Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Vicente Update #5

Tropical Storm Vicente (Formerly Bagyong Ferdie) is becoming better organized as it moves slowly across the South China Sea. The storm was last located approximately 380km south southeast of Hong Kong. Maximum sustained winds are at 85kph with gusts of up to 100kph. Vicente is moving west southwest at 10kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

As expected, Vicente is able to strengthen and organize much better as the wind shear has started to weaken. However, the bulk of the convection remains concentrated on the southern half of the circulation. On the satellite image above, the northern portion of the storm looks cloud-free with very few convective activity. Latest analysis indicate that there is still weak to moderate northerly wind shear displacing the convection.

Also highlighted in the image is the continued enhancement of the SW Monsoon bringing rains across parts of Luzon, Palawan, and Visayas. Many areas here continue to receive 50 to 80mm of rain. Visayas and Mindanao will see less amounts although sporadic rain showers and thunderstorms are still possible. The SW Monsoon is forecast to linger through the next 2 days before gradually weakening. However, the monsoon trough east of the Philippines seems to be strengthening as well which could bring another round of rains across the Philippines early next week.

Returning to TS Vicente, the storm is forecast to continue moving west northwestward as it rounds the ridge of high pressure. Due to the slow movement, Vicente is forecast to remain in very warm waters for at least another 24 to 36 hours which could fuel faster-than-normal intensification. In fact, JTWC is now forecasting Vicente to become a minimal typhoon before it makes landfall in Leizhou Peninsula in Southern China.

Although the current consensus among the computer models is taking Vicente across Guangzhou Province, the recent west southwestward movement of the storm could eventually take it much further south than what is currently shown by the computers. Our forecast is similar to JTWC and we are also expecting Vicente to become a weak typhoon as early as tomorrow evening. It will then move close to Hainan Island and cross Leizhou Peninsula by Tuesday morning.

Forecast Track

Vicente should weaken back to Tropical Storm-strength as it crosses over land. It will then cross Gulf of Tonkin on Tuesday, maintaining that strong Tropical Storm intensity before making landfall on the northeastern part of Vietnam. Vicente will then move very closely near Hanoi and should start to rapidly weaken as it moves further inland.

We'll have another update tomorrow morning.
Issued (0930 UTC) 530pm PhT 072212

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