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Tropical Depression 04W Forms East of the Northern Marianas

Tropical Depression 04W formed east of the Northern Marianas very late on Friday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression 04W was located at latitude 18.8°N and longitude 148.5°E which put it about 185 miles (300 km) east of Agrihan.  It was moving toward the northwest at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

An area of showers and thunderstorms persisted for much of the past week east of the Northern Marianas.  Several smaller centers of circulation formed within the area of showers and storms, but those centers ran into strong upper level winds and weakened because strong vertical wind shear and they dissipated.  Another center formed on Friday, but the upper level winds were a little weaker and the center persisted.  An upper level trough south of Japan was still producing southwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were producing moderate vertical wind shear, but the center of circulation persisted.  Most of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands east of the center of circulation.  The bands west of the center consisted primarily of low clouds and showers.

Tropical Depression will move through an area marginally favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  it will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 28°C.  So, there will be enough energy in the upper ocean to support some intensification.  The upper level trough south of Japan will continue to cause moderate vertical wind shear, but the upper level winds could be weak enough to allow for further intensification.  Tropical Depression 04W could strengthen into a tropical storm on Saturday.

Tropical Depression 04W is moving near the southwestern part of a ridge over the North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge is steering the depression toward the northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for another day or two.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression 04W is expected to pass near the northernmost Mariana Islands.  It could pass near Asuncion Island, the Maug Islands, Supply Reef and Farallon de Pajaros.  Tropical Depression 04W could bring gust winds, locally heavy rain and higher waves to those places.

Tropical Storm Jelawat Weakens Rapidly Over the Northern Marianas

Tropical Storm Jelawat weakened rapidly over the Northern Marianas on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Jelawat was located at latitude 19.3°N and longitude 145.5°E which put it about 50 miles (80 km) north-northwest of Agrihan.  Jelawat was moving toward the east-northeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

Former Typhoon Jelawat moved into an area where there were upper level westerly winds blowing at 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  Those strong upper level winds created enough vertical wind shear to blow the upper two thirds of the circulation east of the lower part of the circulation.  The remaining strong thunderstorms were weakening well to the east of the lower level circulation.  Tropical Storm Jelawat consisted primarily of narrow bands of showers and low clouds that were revolving around the center of circulation.  Jelawat may bring brief gusty winds and showers to the northernmost islands in the Marianas.

Typhoon Jelawat Rapidly Intensifies Into Equivalent of Major Hurricane

Typhoon Jelawat intensified rapidly on Friday into the equivalent of a major hurricane.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Jelawat was located at latitude 17.1°N and longitude 139.5°E which put it about 440 miles (710 km) northwest of Guam.  Jelawat was moving toward the east-northeast at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 185 m.p.h. (295 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 926 mb.

Typhoon Jelawat intensified rapidly on Friday.  There was a small circular eye at the center of circulation.  A ring of very strong storms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several spiral bands were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms near the core were generating well developed upper level divergence which was pumping large quantities of mass away to the east of the typhoon.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease rapidly and that produced a a rapid increase in wind speed.

Winds to typhoon force extend out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Typhoon Jelawat.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 175 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Jelawat is 31.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 17.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 49.3.

Typhoon Jelawat is in an environment favorable for strong typhoons, but it may be near its peak in intensity.  Jelawat will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Typhoon Jelwat has moved around the western end of an upper level ridge which is producing easterly winds that are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  The winds are causing some vertical wind shear, but the shear has not inhibited intensification.  When Typhoon Jelawat moves farther to the northeast it will move under stronger easterly and the wind shear will increase.  More shear will cause Jelawat to weaken during the next few days.

A subtropical ridge to the east of Typhoon Jelawat is steering the typhoon toward the east-northeast.  A general motion toward the east-northeast is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Jelawat could approach the northernmost islands in the Marianas in about 48 hours.

Typhoon Jelawat Strengthens West-Northwest of Guam

Former Tropical Storm Jelawat strengthened into a typhoon as it moved west-northwest of Guam on Thursday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Typhoon Jelawat was located at latitude 15.9°N and longitude 137.7°E which put it about 520 miles (840 km) west-northwest of Guam.  Jelawat was moving toward the east-northeast at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 972 mb.

