Tropical Storm Surigae Strengthens Northeast of Palau

Tropical Storm Surigae strengthened northeast of Palau on Wednesday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Surigae was located at latitude 9.1°N and longitude 136.2°E which put it about 120 miles (195 km) west-southwest of Yap. Serigae was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 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 988 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Surigae strengthened on Wednesday, but the distribution of thunderstorms was still asymmetrical. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the western half of Surigae. Bands in the eastern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Thunderstorms west of the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the west of the tropical storm. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 140 miles (220 km) from the center of Tropical Cyclone Surigae.

Tropical Storm Surigae will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days. Surigae will be over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures will be near 30°C. It will move under the southwestern part of an upper level ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge will produce easterly 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 Surigae will continue to intensify and it could strengthen to a typhoon within 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Surigae will move around the southwestern part of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean during the next few days. The high will steer Surigae toward the west-northwest during the next few days. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Surigae will pass north of Palau during the next 36 hours. Surigae could be east of the Philippines by late this week.