Issued (0430 UTC) 1230pm PhT 092914
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A new Tropical Cyclone has formed in the Western Pacific today and is currently aiming for the Mariana Islands. Tropical Depression 18W was last located approximately 700km east of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 55kph with gusts of up to 75kph. TD 18W is moving west northwestward at 20kph.
The National Weather Service has issued a Typhoon Watch for Pagan and Alamagan. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Saipan and Tinian (San Jose).
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows a quickly developing cyclone with good convection wrapping around the low-level center. Radial outflow is also very good as conditions in the region are very favorable for development. Warm sea-surface temperatures, weak wind shear, and good upper-level airflow should promote continued intensification over the next few days.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Our preliminary forecast track for the next four days is closely aligned with the consensus among the computer models. However, we have to note that there is a divergence regarding when the system will recurve to the north. This is very important as it will dictate which areas may be impacted down the road.
For now, we are expecting TD 18W to continue moving west northwestward and should start to affect Mariana Islands by tomorrow. Strong winds and heavy rains will impact the islands but the worst conditions should stay north of Guam while Saipan may be a different story. TD 18W should also be close to becoming a typhoon at this point and will only continue to intensify from here on out.
As we've mentioned there are still differences regarding the eventual track. Anyone from Luzon to Taiwan and all the way to Mainland Japan should pay close attention to the developments of this system. We'll have another update tomorrow.