Issued (01 UTC) 9am PhT 101313
Wipha has intensified into a Typhoon as it moves across the Philippine Sea. Wipha's center was last located approximately 940km northwest of Guam. Maximum sustained winds have now increased to 150kph with gusts of up to 195kph. Typhoon Wipha is moving northwestward at 15kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows the large cloud canopy of Typhoon Wipha stretching to more than 1,200km in diameter! Convective activity remains strong as well and a small eye is beginning to form. Wipha also have a very good radial outflow helping with its recent intensification. The weak wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures will help Wipha continue intensifying in the next two days.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Typhoon Wipha is forecast to continue intensifying, likely becoming a Category 2 later today and possible a Category 3 by tomorrow. It will continue moving northwestward under the influence of the subtropical ridge in the Pacific. Due to the large size of Wipha, it will be more susceptible to dry air entrainment which may limit its peak intensity. However, we still think Wipha will become a strong Category 3 typhoon as it moves well east of the Ryukyu Islands.
By Monday afternoon, Wipha is forecast to start recurving to the northeast passing south of the islands of Shikoku and Honshu. Strong winds and high waves are possible along the southern coast of Japan. By Tuesday, Wipha is forecast to start weakening as it begins to encounter stronger upper-level winds and cooler sea surface temperatures. However, it will still be a big threat for Honshu, including Tokyo, by Tuesday afternoon. Strong winds, heavy rains, and high waves are possible in the region during that time frame.
We'll have another update later today.