Tropical Storm Pakhar sped across the South China Sea and made landfall on the coast of China near Macau. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Pakhar was located at latitude 22.3°N and longitude 112.7°E which put it about 60 miles (95 km) southwest of Hong Kong. Pakhar was moving toward the northwest at 27 m.p.h. (43 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 987 mb.
Tropical Storm Pakhar will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain as it quickly moves inland over southern China. The wind and rain will hinder the efforts in the area to recover from Typhoon Hato. Fortunately, Tropical Storm Pakhar is a fairly small storm. Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation. The small size of Pakhar and its rapid rate of movement will limit the impact of the tropical storm. Tropical Storm Pakhar should spin down fairly quickly as it rapidly moves inland.
Tropical Storm Pakhar formed east of Luzon on Thursday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Pakhar was located at latitude 15.2°N and longitude 124.7°E which put it about 280 miles (455 km) east of Manila, Philippines. Pakhar was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (21 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 1000 mb.
A center of circulation developed on the eastern edge of a cluster of thunderstorms east of Luzon on Thursday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Pakhar. The circulation of Pakhar is still in the early organizational stages. Most of the showers and thunderstorms are occurring west of the center of circulation. An upper level ridge north of Pakhar is producing easterly winds which are blowing across the circulation. Those easterly winds are probably responsible for the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms on the western side of the tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Pakhar will move through an environment that will be somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 12 to 18 hours. Pakhar will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is near 30°C. The easterly winds in the upper levels are causing moderate vertical wind shear and the shear will inhibit intensification. Tropical Storm Pakhar will weaken when it moves across Luzon. After Pakhar moves out over the South China Sea, it will move back over water where the SST is near 30°C. The forecast suggests that there could be less vertical wind shear at that time and Pakhar has a chance to intensify into a typhoon when it moves away from the Philippines.
Pakhar is being steered westward by a subtropical ridge north of the tropical storm. Pakhar is forecast to turn more toward the northwest when it crosses Luzon. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Pakhar will reach the coast of Luzon near Baler in 12 to 18 hours. Pakhar is forecast to continue moving toward the northwest and it could make another landfall in China west of Hong Kong in about three days. However, there is more uncertainty about the future track of Pakhar after the tropical storm exits Luzon.
Tropical Storm Pakhar could bring heavy rain to Luzon and cause flooding in some locations. If Tropical Storm Pakhar intensifies over the South China Sea and makes landfall west of Hong Kong as a typhoon, it could seriously affect the efforts to recover from damage caused by Typhoon Hato which hit that same area a few days ago.