Tropical Depression 26W continues to slowly consolidate near the Caroline Islands. The system was last located approximately 370km south southwest of Pohnpei. Maximum sustained winds are now at 55kph with gusts of up to 75kph. TD 26W is moving west northwestward at 10kph.
The National Weather Service in Guam has issued numerous Tropical Storm-related warnings and forecasts for Chuuk, Pohnpei, and nearby atolls. Please visit the NWS site for more information by clicking HERE
IR Image from NRLMRY
Convective activity remains weak and fragmented. However, the low level circulation center continues to improve with increasing wind speeds based on latest satellite data. The depression is located in an area of favorable conditions which should allow it to continue intensifying in the next few days. For now, though, any improvements will be slow due to the system still being near the equator. Once it gets to around the 5N latitude, we should then start seeing a more continuous intensification trend.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Since the system is still in the early stages of development, we are seeing large disparities among the computer models regarding track and intensity forecasts for this Tropical Depression. Our preliminary forecast track is in the middle of the track consensus. As for the intensity forecast, we have decided to go with the ECMWF and the GFS camp, both of which shows substantial deepening by the latter part of this week.
With that said, TD 26W should continue moving west northwestward, perhaps becoming a Tropical Storm by tomorrow. It will be passing south of Chuuk and will likely bring rough waves and rain showers in the islands. By Wednesday and Thursday, 26W is forecast to continue moving west northwestward intensifying gradually along the way. Due to the favorable conditions, it is possible that 26W could become a Typhoon by as early as Friday as it passes well south of Guam. By Saturday, 26W could threaten Yap and Palau as a strong typhoon. Please keep in mind that this is a preliminary forecast and effects in Yap, Palau, and Guam are not expected until this weekend so major shifts in the forecasts are still possible. The only immediate concern is in Chuuk and Pohnpei and in that case, residents here should continue to check the National Weather Service as well as their local officials for any warnings.
We'll have another update tomorrow. Stay safe!
Issued (0830 UTC) 430pm PhT 112612