Tropical Storm Songda developed east of Okinawa on Thursday afternoon. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Songda was located at latitude 26.4°N and longitude 136.6°E which put it about 600 miles (970 km) east of Okinawa. Songda was moving toward the north-northwest at 29 m.p.h. (45 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.
An area of low pressure strengthened east of Okinawa on Thursday afternoon and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Songda. Tropical Storm Songda was revolving around the northeastern part of a much larger low pressure system (sometimes called a monsoon gyre) centered northeast of the Philippines. The interaction of Songda’s circulation with the larger low pressure system was producing an asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the northeastern half of Tropical Storm Songda. Bands in the southwestern half of Songda consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Storms near the center of Songda generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the northeast of the tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Songda will move through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Songda will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. The circulation around the larger low pressure system will produce upper level winds from the southeast that will blow toward the top of Songda’s circulation. The winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere will also be blowing from the southeast and so there will be less vertical wind shear. The wind shear could still be strong enough to inhibit intensification. Songda could also move into a region where the air is drier. Tropical Storm Songda could strengthen a little during the next 24 hours, but wind shear and drier air are likely to limit intensification.
The large low pressure system northeast of the Philippines will steer Tropical Storm Songda toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Sondga could approach the northern Ryukyu Islands within 24 hours. Songda could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the northern Ryukyu Islands.