Today we have our first Tropical Depression of the year stirring up the south china sea. Unfortunately I will be be producing a Video update today as I am still moving in to my new apartment in Tokyo and thus running off a slow internet connection at the local coffee shop for this
As of 03Z on the 18th TD01W had winds of 30G45kts just shy of a Tropical storm needing winds of 35kts sustained. The ASCAT imagery to the right shows the consolidation of the winds. As the storm continues to linger in the South china sea it will see an increase in vertical wind shear thus causing it to weaken over the next 24hrs. GFS model outlook expects this storm to linger before weakening and moving north with the westerlies. This model has been fairly accurate with this system thus far and I would lean towards its prognostics as far as model outlooks.
The Joint Typhoon warning center is also forecasting the storm to weaken with winds remaining at a meager 20kts sustained before it is also bombarded out by wind shear. For a February storm this is expected in this region. The weakness of it though is mis-leading to the amount of damage this area has caused over the past week. Three landslides have been reported cutting off townships in Visayas and sadly up to four deaths have also been reported in the past several days due to floods in the Philippines associated with the moisture flow coming on shore from this system.
Over the weekend expect more moisture as well to the Philippines even though the Depression is weakening. Energy continues to move on shore with this heavy rain showers. Therefore as always everyone should remain cautious and please stay safe out there.
~Meteorologist Robert Speta