Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tropical Storm Pakhar Update #2

Tropical Storm Pakhar continues to gather strength while meandering over the South China Sea. It was last located approximately 600km east southeast of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam or about 650km northwest of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph gusting to 90kph. TS Pakhar is currently moving west northwestward at 5kph.

The satellite image below shows Pakhar taking a classing cyclonic-look with multiple bands wrapping into the center. The last few images suggest new "towers" building very near the center indicative of slow but continuous intensification.

As we have mentioned before, conditions remain favorable in the South China Sea with weak to moderate wind shear, moist atmosphere, and marginal sea surface temperatures. These ingredients should allow Pakhar to continue intensifying for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Computer models are in better agreement with regards to the track, with the exception of the NOGAPS model which keeps Pakhar very weak and brings it south of Vietnam. The consensus, on the other hand, takes Pakhar into Central Vietnam as early as Sunday afternoon. With steering conditions in the South China Sea as weak as they are, the track of Pakhar will significantly depend on its intensity. Right now, we are forecasting a landfall near Nha Trang, Vietnam by Sunday afternoon as a strong Tropical Storm. It will then continue moving inland, weakening rapidly by Monday and could dissipate quickly thereafter.

We'll have our next storm update tomorrow morning. Stay safe!
Issued (0830 UTC) 430pm PhT 032912

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