Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tropical Update w/ Video

We are now watching two areas for potential tropical cyclone development: Invest 95W north of the Marianas and 96W near Palau.

Invest 95W has a partially exposed low-level circulation center. The convection is slightly displaced to the east because of some light to moderate wind shear in the area. Computer models aren't really too keen with the development of 95W with just a few models forecasting it to become a tropical storm. Nonetheless, JTWC has upgraded 95W's chances to "MEDIUM". JMA, on the other hand, has actually upgraded this into a Tropical Depression; it is not, however, putting 95W on their Tropical Cyclone page.

General forecast for 95W is for it to slowly develop over the next two days, perhaps becoming a tropical storm as early as Monday. It should move northward and could brush the Kanto Region of Japan by late next week.

Invest 96W, meanwhile, is still on the early stages of development with a slightly elongated circulation and the whole system still being embedded within that monsoon trough. We have seen an increase in convective activity though this past few hours which could indicate a more robust development for 96W. It is in an area of high sea surface temperatures and low to moderate wind shear of 10-15kts. Palau is reporting 1009mb of pressure and winds of around 20-30kph. We expect 96W to slowly develop over the next 2-3 days and move slowly northward.

Computer models are in somewhat good agreement with 96W's development for next week. Most of them show the system to become a tropical storm by Monday or Tuesday and could threaten Okinawa area by next weekend. But again, this still uncertain and expect wide changes with the forecast.

 Latest IR image from NOAA

Tropical Update Video

Issued (09 UTC) 5pm PhT 082011

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