Typhoon Bualoi strengthened to the equivalent of a major hurricane over the Marianas on Monday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Typhoon Bualoi was located at latitude 16.7°N and longitude 145.5°E which put it about 660 miles (1060 km) south-southeast of Iwo To. Bualoi was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (215 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.
Typhoon Bualoi continued to intensify quickly on Monday. There was a small eye at the center of Bualoi. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Bualoi. Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon in all directions.
The circulation around Typhoon Bualoi was small. Winds to typhoon force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Bualoi was 25.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 10.0 and the Hurricane Wind intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 35.1. Typhoon Bualoi was capable of causing localized major damage. The core of Bualoi where the strongest winds were occurring passed north of Saipan.
Typhoon Bualoi will move through an environment capable of supporting a strong typhoon for another 24 to 36 hours. Bualoi will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. Bualoi could strengthen during the next 24 hours. If an inner rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause the typhoon to start to weaken.
Typhoon Bualoi will move around the western end of high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The high will steer Bualoi toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. The typhoon will move more toward the north when it reaches the western end of the high pressure system. On its anticipated track Typhoon Bualoi will move away from the Northern Marianas. Conditions should improve when Bualoi gets farther away. Typhoon Bualoi could be near Iwo To in about 60 hours.
Elsewhere over the Western North Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Neoguri was moving south of Honshu. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Neoguri was located at latitude 32.4°N and longitude 137.6°E which put it about 285 miles (460 km) southwest of Tokyo, Japan. Neoguri was moving toward the east-northeast 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 997 mb. The center of Tropical Storm Neoguri is likely to pass south of Tokyo during in about 12 hours.