Issued (14 UTC) 10pm PhT 100213
Tropical Storm Fitow (Bagyong Quedan) continues to intensify and is nearing Typhoon-status as it moves across the Philippine Sea. The center of Fitow was last located approximately 840km south southeast of Okinawa, Japan or about 1,080km east northeast of Manila, Philippines. Maximum sustained winds are at 110kph with gusts of up to 140kph. TS Fitow is moving northward at 15kph.
IR Image from FNMOC
Latest satellite image shows strong convective activity, particularly along the southern periphery of the storm. Banding is also trying to wrap fully around the circulation but is having difficulty on the northern side. Microwave analysis indicate an eye is forming in the mid-levels and we will probably continue to see the eye and eyewall formation improve during the overnight hours.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
There has been a significant shift in the forecast tracks among the computer models today. These changes are being reflected in our latest track which now puts Fitow near Okinawa by Saturday. It will be moving slowly northward in the next 24 hours and will continue to intensify as well. By Friday, a subtropical ridge near Japan will steer Fitow more to the northwest bringing the storm towards the Okinawa and Ryukyu Region.
Looking at the atmospheric conditions, we think Fitow will peak at Category 2-intensity as it nears Okinawa. There is even a slight chance of this system becoming a Category 3 if it undergoes rapid-intensification in the next 24 to 48 hours. Nevertheless, the chances of a strong cyclone hitting Okinawa and nearby islands are increasing by the hour. We urge residents along these areas to closely monitor the developments of Fitow and to start making preparations now if possible.
We'll have another update tomorrow morning.