Soulik has rapidly intensified overnight prompting JMA to upgrade the system to a Severe Tropical Storm. Meanwhile, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has actually gone ahead and upgraded Soulik to a Category 1 Typhoon. The system was last located approximately 750km northwest of Guam or about 1,500km east southeast of Okinawa, Japan. Soulik is currently moving west northwestward at 20kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows a really good and symmetric Central Dense Overcast (CDO) with strong convective activity on all quadrants. An eye is also beginning to form as the eyewall has closed indicating continued intensification. Outflow channels are also moderately good and combined with the weak wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures, they all provide favorable conditions for this typhoon.
There hasn’t been any significant changes with the forecast track. We still expect Typhoon Soulik to continue moving generally west northwestward over the next 3 days. As said before, the system will continue intensifying, possibly becoming a Category 2 later tonight and could even become a Category 3 Typhoon by tomorrow.
Latest information still suggests a possible track towards either Taiwan or the Southern Japanese Islands with the stormy conditions beginning Thursday and lasting into Friday. By this weekend, there is a high chance that Soulik will strike Eastern China as a strong typhoon.
Western Pacific Weather will continue to have the latest updates on this storm throughout the day.