Tropical Storm Ewiniar Forms Near Coast of South China

Tropical Storm Ewiniar formed near the coast of South China late on Tuesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Ewiniar was located at latitude 20.9°N and longitude 110.5°E which put it about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Zhanjiang, China.  Ewiniar was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 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 distinct low level center of circulation consolidated in a cluster of showers and thunderstorms moving over the South China Sea near Hainan Island on Monday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Ewiniar.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms developed west of the center of circulation.  Bands east of the center consisted primarily of showers and low clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force were occurring within 60 miles (95 km) of the center o circulation.

Tropical Storm Ewiniar has 12 to 24 hours during which it could intensify if the center remains over water.  The Sea Surface Temperature of the water near the coast of South China is about 30°C.  Ewiniar is under the southwestern portion of a narrow upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing weak southerly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Even though the atmospheric and oceanic environments are favorable for intensification, a portion of the circulation of Tropical Storm Ewiniar is already over land.  The friction caused by the flow of air over the land will inhibit intensification.  Tropical Storm Ewiniar could intensify a little more if the center remains over water.

The upper level ridge was steering Tropical Storm Ewiniar toward the northwest.  A general motion toward the north is expected for the next 24 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Ewiniar will move near the east coast of the Leizhou Peninsula.  Ewiniar could move inland near Wuchuan and Dianbai.  Tropical Storm Ewiniar will bring some gust winds to South China, but the greater risks are the potential for heavy rain and floods.