Tropical Storm Pabuk Nears Southern Thailand

Tropical Storm Pabuk neared southern Thailand late on Thursday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Pabuk was located at latitude 8.0°N and longitude 101.0°E which put it about 110 miles (170 km) southeast of Sichon, Thailand.  Pabuk was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.

Tropical Storm Pabuk exhibited more organization on Thursday.  A broken ring of showers and thunderstorms surrounded the center of circulation.  Stronger thunderstorms were occurring in the western part of the ring, while weaker storms and showers comprised the rest of the ring.  Several bands of thunderstorms were on the western side of Tropical Storm Pabuk.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were also on the eastern side of the circulation.  Storms near the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northwest of the tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center.

Tropical Storm Pabuk will move through an environment favorable for intensification for the next six to twelve hours.  Pabuk will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will produce southeasterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear which will inhibit intensification.  Pabuk could intensify during the short term.  It will reach the coast of southern Thailand in less than 12 hours.  Tropical Storm Pabuk will weaken when it moves across the Isthmus of Kra.  Pabuk could strengthen again when it moves over the Andaman Sea in a day or so.

Tropical Storm Pabuk will move around the western end of the subtropical ridge, which will steer the tropical storm in a northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Pabuk will make landfall on the coast of southern Thailand near Sichon in a few hours.  Pabuk will move across the Isthmus of Kra and into the Andaman Sea in a day or so.  Tropical Storm Pabuk could reach the Andaman Islands within 60 hours.

Tropical Storm Pabuk will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to southern Thailand.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods, especially in areas of steeper terrain.