Tropical depression 03W intensified into a tropical storm over the past 24 hours and was named Muifa. The system became a tropical storm just when it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility and was named by PAGASA as Dante. The cyclone is expected to turn NE over the next 12 – 24 hours (away from the Philippines) and head toward Iwo Jima, Ogasawara Archipelago (Bonin Islands). This is the first tropical storm of the 2017 NW Pacific tropical cyclone season.
At 09:00 UTC on April 26, 2017, Tropical Storm "Muifa" was located approximately 607 km (377 miles) northwest of Yap and has tracked northwestward at 9 km/h (5.7 mph) over the past 6 hours, according to the JTWC. Its maximum sustained winds were 74 km/h (46 mph) with gusts to 92.6 km/h (57 mph). Maximum significant wave height was 4.26 m (14 feet).
Satellite multispectral imagery shows the system has maintained overall convective signature, despite its struggle to maintain consolidation. Upper level analysis indicates increasing vertical wind shear, that is slightly offset by excellent poleward outflow.
Credit: JTWC/SATOPS (JMA)
Over the next 12 hours, Muifa will continue tracking northwestward. After that, it will round the western edge of the subtropical ridge and track northward then accelerate northeastward on the poleward side.
Tropical Storm "Muifa" forecast track by JTWC on April 26, 2017
Due to increased outflow and low vertical wind shear over the next 12 to 24 hours, Muifa is expected to somewhat intensify, peaking at 92.6 km/h (57 mph). After that, it will start its weakening trend and dissipate by 09:00 UTC on April 29, well south of Ogasawara Archipelago.
Featured image: Tropical Storm "Muifa" (Dante) at 07:30 UTC on April 26, 2017. Credit: UW-CIMSS
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