Intensifying Tropical Storm Nida Nears Northern Philippines

Tropical Storm Nida intensified on Saturday as it slowly approached the northern portion of Luzon in the Philippines.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC) the center of of Tropical Storm Nida was located at latitude 16.5°N and longitude 123.8°E which put it about 245 miles (395 km) east-northeast of Manila, Philippines.  Nida was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Nida has become increasingly well organized during the past 24 hours.  A primary rainband wraps about two thirds of the way around the western and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Additional spiral bands of thunderstorms are developing outside the core of the circulation.  Rising motion associated with the convection is generating upper level divergence which is pumping out mass and allowing the surface pressure to decrease.

Tropical Storm Nida is moving through an environment that is very favorable for further intensification.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is near 31°C.  Nida is beneath an upper level ridge where the upper level winds are light and there is little vertical wind shear.  Very warm SSTs and little wind shear will allow the circulation of Tropical Storm Nida to consolidate further and it should continue to intensify.  Nida could intensify rapidly once an eye starts to form at the center of circulation.  Tropical Storm Nida will move near or over the northeastern part of Luzon.  Interaction with land could slow or temporarily stop the intensification.  However, Tropical Storm Nida should intensify further after it move wests of the Philippines.

A subtropical ridge north of Nida is steering the tropical storm toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nida could move over the northern part of Luzon during the next 12 to 24 hours.  Nida could approach the area around Hong Kong as a typhoon in about 48 hours.

The primary threats posed by Tropical Storm Nida to the Philippines are locally heavy rain and flash floods.  Tropical Storm Nida could generate very heavy rain in locations where the circulation causes the wind to blow up the slopes of mountains.  Heavy rain falling on steep terrain in those locations could also cause flash flooding.  Nida could be a typhoon by the time it reaches the part of China near Hong Kong.  Nida will be capable of producing some wind damage and storm surge in addition to heavy rain and flooding when it reaches the coast of China.