Tropical Storm Lekima formed east of Luzon on Sunday. More thunderstorms developed near the center of former Tropical Depression 10W and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Lekima. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Lekima was located at latitude 16.8°N and longitude 131.3°E which put it about 725 miles (1170 km) south-southeast of Okinawa. Lekima 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 996 mb.
The distribution of thunderstorms around Tropical Storm Lekima was asymmetrical. Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands west of the center of circulation. There were fewer thunderstorms in the eastern half of the circulation. Lekima was near the western end of an upper level ridge. The ridge was producing easterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation. Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and the wind shear was contributing to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.
Tropical Storm Lekima will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few days. Lekima will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 31°C. It will move gradually into a region where the upper level winds are weaker and the vertical wind shear will diminish. Tropical Storm Lekima will intensify and it could strengthen into a typhoon early next week.
Tropical Storm Lekima will move around the southwestern part of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge will steer Lekima toward the northwest. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Lekima could approach the southern Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan in about four days. Lekima could be a typhoon by that time.
Elsewhere over the Western North Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Francisco was speeding toward southwestern Japan. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Francisco was located at latitude 28.9°N and longitude 140.8°E which put it about 710 miles (1150 km) east-southeast of Kagoshima, Japan. Francisco was moving toward the northwest at 19 m.p.h. (32 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 992 mb.