Friday, January 4, 2013

Tropical Storm Sonamu Update #5

Issued (0030 UTC) 830am PhT 010513

Tropical Storm Sonamu continues to move across the South China Sea. The storm was last located approximately 700km east southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Maximum sustained winds are now at 75kph with gusts of up to 95kph. TS Sonamu is moving westward at 20kph.

IR Image from NRLMRY

Latest satellite image shows strong convective activity occurring in and around the storm's center. There is still moderate southeasterly wind shear, though, and that is pushing much of the convection to the northwest of the circulation.

TS Sonamu will continue moving westward and could start impacting Southern Vietnam later today. Light to moderate rains could affect Ho Chi Minh and the surrounding areas; 30 to 50mm of rain is possible. Sonamu may also try to intensify a little bit more as it tries to fight off the increasing wind shear. By early next week, we expect the system to start weakening as it turns southwestward into the Malay Peninsula.

We'll have another update later this afternoon on Sonamu and also a disturbance east of the Philippines.

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