Issued (05 UTC) 1pm PhT 110413
Tropical Depression 31W has intensified into Tropical Storm Haiyan. The system was last located approximately 1,070km southeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph. TS Haiyan is moving westward at 20kph.
IR Image from FNMOC
Latest satellite image shows convection has increased and banding has improved and is wrapping tighter around the core. Radial outflow is also present and has been helping with the intensification this morning. Weak wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures are also providing good environment for development.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Tropical Storm Haiyan will continue moving generally westward under the influence of a strong ridge of high pressure. Favorable conditions along the path will promote continued intensification. We could see Haiyan become a Typhoon in less than 48 hours with more potential for rapid intensification after that. In fact, there is a big chance that it could become a Category 3 if not 4 by the end of the week.
Unfortunately, it looks like Haiyan will also pose a big threat to the Philippines in the coming days. Our forecast track above is in line with the very good agreement among computer models and weather agencies in the region. Right now, it looks like Mindanao and Visayas will be in the crosshairs of what could be a powerful typhoon.
We’ll be watching this system very closely and we’ll keep providing timely updates in the coming days.