Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tropical Depression 96W Update #1

NOTE: For our video update on Kai-Tak, 96W, and 97W, please click HERE

A new Tropical Depression formed in the Western Pacific today. TD 96W was last located approximately 300km east northeast of Tuguegarao, Cagayan. Maximum sustained winds are at 45kph with gusts of up to 65kph. 96W remains nearly stationary east of Luzon.

IR Image from NOAA

Tropical Depression 96W is still pretty disorganized with an elongated structure along with weak convective activity. Unlike yesterday, satellite has found an enclosed low-level circulation center with winds of around 40kph. JTWC and PAGASA are not classifying 96W as a depression just yet although both agencies both expect this system to become a cyclone in the next 24 to 36 hours. If PAGASA does upgrade this to a depression, they will assign the local name 'Bagyong Igme'.

While 96W remains offshore of Luzon, the system is enhancing moderate rains across Northern Luzon particularly around Ilocos Norte and Cagayan. Expect rains to linger here in the next 24 to 48 hours as 96W is forecast to move very slowly. Areas like Laoag and Aparri could get 50 to even 100mm tonight and into tomorrow. Some showers could also make their way towards Central Luzon. Rest of the Philippines will have generally fair weather with some chances of thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon. For the latest radar images and rainfall forecasts, please go to PAGASA's PROJECT NOAH

Tropical Depression 96W will slowly consolidate in the next 24 hours, becoming a Tropical Storm by Monday. Computer models are in somewhat good agreement taking 96W towards the north by next week. We are closely aligning our preliminary forecast with the computer models. However, as you can see below, we have a pretty wide cone of error as there still exist lots of uncertainties with this system. For now, we are expecting 96W to turn to the north, possibly affecting Okinawa and Northern Taiwan. Conditions in the region will also remain favorable and could allow 96W to intensify into a Typhoon.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)

Meanwhile, a low pressure area near Guam continues to slowly consolidate. Invest 97W remains weak with fragmented and weak convective activity. The system is embedded along the monsoon trough near the Marianas and satellite analysis show a weak low-level center. Computer models are also showing 97W developing into a cyclone in the next 3 days. It could affect Guam tomorrow and by Tuesday, 97W is forecast to turn to the west. Conditions should be favorable for development and some computer models are even forecasting 97W to become a typhoon as early as Wednesday as it moves into the Philippine Area of Responsibility. The next name on PAGASA's list (after Igme) is Julian.

We'll have another update tomorrow.
Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 081812

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