tropical Storm Merbok on Sunday as it moved closer to the coast of China.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Merbok was located at latitude 19.9°N and longitude 115.7°E which put it about 220 miles (360 km) south-southeast of Hong Kong.  Merbok was moving toward the north-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

The structure of Tropical Storm Merbok is asymmetrical.  Most of the thunderstorms are occurring east and south of the center of circulation.  A primary rainband curves about halfway around the southeastern side of the center.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms exist outside the core in southeastern half of Merbok.  There are bands in the northwestern half of the circulation but they consists primarily of low clouds and showers.  The thunderstorms in the primary rainband are producing upper level divergence which is pumping out mass to the south of Tropical Storm Merbok.

Tropical Storm Merbok is moving through an environment that is marginally favorable for intensification.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  Merbok is moving under the eastern end of an upper level ridge which is producing northerly winds which are blowing toward the top of the tropical storm.  Those northerly winds are creating moderate vertical wind shear, but they are also enhancing the upper level divergence to the south of Merbok.  Tropical Storm Merbok appears to be pulling some drier air from China into the northwestern part of the circulation.  The combination of moderate vertical wind shear and drier air could be the reason for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.

Tropical Storm Merbok has a chance to intensify a little more before it makes landfall.  The effects of the moderate vertical wind shear and drier air should limit any intensification and Merbok is likely to remain a tropical storm until it makes landfall.

Merbok is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which is steering the tropical storm toward the north-northwest.  That general motion is expected to continue for another day or so.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Merbok will reach the coast of China between Hong Kong and Shantou in 12 to 18 hours.  Tropical Storm Merbok will bring gust winds and locally heavy rain.  When Merbok moves inland over eastern China, it will reach the westerly winds in the middle latitudes and those winds will turn the tropical storm toward the east.