Friday, July 27, 2012

Tropical Depression Saola (Gener) Update #1

93W has intensified and has been upgraded to Tropical Depression Saola; PAGASA has given the local name 'Bagyong Gener' to the system. TD Saola (Gener) was last located approximately 260km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are at 55kph with gusts of up to 75kph. The depression is currently moving to the northwest at a speed of 10kph.

As of 11am this morning, no Public Storm Warning Signals have been issued by PAGASA.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows the very broad circulation of Saola with a diameter of more than 600km. Convective bands are starting to become more organized with the core of the storm becoming more defined as well. Despite the system being offshore, feeder bands are bringing scattered rains across Southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas. Furthermore, the effects of the SW Monsoon being enhanced by Saola will also bring rain showers to the rest of Visayas and Mindanao.

Preliminary forecasts show Saola continuing to move in a northwestward direction but should avoid making landfall in Luzon. Rains will continue, however, for the Philippines as the system slowly moves across the ocean. TD Saola is forecast to steadily intensify due to favorable conditions in the area. Depending on the rate of intensification, Saola is expected to become a Tropical Storm as early as tonight and even become a typhoon by  Monday.

We'll have more in-depth analysis and forecast later this afternoon.
Issued (04 UTC) 12pm PhT 072812

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