Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tropical Storm 14W (Mina) Update #2

Tropical Depression 14W (Bagyong Mina) has slightly intensified and is now a Tropical Storm. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph. TS 14W/Mina remains quasi-stationary; still located about 400km northeast of Virac.

Latest Visual Satellite Imagery shows improving structure with low-level bands curving into the center. Convective activity, however, remains confined to the western half of the center. Recent IR image also showing new convective bursts occurring right over, and near, the center.

 IR Analysis (image from NOAA)

TS 14W continues to be in a very favorable environment with low wind shear, high SSTs, and good outflow. This should help the system to slowly intensify over the next few days.

However, there is somewhat low confidence with our forecast track right now. The crucial "ingredient" to our TS 14W's eventual track is a developing system west of Guam. Computer models have been consistent with the development of these two systems and an eventual direct cyclone interaction/Fujiwhara between them.

For now, we are forecasting TS 14W to continue moving very slowly in a northward direction. By 36 to 48 hours, we expect a tropical cyclone to develop near Guam which will then begin influencing TS 14W. In 2 to 3 days' time, 14W will turn to the northeast in response to this new cyclone. Based on the favorable conditions, there is a slight chance of 14W becoming a typhoon by Saturday.

Again, we have low confidence with this preliminary forecast and it will all depend on an expected Fujiwhara effect to happen later this week. Assuming no cyclones form near Guam, another scenario would be for TS 14W to continue moving northward, perhaps towards Taiwan but this is highly unlikely given the cluster of model solutions. As always, we advise you to keep checking our blog for the latest information on the tropics.

Our Video Update will be posted in about an hour or so.
Issued (08 UTC) 4pm PhT 082311

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