Issued (04 UTC) 12pm PhT 081515
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TD 16W has intensified and has been upgraded into Tropical Storm Goni this morning. The center of circulation of this storm was last located approximately 180km southeast of Saipan or about 190km east northeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are now at 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph. TS Goni is currently moving west northwestward at 20kph.
The National Weather Service has now issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Tinian, Saipan, Rota, and Guam. The NWS is expecting winds of tropical storm-force of 65kph or more within the next 24 hours. Rainfall amounts of up to 300mm (12in) are also possible across the region throughout this weekend.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows convective activity continues to increase and become more organized with banding beginning to wrap around the low-level circulation center. Wind shear is light to moderate and upper-level patterns are becoming more favorable for continued intensification. We may see Goni intensify to a high-end Tropical Storm before it reaches the Marianas Islands.
Radar Image from Guam (NWS)
Latest long-range radar image shows bands of light to moderate rains, with pockets of heavy rains, affecting the Marianas Islands particularly Guam. The international airport in Guam has already reported rainfall accumulations of up to 75mm (3in) in the past 12 hours alone. We expect the widespread rains to persist and also spread north towards Tinian and Saipan tonight. Overall, we expect a general 3-6 inches (75-150mm) of rain in the next 24 hours. Some places may see up to a foot (300mm) of rain once Goni passes.
For the latest radar images and forecasts for the Marianas, please click HERE (NWS Guam)
Tropical Storm Goni will continue moving generally to the northwest with continued intensification expected. The center of Goni is forecast to pass south of Saipan by tomorrow morning (Sunday) as a strong Tropical Storm. Wind gusts of up to 100kph may be felt especially along the coast. Stormy weather will likely stay across the region through the early part of Monday.
After the Marianas, there are still some uncertainties as to where Goni will end up next. However, we urge everyone across the East Asian region to continue monitoring the developments of this storm. Based on current projections, Goni may reach the East Asia area by the latter part of next week.
We'll have another update later tonight.