Issued (01 UTC) 9am PhT 082813
Tropical Storm Kong-Rey (Bagyong Nando) continues to intensify as it moves northward towards Taiwan. The storm was last located approximately 130km northeast of Basco, Batanes or about 430km south southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds are now at 95kph with gusts of up to 120kph. TS Kong-Rey is currently moving north northwestward at 15kph.
As of 5am this morning, PAGASA has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #2 for Batanes Group of Islands while Signal #1 is issued for Cagayan, Calayan, and Babuyan Islands. These provinces should continue to experience stormy conditions with widespread rains. Batanes Islands, which are under Signal #2 should continue to get strong winds of up to 80kph along with some bands of heavy rains.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image suggests that the low-level center is becoming tucked-in more under the cloud cover. Strong convective activity also continues to emanate and is starting to form what looks like a Central Dense Overcast--a further sign that the wind shear is weakening slightly. We may even start to see some tight banding wrapping around the center later today as Kong-Rey is expected to intensify into a Typhoon by tomorrow.
Radar Image from CWB (Taiwan)
Latest radar image from the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan shows the center of circulation of Kong-Rey moving just southeast of the island. Outer bands of light to moderate rains are also starting to move closer and could affect Taiwan later this morning. We expect up to 150mm to even 200mm of rain falling across portions of Taiwan over the next 24 o 36 hours. For the latest warnings and radar images from Taiwan, please click HERE (CWB Website).
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Tropical Storm Kong-Rey (Nando) will continue to move closer to Taiwan today but is not forecast to make landfall there. It will continue to move northward into the East China Sea and could even become a Typhoon by tomorrow. Kong-Rey is forecast to move west of Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyus bringing scattered rains and winds in the region. By early morning on Saturday, we expect Kong-Rey to rapidly weaken and then make landfall in the island of Kyushu.
We'll have another update later today.