Issued (1330 UTC) 930pm PhT 022814
The newly-formed Tropical Depression in the Caroline Islands has intensified and is now a Tropical Storm with an international name of "Faxai". This cyclone (the third named cyclone of 2014) was last located approximately 660km south southeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph. TS Faxai is moving north northeastward at 5kph.
IR Image from NOAA
Latest satellite image shows convective activity has improved with greater coverage, especially near the center. There is still some moderate wind shear that is impacting the system leaving the low-level center still displaced. Furthermore, the system is still a bit too far to affect Guam and the rest of Northern Mariana Islands.
Tropical Storm Faxai is forecast to continue consolidating as it moves slowly to the north. It is also forecast to pass east of Guam by tomorrow and could bring rains, gusty winds, and high surf and in around the islands. Depending on the rate of intensification, Faxai could reach near-typhoon strength by Tuesday as it moves northeastward but is then forecast to start losing strength shortly thereafter.
We'll have more updates on Tropical Storm Faxai tomorrow morning.