Tropical Storm Kirogi Forms West of the Philippines

Tropical Storm Kirogi formed west of the Philippines on Friday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Kirogi was located at latitude 10.9°N and longitude 115.7°E which put it about 465 miles (745 km) east of Nha Trang, Vietnam.  Kirogi was moving toward the west-northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 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.

A low level center of circulation developed near the eastern edge of an area of showers and thunderstorms west of the Philippines on Friday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Kirogi.  The distribution of showers and thunderstorms in Kirogi was asymmetrical.  A primary rainband wrapped around the western side of the center of circulations and most of the stronger storms were west of the center.  There were only bands of low clouds and showers east of the center of Kirogi.  An upper level ridge north of Kirogi was producing easterly winds which were blowing across the top of the tropical storm.  The vertical wind shear created by those winds was causing the asymmetrical distribution of showers and thunderstorms.

Tropical Storm Kirogi will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification.  Kirogi will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to cause vertical wind shear.  The shear may be strong enough to slow intensification, but it may not strong enough to prevent Tropical Storm Kirogi from strengthening.  The forecast is for Tropical Storm Kirogi to intensify during the next 24 to 36 hours.

The ridge is steering Tropical Storm Kirogi toward the west-northwest and a general westerly motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Kirogi will move across the South China Sea toward Vietnam.  Kirogi could reach the coast of Vietnam near Nha Trang in about 36 hours.  Kirogi will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain when it reaches the coast.  The locally heavy rain could cause flash floods.  There could also be a storm surge of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) where the wind blows water toward the coast of Vietnam.