JMA has upgraded Invest 92W to a Tropical Depression and so has PAGASA; the latter giving this system a local name of 'Bagyong Lawin'. Note that the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) hasn't upgraded 92W yet to a depression.
Tropical Depression 92W (Bagyong Lawin) was last located approximately 950km east of Virac, Catanduanes. Maximum sustained winds are at 55kph with gusts of up to 75kph. It is currently moving westward at 25kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows a compact storm with improving convective activity. Outflow is still very poor although the weak wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures should help 92W/Lawin to continue intensifying in the next few days. As of right now, the system isn't directly impacting the weather in the Philippines but it could threaten the archipelago by this weekend.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Forecast tracks for this system from computer models show a wide variation of solutions. Some bring it to the north towards Taiwan or Okinawa while some models forecast Lawin to make landfall in Luzon. Right now, our preliminary forecast track is taking the middle solution and so we are forecast Lawin to continue moving westward but should slow down in the next 24 hours. It will then start turning to the northwest by Saturday and Sunday and could become a typhoon by that time.
Due to the recentness of this system, computer models don't have a good handle on 92W/Lawin yet so with that said, we have low confidence with our forecast track. Expect the forecast track to continue changing as we adjust our predictions as new data come in.
We'll have another update tomorrow.
Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 092012