Typhoon Jelawat strengthened quickly on Thursday night.  A small eye developed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Jelawat.  Storms in the core of the circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of the typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 145 miles (230 km) from the center.

Typhoon Jelawat will move through an area favorable for intensification on Friday.  Jelawat will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Typhoon Jelawat has moved around the western end of an upper level ridge which is producing southwesterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are producing some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear is not strong enough to prevent intensification.   Typhoon Jelwat is likely to intensify further on Friday.

The upper level ridge is steering Typhoon Jelawat toward the east-northeast and that general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Jelawat is expected to pass northwest of Guam.  Jelawat could approach the northernmost islands in the Marianas in about two or three days.

Tropical Storm Jelawat Strengthens West of Guam

Tropical Storm Jelawat strengthened west of Guam late on Tuesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Jelawat was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 135.5°E which put it about 230 miles (375 km) northwest of Yap and about 600 miles (970 km) west of Guam.  Jelawat was moving toward the north at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

After being affected by strong vertical wind shear for about 36 hours, Tropical Storm Jelawat began to strengthen late on Tuesday.  Many more thunderstorms formed near the center of circulation.  The circulation became much more symmetrical.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms formed in all parts of the circulation.  The storms near the center of circulation started to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Jelawat will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Jelawat will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Tropical Storm Jelawat is moving around the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing southerly winds which are blowing toward the tropical storm.  The winds are producing some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not as strong as it has been.  Tropical Storm Jelawat will intensify during the next day or two and it could strengthen into a typhoon.

The ridge is steering Tropical Storm Jelawat toward the north and the northerly motion is expected to continue for another 12 to 24 hours.  Jelawat will move more toward the northeast in a day or so after it rounds the western end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Jelawat will move away from Yap and it will remain west of Guam.

Tropical Storm Jelawat Forms Near Yap

Tropical Storm Jelawat formed near Yap on Sunday.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Jelawat was located at latitude 7.6°N and longitude 138.4°E which put it about 120 miles (195 km) south of Yap.  Jelawat was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 998 mb.

A low level center of circulation formed near the eastern edge of a cluster of thunderstorms near Yap on Sunday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Jelawat.  Tropical Storm Jelawat does not have a well organized circulation.  There is a distinct low level center of circulation, but most of the stronger thunderstorms are occurring west of the center of circulation.  The bands in the eastern half of the circulation consist mainly of showers and low clouds.  An upper level ridge over the Central North Pacific Ocean is producing strong easterly winds which are blowing across the top of the circulation.  Those winds are generating strong vertical wind shear and the shear is the main reason for the asymmetrical distribution of storms.

Tropical Storm Jelawat will be moving through an environment that is somewhat favorable for intensification.  Jelawat will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  However, the upper level ridge will continue to cause vertical wind shear.  If the shear is not too strong and the circulation remains vertically coherent, then Tropical Storm Jelawat could strengthen during the next several days.   Some models predict this scenario and forecast that Jelawat will intensify into a typhoon.  Alternatively, if the wind shear increases further, strong upper level winds could blow the upper half of the circulation away from the lower level circulation.  If that occurs, Tropical Storm Jelawat will weaken.

The ridge over the Central North Pacific is steering Tropical Storm Jelawat toward the northwest.  Jelawat will reach the western end of the ridge in 12 to 24 hours.  The tropical storm will turn more toward the north when it reaches the end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Jelawat is forecast to pass between Yap and Palau.

Tropical Storm Saola Speeding Toward Tokyo

Tropical Storm Saola sped toward Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Saola was located at latitude 32.4°N and longitude 134.4°E which put it about 370 miles (595 km) west-southwest of Tokyo.  Saola was moving toward the northeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 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 979 mb.

Tropical Storm Saola was weakening and making a transition to an extratropical cyclone.  A primary band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern side of the circulation.  There were other thinner bands of showers revolving around the core of the circulation.  Strong westerly winds in the upper levels were causing significant vertical wind shear which was tilting the upper part of the circulation toward the northeast.  Cooler drier air appeared to be flowing toward the western part of the circulation.

