Tropical Storm Danas Forms East of Luzon

Tropical Storm Danas formed east of Luzon on Tuesday.  A distinct low level center of circulation developed in an area of low pressure east of Luzon and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Danas.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Danas was located at latitude 17.5°N and longitude 123.1°E which put it about 80 miles (130 km) east of Tuguegarao, Philippines.  Danas was moving toward the west at 4 m.p.h. (6 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 994 mb.

The distribution of thunderstorms around Tropical Storm Danas was highly asymmetrical.  There were a few thunderstorms just to the southwest of the center of circulation, but most of the thunderstorms were occurring in a band on the far western edge of the circulation around Danas.  Bands in other parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Tropical Storm Danas was moving around the southeastern portion of an upper level ridge over east Asia.  The ridge was producing strong easterly winds which were blowing across the top of the circulation around Danas.  The easterly winds were causing strong vertical wind shear and the wind shear was causing the asymmetric distribution of thunderstorms.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Danas was large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 200 miles (320 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Danas will move into an environment that is only marginally favorable for intensification.  Danas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 31°C.  So, there is plenty of energy in the upper ocean.  The strong upper level easterly winds are expected to weaken somewhat during the next several days.  If those winds weaken, then there will be less vertical wind shear and Tropical Storm Danas could strengthen.  If the upper level winds remain strong, then Danas will not strengthen and it could weaken to a tropical depression.  The forecast is for very slow intensification during the next 24 to 48 hours.

Since there are not a lot of taller thunderstorms near the center of Tropical Storm Danas, it will be steered by the winds in the lower troposphere.  Danas will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will turn Danas toward the north on Wednesday.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Danas will remain east of Luzon.  The center of Danas could be near southeastern Taiwan in 24 to 36 hours.  Tropical Storm Danas could be near the east coast of China in about three days.  The primary risks will be locally heavy rain and flash floods.