Issued (0030 UTC) 830am PhT 091813
Tropical Storm Usagi (Bagyong Odette) has intensified further last night as it continues to move westward across the Philippine Sea. Usagi was last located approximately 1,050km east northeast of Manila. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 95kph with gusts of up to 120kph. TS Usagi is moving westward at 10kph.
VIS Image from NOAA
Latest satellite image shows a more symmetrical storm with good convection and poleward outflow. The core of Usagi continues to tighten and we're starting to see improved banding wrapping around the center of the storm. We could even see an eyewall start to form later today as Usagi takes advantage of the favorable environment in the Philippine Sea.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Tropical Storm Usagi will continue moving westward at its current forward speed of 10kph. Warm sea temperatures, low wind shear, and good outflow will lead to a fast rate of intensification and we could see Usagi becoming a Typhoon by as early as tomorrow morning (Thursday). Computer models remain fixed on a track somewhere south of Taiwan. We haven't shifted our forecast track by that much and we still expect Usagi to move between Luzon and Taiwan by Friday and Saturday as a possible Category 3 Major Typhoon.
Based on our track, Usagi/Odette isn't forecast to make landfall in the Philippines, however it could still bring stormy conditions across Northern Luzon beginning tomorrow. Furthermore, the increasing southwesterly flow could bring widespread rains across Southern Luzon and Visayas in the coming days.
We'll have another update later today.