Issued (2330 UTC) 730am PhT 010713
Tropical Storm Sonamu meanders across the South China Sea and is struggling to fight the strong wind shear. The storm was last located approximately 470km south southeast of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Maximum sustained winds remain at 75kph with gusts of up to 95kph. TS Sonamu is moving west southwestward at 10kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows that there is still strong convective activity associated with Sonamu. However, as we've seen for a few days now, strong wind shear is blowing much of the convection to the northwest leaving the low-level center partially exposed. As a result, light rains are affecting Southern Vietnam but amounts have generally been light (less than 50mm).
TS Sonamu will continue to move slowly to the southwest. It is forecast to weaken to a Tropical Depression as early as this evening. It could dissipate complete by Tuesday evening or by Wednesday morning and may not reach the Malay Peninsula as a cyclone anymore.
We'll have another update later this afternoon.