Tropical Storm Son-tinh Makes Landfall in Vietnam, Ampil Forms South of Okinawa

Tropical Storm Son-tinh made landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday while Tropical Storm Ampil formed south of Okinawa.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Son-tinh was located at latitude 19.1°N and longitude 105.5°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Vinh, Vietnam.  Son-tinh was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

Tropical Storm Son-tinh strengthened on Wednesday after it moved away from Hainan Island.  A primary rainband wrapped around the western and southern side of the center of circulation and the inner end of the band began to evolve into a partial eyewall.  Thunderstorms in the core of Son-tinh generated upper level divergence which pumped away mass.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease.  A stronger pressure gradient force produced higher wind speeds.

Tropical Storm Son-tinh moved south of a ridge in the upper and middle troposphere.  The ridge steered Son-tinh steadily toward the west and the tropical storm made landfall just north of Vinh, Vietnam late on Wednesday.  Tropical Storm Son-tinh brought gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the coast of northern Vietnam around Vinh.  Son-tinh was also dropping locally heavy rain over portions of northern Vietnam and flash flooding could occur in some locations.

Tropical Storm Son-tinh will continue to move westward over northern Vietnam and northern Laos.  Son-tinh will weaken as the circulation moves inland.  It will continue to drop locally heavy rain and flash floods could occur in parts of northern Vietnam and northern Laos during the next several days.

The organization of former Tropical Depression 12W improved on Wednesday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Ampil.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Ampil was located at latitude 19.9°N and longitude 129.6°E which put it about 480 miles (775 km) south-southeast of Okinawa.  Ampil was moving toward the east-northeast at 8 m.p.h. (13 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.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Ampil was not particularly well organized.  It exhibited characteristics of a hybrid low pressure system.  There was an upper low northwest of the low level circulation.  The upper low was causing strong southwesterly winds which were blowing across the top of the lower level circulation.  Those winds were causing significant vertical wind shear and they were tilting the circulation strongly toward the northeast.  The strongest bands of showers and thunderstorms were occurring south and west of the low level circulation.  Bands north and west of the center consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.

The upper low will gradually move toward the west.  As the low moves westward, the vertical wind shear over Tropical Storm Ampil will start to decrease.  Ampil will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  So, when the vertical wind shear decreases, then Tropical Storm Ampil will likely intensify.  Ampil could eventually strengthen into a typhoon in two or three days.

The upper low will initially will steer Tropical Storm Ampil toward the northeast.  When the upper low moves farther to the west on Thursday, then Ampil will move toward the north.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Ampil could be near Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands in two or three days.