Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Vicente Update #6

Tropical Storm Vicente has slowed down well south of Hong Kong and continues to drift across the South China Sea. The storm was last located approximately 340km south of Hong Kong. Vicente has also managed to intensify overnight with maximum sustained winds now at 95kph with gusts of up to 120kph. Vicente is currently moving northwestward at around 7kph.

As of 6am today, Hong Kong Observatory has issued Strong Wind Signal No. 3 due to the expected increase in winds brought by Vicente. While not forecast to make landfall in Hong Kong, Vicente could move closer to Hong Kong later this afternoon bringing winds of near tropical storm strength. Residents here are advised to continue monitoring HKO as well as the media for the latest warnings and forecasts.

IR Image from NRLMRY

While the wind shear has weakened in the past 24 hours, it is still around 10 to 15kts and is still hampering convective activity on the northern periphery of Vicente. The southern half, meanwhile, continues to have strong convection and banding near the center. None of the rain clouds are currently affecting Southern China although low-level convergence might enhance the formation of pop-up and brief thunderstorms. To the east, the SW Monsoon continues to affect many parts in Luzon although we have noticed a slight weakening. Nevertheless, still expect light to moderate rains throughout today especially across western portions of Luzon including Pangasinan, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, and nearby areas.

There has been a slight chance in forecasts for Tropical Storm Vicente. The ridge of high pressure that has been influencing the storm's movement has been reoriented due to an upper-level low. Because of this, Vicente is now forecast to track more to the north today and edge closer to Hong Kong than previously thought. It does not mean Vicente will make landfall in the city-state although gusty winds and squally rains could definitely impact the region later today. Vicente is still forecast to continue intensifying as the shear continues to weaken and the sea surface temperatures remain very warm. It could become a minimal typhoon as early as tomorrow depending on the rate of intensification. TS Vicente will then make landfall along the Leizhou Peninsula in Guangzhou Province as a Category 1 Typhoon. It will then weaken as it crosses land and moves into the Gulf of Tonkin. Vicente will continue weakening as it interacts with land and is forecast to make landfall on the northeastern part of Vietnam by late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Vicente is forecast to move near Hanoi by Wednesday afternoon as a rapidly weakening Tropical Depression.

Meanwhile in the Western Pacific, a developing low pressure area was spotted just east of Palau. Invest 93W is still in the early stages of development. An elongated and weak low-level circulation center was observed through satellite analysis with strong, yet largely disorganized, convective activity. Wind shear in this area is light to moderate and sea temperatures continue to support cyclone development. Computer models have also continued to hint of a possible storm forming in this area in the next few days.

We'll have more on Vicente and 93W in our afternoon update.
Issued (2230 UTC) 630am PhT 072312

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