Tropical Storm Kalmaegi Almost a Typhoon Near Northern Luzon

Tropical Storm Kalmaegi was almost a typhoon as it neared northern Luzon on Sunday night.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Kalmaegi was located at latitude 17.7°N and longitude 123.2°E which put it about 120 miles (195 km) east-southeast of Aparri, Philippines.  Kalmaegi was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 984 mb.

Tropical Storm Kalmaegi was on the verge of strengthening into a typhoon on Sunday night.  The inner end of a band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped most of the way around the center of circulation and an eye appeared to be forming.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Tropical Storm Kalmaegi.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of the tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 110 miles (175 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Kalmaegi will move through an environment favorable for intensification for anther 12 to 24 hours.  Kalmaegi will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move under the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce southerly winds which will blow 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.  Tropical Storm Kalmaegi is likely to strengthen into a typhoon on Monday.

A ridge of high pressure will steer Tropical Storm Kalmaegi toward the northwest during the next 12 to 24 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Kalmaegi will make a landfall on the north coast of Luzon near Aparri in about 24 hours.  Kalmaegi will weaken after the center moves over land.  When Tropical Storm Kalmaegi weakens a strong northeasterly flow in the lower levels will steer the tropical storm back toward the southwest.  Tropical Storm Kalmaegi will bring gusty winds and it will drop locally heavy rain over northern Luzon.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.