Issued (09 UTC) 5pm PhT 080215
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Soudelor has rapidly intensified today and is now a Category 1 Typhoon. The eye of Soudelor was last located approximately 100km east southeast of Saipan or about 260km northeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are now at 120kph with gusts of up to 150kph. Typhoon Soudelor is currently moving westward at 25kph.
A Typhoon Warning remains in effect for Tinian and Saipan while a Typhoon Watch is in effect for Pagan, Agrihan, and Alamagan. Typhoon-force conditions are expected to batter Tinian and Saipan later this evening as the eye of Soudelor is forecast to pass very near the said islands. Please heed the warnings of your local officials.
For the latest warnings and radar images for the Marianas, please click HERE (NWS Website)
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows Typhoon Soudelor looking more impressive this afternoon. A very-small eye has developed in the middle of the tight convective core. Furthermore, strong convective activity continues along the spiral banding. Radial outflow is also really good and we expect even further intensification over the next few days.
Radar Image from NWS Guam
Bands of light to moderate rains have been impacting parts of the Northern Marianas Islands since this morning. Saipan has already recorded nearly 25mm (1in) of rainfall today and nearby islands are close to receiving that as well. Guam has been dry so far but we expect those bands to drop south and starting affecting the island in the next few hours.
Typhoon Soudelor will continue moving on a west to west-northwestward trajectory over the next few days. Its small eye is forecast to move near the islands of Tinian and Saipan later this evening (possibly around 10pm Saipan Local Time). Typhoon-force winds of up to 140kph (85mph) are possible across Saipan and Tinian. Heavy rainfall may also result up to 150mm (6in) of accumulations through tomorrow.
Typhoon Soudelor will continue to intensify as it leaves the Marianas Islands. It may peak at Category 4 intensity by Wednesday. Long-range forecasts have been pretty consistent and we are still expecting the possibility of Soudelor threatening either Taiwan or the Southern Japanese Islands sometime at the end of next week.
We'll have another update tomorrow morning.