Issued (1130 UTC) 730pm PhT 091713
Usagi (Bagyong Odette) has intensified into a Tropical Storm as it develops across the Philippine Sea. The storm has also moved very slowly westward in the past 6 hours at a speed of just 5kph. TS Usagi (Odette) was last located approximately 1,120km east northeast of Manila. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph.
IR Image from FNMOC
Latest satellite image shows strong convective activity still focused on the southern half of the storm. However, convection has begun to flare over the low-level center which could signify a better upper-level environment. Poleward outflow remains good and the system continues to track over warm waters which will definitely help in the intensification.
Tropical Storm Usagi (Odette) will remain in a region of weak steering environment and the favorable conditions will help the system continue intensifying in the next few days. In fact, Usagi could become a Typhoon by as early as tomorrow evening (Thursday) or perhaps on Friday. Furthermore, the consensus among computer models have slightly shifted northward and is now showing a track towards Taiwan by this weekend. We'll still have to watch for shift over the next few days but anyone from Northern Luzon to Taiwan should remain vigilant with regard to the development of this system.
We'll have another update tomorrow morning.