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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tropical storm upgraded; strikes Yap

Graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

Tropical Storm 04W has been upgraded and named to Tropical Storm Songda. Songda currently has sustained winds in excess of 50 MPH (80 km/hr) and brought strong gusts to the island of Yap in Micronesia. The strength of Songda continues to increase.

Storm ‘Songda’ intensifies further, closes in on PHL(GMA News)
The tropical storm threatening the Philippines intensified further as it continued to move toward Philippine territory Sunday afternoon.

As of 4 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the storm was some 1,050 km east of northern Mindanao.

Six hours earlier, PAGASA said storm (international name: Songda) was 1,070 km east of northern Mindanao, with maximum sustained winds of 75 kph and gustiness of up to 90 kph

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said the storm now packs maximum sustained winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph.

PAGASA added "Songda" is forecast to move west-northwest at 11 kph. It will be called "Chedeng" when it enters Philippine territory.
At this time, the path of Songda is questionable. Earlier reports indicated that Songda would curve north, miss the Philippines and head towards Japan. That may still be the path this storm takes, however, the slow forward speed has meteorologists at PAGASA concerned. This storm is behaving similar to Philippine storm Bebeng which was a slow lumbering storm which had plenty of time to gain strength and become destructive.

As the Weather Underground graphic above slows, Songda will continue to intensify as it approaches northern Philippines. Forward speed is currently less than 10 km/hr allowing the storm time to gain strength potentially becoming an intense typhoon.

04W Becomes a Tropical Storm, Hits Yap(AccuWeather)
Graphic courtesy of AccuWeather

Tropical Storm 04W is still on track to pose a threat anywhere from the Philippines to Japan. Tropical Storm 04W is expected to reach typhoon strength by early next week.

It gained strength on Saturday as it passed near the Island of Yap in Micronesia. 04W brought wind gusts to tropical storm-force and heavy rain to the island.

The tropical storm will spin into the open waters of the Philippine Sea Sunday, posing little threat to land through most of next week. However, it will steadily strengthen.

Steering currents should take 04W in the direction of the northern Philippines mid to late next week. The big question regarding the track is if 04W will turn north toward Japan, or continue westerly toward the Philippines, Taiwan and eventually China.


Another storm coming to PH area by Sunday, may become typhoon—Pagasa (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
A tropical storm called Songda, which formed near Guam last week, continued its approach toward the eastern seaboard on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

The storm, according to Pagasa’s advisory, has been forecast to enter the country’s boundaries on Sunday night and would be locally code-named Chedeng. It would be the third tropical cyclone of the year and the second this month after tropical storm Bebeng.

As of Sunday morning, Songda was seen 1,070 kilometers east of Mindanao. The agency said the tropical storm was carrying 85 kilometer winds that were gusting at 100 kph. It was traveling west northwest at 11 kph.

Pagasa noted that it has been closely monitoring the cyclone as it has been growing stronger and could be destructive.

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