Tropical Storm Maliksi Forms Southwest of Hong Kong

Tropical Storm Maliksi formed over the South China Sea southwest of Hong Kong on Friday. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Maliksi was located at latitude 21.4°N and longitude 111.6°E which put it about 185 miles (300 km) west-southwest of Hong Kong. Maliksi was moving toward the north-northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 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 pressure system over the South China Sea southwest of Hong Kong strengthened on Friday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Maliksi. The distribution of thunderstorms in Tropical Storm Maliksi was asymmetrical. Thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the southern half of Maliksi’s circulation. Bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the south of the tropical storm.

The distribution of wind speeds around Tropical Storm Maliksi was also asymmetrical. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 120 miles (195 km) in the southeastern part of Maliksi’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force only extended out 60 miles (95 km) in the northwestern side of Maliksi.

Tropical Storm Maliksi will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next few hours. Maliksi will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C. It will move under the eastern part of an upper level ridge over China. The ridge will produce northerly winds that will blow toward the top of Maliksi’s circulation. Those winds will also cause moderate vertical wind shear. The wind shear will inhibit intensification. Tropical Storm Maliksi could intensify a little during the next few hours.

Tropical Storm Maliksi will move around the western side of a high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The high pressure will steer Maliksi toward the north during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, Tropical Storm Maliksi will make landfall in southern China in a few hours. Maliksi will drop heavy rain over parts of southern China. Heavy rain could cause floods in some locations.