Tropical Storm Megi Forms West of the Marianas

Tropical Storm Megi formed west of the Marianas on Friday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Megi was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 137.1°E which put it about 1160 miles (1870 km) east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.  Megi was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/).  The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Megi is still organizing.  A distinct center of circulation is still consolidating.  There are more thunderstorms south and east of the center of circulation, but bands of thunderstorms are beginning to develop in other quadrants of the storm.  The thunderstorms closer to the center are generating upper level divergence which is pumping out mass.  Outflow channels could be developing to the northwest and southeast of Tropical Storm Megi.

Tropical Storm Megi is moving into an environment that is favorable for intensification.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds are not very strong and there is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Megi is likely to continue to intensify while the circulation becomes better organized.  Once a well formed core develops at the center of Megi, it could intensify more rapidly.  Tropical Storm Megi is likely to become a typhoon during the weekend.

Tropical Storm Megi is moving along the southwestern side of a subtropical ridge, which is steering it toward the west.  A westerly or west-northwesterly motion is expected to continue for the next few days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Megi could approach Taiwan in about three days.  Megi is likely to be a typhoon at that time.