Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tropical Storm Bopha Update #5

Tropical Storm Bopha has intensified overnight as it meanders near the Caroline Islands. The storm was last located approximately 400km southeast of Chuuk or about 450km southwest of Pohnpei; the system is near the Nukuoro Atoll which has been reporting heavy rains since yesterday. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 85kph with gusts of up to 110kph. TS Bopha is moving west northwestward at 10kph.

For the latest warnings and forecasts from the National Weather Service for the Federated States of Micronesia, please click HERE

IR Image from NRLMRY

Convective activity continues to improve with cold cloud tops emanating from the storm's center. Curved banding is also becoming more pronounced in the microwave images (not shown here) as the system takes advantage of the favorable conditions in the region. Much of the rain bands are not reaching Pohnpei nor Chuuk yet although the atoll of Nukuoro has been getting more than 100mm of rainfall in the past two days.

Forecast tracks maintain a westward motion for the next 3 days with a slight acceleration in forward speed. Bopha is forecast to pass south of Chuuk tomorrow as a strong Tropical Storm. If the intensification trend continues, Bopha could become a typhoon as early as tomorrow evening (Thursday). By Friday, it is expected to pass well south of Guam and won't really be a threat in that area. Uncertainties remain as we head into the weekend. However, we are certain that Yap, Palau, and the surrounding atolls are likely to feel some effects of this system this weekend.

We'll have more in-depth update and forecast track later this afternoon.
Issued (0030 UTC) 830am PhT 112812

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