Issued (03 UTC) 11am PhT 073115
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Tropical Depression 13W has intensified into a Tropical Storm and now has an international name of 'Soudelor.' The storm's center of circulation was last located approximately 700km north of the island of Pohnpei. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph with gusts of up to 85kh. TS Soudelor is currently moving westward at 10kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows strong convective activity forming over the low-level center of Soudelor. We are also seeing good radial outflow which is helping the system consolidate in spite of moderate vertical wind shear in the region. With that said, the environment is still largely favorable which should aid Soudelor's further development.
Tropical Storm Soudelor will continue moving generally westward in the coming days. Depending on the speed of intensification, we may see Soudelor reaching typhoon-intensity this weekend. We may also see the storm move near the Marianas Islands during this time. Meanwhile, the long-range consensus among the computer models and weather forecasting agencies shows a track that may take Soudelor towards the Philippine Sea by early next week and may threaten parts of the Southern Japanese Islands.
We'll have another update later tonight.