Two tropical systems are currently lurking in the Northwest Pacific, north of Yap. One of them, now known as the Tropical Storm "Meari" will continue intensifying over the next three days and may threaten the Phillippines over the coming weekend, while the impact of the second system is still unknown.
Meari formed in the Northwest Pacific from Tropical Depression "26W" on November 3, 2016.
Tropical Storm "Meari" and Tropical Depression "99W", November 3, 2016. Image credit: NASA/Suomi NPP/VIIRS
Tropical Storm "Meari" was located approximately 451.8 km (280.7 miles) north of Yap and moving west-northwestward at 5.6 km/h (3.5 mph), on November 3 at 09:00 UTC, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The system was packing maximum sustained winds of 64.8 km/h (40.3 mph) with gusts up to 83.3 km/h (51.8 mph). The maximum central pressure was estimated at 995 hPa.
Tropical Storm "Meari", November 3, 2016, 11:30 UTC. Image credit: UW-CIMSS
Tropical Depression "99W", November 3, 2016, 10:30 UTC. Image credit: UW-CIMSS
JTWC forecasts Meari will continue to intensify over the next few days. In a period of 48 hours, system's maximum sustained winds will increase to 120.4 km/h (74.8 mph) with gusts reaching 148.2 km/h (92 mph). Over the next three days, maximum sustained winds are expected to reach 138.9 km/h (86.3 mph) with gusts of 166.7 km/h (103.6 mph).
Another tropical depression, named Invest 99W, is currently located extremely close to Meari. The proximity of the two systems will significantly impact their motion, which is why the current JTWC forecast is of low confidence.
Other meteorological factors will also affect further development of the situation, according to experts from Westpacwx. A cold Siberian air, currently rolling through the East China Sea, could take a strong hold of the tropical systems and pull them northwest.
Tropical Storm "Meari" 5-day forecast track. Image credit: JTWC
However, if this doesn't happen, the tropical depressions, one of which is already a tropical storm, will likely track westwards. In this case, the system will encounter favorable conditions and intensify quickly over the coming weekend.
Some models predict such an outcome and anticipate the storm will make a landfall in the Visayas and southern Luzon.
Therefore, the Philippine residents are advised to keep a close eye on the situation and prepare for a possible storm.
Featured image: Tropical Storm "Meari" and Tropical Depression "99W", November 3, 2016. Image credit: NASA/Suomi NPP/VIIRS