By PDC’s Senior Weather
Specialist Glenn James
Tropical Cyclone 02W (Malakas) is located approximately 452 NM south of Andersen AFB
According to the JTWC Warning number 7, sustained winds were 40 knots with gusts to near 50 knots.
Satellite imagery depicts a a large central dense overcast (cdo) feature sheared over the western semicircle of the system due to high mid-level vertical wind shear.
Upper-level analysis indicates generally favorable conditions with moderate poleward and equatorward outflow, warm sea surface temperatures and high ocean heat content offset by high mid-level vertical wind shear. Additionally, the broad nature of the low-level circulation continues to slow development.
TS 02W continues to struggle to consolidate as revealed in the recent imagery despite the generally favorable environmental conditions.
TS 02W is forecast to track northwestward along the southern and southwestern peripheries of the ridge through 72 hours. After 72 hours, TS 02W will slow slightly and turn northward to north-northeastward as it approaches a break in the ridge positioned south of Honshu, Japan.
Due to the broad nature of the low-level circulation and persistent high to mid-level vertical wind shear, TS 02W will intensify slowly through 36 hours but is forecast to intensify at a steeper rate after 36 hours as the low-level circulation consolidates, vertical wind shear decreases and poleward outflow improves.
The peak intensity of 100 knots is expected in 96 through 120 hours.