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.