Monday, July 8, 2013

Tropical Storm Soulik Update #2

Issued (11 UTC) 7pm PhT 070813
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Tropical Depression 07W rapidly intensified overnight and is now Tropical Storm Soulik. The storm was last located approximately 650km north northwest of Guam or about 530km northwest of Saipan. Maximum sustained winds are now at 85kph with gusts of up to 110kph. TS Soulik is moving westward at 25kph.

The National Weather Service has cancelled the Tropical Storm Warnings that were issued earlier today. TS Soulik is now moving away from the Northern Mariana Islands so conditions in the area should begin to improve tonight.

IR Image from NRLMRY


Latest satellite image shows a rapidly evolving cyclone with a rugged eye starting to form. Convective activity remains strong as well as the dual outflow channels. Despite the presence of the eye, we're keeping Soulik as a moderate Tropical Storm for now due to the lack of organized eyewall (seen on microwave image analysis). Nevertheless, we do expect the system to continue intensifying as it moves across favorable conditions in the Pacific.

Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)


Warm sea surface temperatures, weak wind shear, and good outflow channels, will all contribute to provide TS Soulik with very favorable conditions over the next few days. The storm is forecast to continue intensifying steadily and could even become a Typhoon by as early as tomorrow. A peak intensity of Category 2 to 3 range is possible as we move into Friday.

As for the track, computer models are in somewhat good agreement with a generally westward movement over the next two days. By Thursday, Soulik is forecast to start moving northwesterly towards Minami Islands and Taiwan. Since this is still about four days away, there is a large cone of uncertainty with our forecast. The uncertainty hinges on a trough that will be moving from Central Asia; this trough will weaken the subtropical ridge allowing Soulik to move northwestward. The speed and timing of this trough will be key as to how early Soulik will moving northwestward.

We'll have another update tomorrow morning.

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