Issued (1030 UTC) 630pm PhT 080315
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Soudelor continues to rapidly intensify today and is now up to a Category 4 Typhoon! Soudelor is now also moving away from the Marianas Islands and was last located approximately 530km northwest of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are up to 230kph with gusts of up to 280kph. Typhoon Soudelor is moving west northwestward at 25kph.
The National Weather Service have now lowered all typhoon-related warnings for the Marianas. However, seas in and around the islands will remain high and dangerous for small boats.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows a larger eye has replaced the pinhole-eye that we have been seeing for the past 24 hours. This is because Typhoon Soudelor underwent an eyewall replacement cycle today. A new eyewall has taken over and we are already seeing continuous intensification with strong convective activity spreading across all quadrants. Radial outflow remains excellent and we expect continued intensification over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Soudelor will continue moving west northwestward across the Philippine Sea. It may intensify and reach Super Typhoon strength by tomorrow as it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAGASA will assign the local name 'Bagyong Hanna'). The good news is that Soudelor is not forecast to directly impact the Philippines.
However, forecast consensus remain fixed on a possible trajectory towards the Southern Japanese Islands and eventually Taiwan. Depending on the rate of intensification in the near-term, the region could be dealing with a potentially dangerous Typhoon by the latter part of this week. Obviously, forecast tracks will change and we'll keep a close eye on the development and movement of Soudelor.
We'll have another update tomorrow morning.