Westerly winds in the middle latitudes were steering Tropical Storm Saola quickly toward the northeast.  The center of Saola will pass south of Shikoku.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Saola will pass near Tokyo in about 12 hours.  Tropical Storm Saola will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Shikoku and central Honshu.  The heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Typhoon Saola Near Okinawa

The core of Typhoon Saola moved near Okinawa on Friday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Saola was near latitude 26.2°N and longitude 128.2°E which put it about 70 miles (110 km) south of Okinawa.  Saola was moving toward the north at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

The circulation of Typhoon Saola became more well organized on Friday.   The primary rainband wrapped most of the way around the center of circulation.  A large eye was surrounded by a broken ring of showers and thunderstorms.  Low clouds and showers were scattered throughout the large eye.  Several other bands of showers and storms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Saola.  The rainbands were weaker on the northwestern side of Typhoon Saola and there appeared to be cooler, drier air on that side of the typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extended out about 50 miles (80 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 200 miles (320 km) from the center.

Typhoon Saola could be near its maximum intensity.  Saola will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However Typhoon Saola is near the upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes and the vertical wind shear will increase on Saturday.  Typhoon Saola could strengthen a little more during the next six to twelve hours, but it will start to weaken when the vertical wind shear increases.

Typhoon Saola is moving around the western end of a ridge which is steering Saola toward the north.  When Typhoon Saola reaches the westerly winds of the middle latitudes, those winds will turn Saola toward the east-northeast.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Saola will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands.  The center of Typhoon Saola will be near southern Kyushu in about 12 hours and the center could pass near Tokyo in about 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Saola Strengthens, Moves Toward Okinawa

Tropical Storm strengthened on Thursday as it moved closer to Okinawa.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Saola was located at latitude 22.2°N and longitude 129.4°E which put it about 350 miles (570 km) south-southeast of Okinawa.  Saola was moving toward the north-northwest at 17 m.p.h. (27 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 987 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Storm Saola exhibited more organization in recent hours.  For much of the past several days many of the showers and thunderstorms were in a single primary rainband that wrapped around the outer part of the circulation.  There were few showers or storms near and to the north of the center of circulation.  A broken ring of showers and thunderstorms began to develop around the center during the past few hours.  The ring could represent the initial formation of an eyewall.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms also began to form outside the core of Tropical Storm Saola.

Tropical Storm Saola will be moving through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Saola will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The winds will be similar in all levels of the atmosphere and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Saola will intensify on Friday and it could become a typhoon.  After about 24 hours Tropical Storm Saola will reach the upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes and the vertical wind shear will increase.  More wind shear will start to weaken Saola.

Tropical Storm Saola was moving the western end of a ridge which is steering the tropical storm toward the north-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for about another 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Saola will approach Okinawa in about 24 hours.  When Saola nears Okinawa, it will encounter the westerly winds in the middle latitudes.  Those winds will turn Saola toward the northeast.  Tropical Storm Saola will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands.

Tropical Storm Saola Develops West of Guam

Tropical Storm Saola developed west of Guam on Tuesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Saola was located at latitude 14.8°N and longitude 134.8°E which put it about 375 miles (605 km) northwest of Yap.  Saola was moving toward the west-northwest at 24 m.p.h. (39 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

The core of the circulation of Tropical Storm Saola became more well organized on Tuesday.  The center of circulation strengthened and more thunderstorms developed close to the center  Bands of showers and thunderstorms formed outside the core of Tropical Storm Saola.  Many of the showers and storms formed southwest of the center.  There were fewer showers and storms northeast of the center.  The storms near the core of Saola began to produce upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Saola will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification.  Saola will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge north of Tropical Storm Saola is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are causing moderate vertical wind shear which is inhibiting the intensification of Tropical Storm Saola.  The upper level winds are forecast to weaken which would cause the wind shear to decrease.  The decreased wind shear should allow Tropical Storm Saola to intensify during the next several days and it could eventually strengthen into a typhoon.

The upper level ridge has been steering Tropical Storm Saola toward the west-northwest.  An upper level trough east of Asia is forecast to weaken the ridge.  When the ridge weakens,Tropical Storm Saola will turn more the north.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Saola will remain east of the Philippines and Taiwan.  Tropical Storm Saola could approach Okinawa in about 72 hours.  Saola could be a typhoon when it approaches Okinawa.