A tropical depression developed west of Luzon on Thursday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression 02W was located at latitude 16.3°N and longitude 119.2°E which put it about 135 miles (215 km) northwest of Manila, Philippines. The depression was moving toward the west-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 1002 mb.
An area of low pressure moved west of Luzon on Thursday night and several weather agencies classified the system as a tropical depression. The circulation around Tropical Depression 02W was not well organized. There were a number of fragmented bands of showers and thunderstorms revolving around the center of the depression. The strongest thunderstorms were in bands west and north of the center. Bands east of the center of circulation were still over the Philippines and those bands consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.
Tropical Depression 02W will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours. The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30.5°C. It will move under the southwestern portion of an upper level ridge centered northeast of Taiwan. The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the depression. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear and the shear will inhibit intensification. Tropical Depression 02W is likely to intensify into a tropical storm during the next 24 hours in spite of the vertical wind shear.
Tropical Depression 02W will move around the southwestern end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The high will steer the depression toward the northwest during the next 36 to 48 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Depression 02W will approach the coast of China west of Hong Kong in about 48 hours. It will likely be a tropical storm at that time.
Tropical Depression 02W formed east of the Philippines on Friday. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression 02W was located at latitude 10.7°N and longitude 128.1°E which put it about 190 miles (305 km) east-southeast of Dolores, Philippines. Tropical Depression 02W was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (21 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.
The circulation of Tropical Depression 02W is organizing around a low level center east of Samar and Leyte. Thunderstorms were developing near the center of circulation and several spiral bands were developing farther away from the center. The thunderstorms near the center of circulation were just beginning to generate upper level divergence.
Tropical Depression 02W will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 18 to 24 hours. It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C. An upper level ridge located east of Tropical Depression 02W is producing easterly winds that are blowing toward the depression, but the vertical wind shear is minimal. The combination of warm SSTs and little vertical wind shear could allow Tropical Depression 02W to organize quickly and it could become a tropical storm before it reaches the Philippines.
A subtropical ridge is steering Tropical Depression 02W toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for the next several days. On its anticipated track Tropical Depression 02W will move across the Central Philippines during the weekend. Tropical Depression 02W could bring gusty winds and heavy rain to portions of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Panay, Mindoro and southern Luzon. Heavy rain could create a risk for mudslides in some areas.