Tropical Storm Noul formed over the South China Sea west of the Philippines on Tuesday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Noul was located at latitude 12.9°N and longitude 118.0°E which put it about 215 miles (345 km) southwest of Manila, Philippines. Noul was moving toward the west-northwest 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 1000 mb.
The circulation around Tropical Storm Noul was still organizing on Tuesday afternoon. More thunderstorms were developing near the center of circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Noul. Storms near the center started to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the west of the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.
Tropical Storm Noul will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours. Noul will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30.5°C. It will move south of an upper level ridge over the South China Sea. The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of Tropical Storm Noul. Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear, but they will not be strong enough to prevent Noul from intensifying. Tropical Storm Noul could strengthen into a typhoon within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Noul will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The high will steer Noul toward the west-northwest during the next several days. On its anticipated track Noul could approach the coast of Vietnam in about 60 hours. It is likely to be a typhoon when it nears Vietnam.