JMA and PAGASA are currently warning on Tropical Depression Zoraida, about 300 km south of Palau. Models project this system to slowly develop over the next couple of days before impacting the Caraga region of Mindanao as well as the Visayas. While the forecast intensity is nothing compared to Yolanda, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected to hamper recovery efforts from both Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake.
One thing slowing the development of this system is the low latitude at which it formed. Currently just south of 5 °N, Coriolis–an effect caused by the rotation of the Earth and help increase the spin of developing low pressure areas–is very limited and is hindering rapid development. However, ocean waters and atmospheric conditions remain favorable for development. Therefore, the consensus is a tropical storm to impact the central Philippines. Although a tropical storm, those winds can further devastate impaired infrastructure in this region.
If this system is upgraded by JMA to a tropical storm, it would received the North Korean name “Podul” meaning willow tree.
We’ll continue to monitor the progress on Zoraida. Stay tuned…