Tropical Storm Peipah remains on that thin line between re-intensification and becoming a weak tropical depression. After analyzing the 12Z (8pm Philippine Time) data, nearly all the satellite-derived data suggests that Peipah should be downgraded to a tropical depression, much like PAGASA and JTWC did. However, JMA continues report Peipah as a weak tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 km/h.
The near-term forecast challenge will be the forward progress on Peipah toward a weakness in the subtropical ridge. With the weak steering current, Peipah could slow down or become nearly stationary over the next few days before the subtropical ridge builds back in and accelerates Peipah toward the northwest. Another challenge are some weak low-level vortices found on microwave imagery that may be disturbing the low-level development and may be responsible for the apparent northward acceleration over the past 6-12 hours.
All in all, Peipah remains a threat for heavy rainfall, flooding, and possible mudslides, especially for Samar and Bicol later in the week. Of course, if Peipah slows down and/or the center redevelops, the track can easily change. Therefore, the Philippines as a whole should continue to monitor the progress of this system.
Please continue to check in with us here at westpacwx.com for more information.