STS "Tembin" (Vinta) about to hit Surigao del Sur, Philippines, reach typhoon strength before Vietnam

STS

Tropical Storm "Tembin," known as Vinta in the Philippines, formed late December 20, 2017, east of Philippines as the 27th named storm of the 2017 Pacific typhoon season. Landfall is expected over Surigao del Sur late December 21 or early December 22 (local time). The current forecast track takes the storm over the Philippines on December 22 and 23 and into the warm waters of South China Sea on December 24 where it is expected to intensify into a typhoon before it makes landfall over southern Vietnam. The storm is already blamed for the deaths of at least 4 people after a ferry with 251 people capsized near Manila. 

A low-pressurea area (LPA) was upgraded to a tropical depression by the JMA early December 16 when it was located south of Elato. It degenerated back to LPA on December 18 and intensified into a tropical depression early December 20 when it was located ENE of Palau. At about the same time, PAGASA named it Vinta. By the end of the day,  this storm reached tropical storm strength and received international name Tembin.

Tropical Storm Tembin (Vinta) satellite image at 00:00 UTC on December 21, 2017

Credit: JMA, PAGASA

At 06:00 UTC on December 21, the center of Tropical Storm "Tembin" (Vinta) was located about 391 km (243 miles) WNW of Koror, Palau and was moving WSW at 20 km/h (13 mph). Its 10-minute sustained winds were 85 km/h (50 mph), 1-minute sustained winds 65 km/h (40 mph), with gusts to 120 km/h (75 mph). Minimum estimated barometric pressure was 994 hPa.

By 11:00 UTC, the center was located about 130 km (81 miles) East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. The system had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h (53 mph) and gusts to 120 km/h (75 mph), according to PAGASA. It was moving west at 19 km/h (11.8 mph).

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal #2 (TCWS) is in effect for Siquijor and southern Negros Oriental, Visayas and Surigao del Norte Incl. Siargao Islands, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, northern Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Northern Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur, Mindanao.

TCWS #1 is in effect in Southern Leyte, southern portion of Leyte, Southern Cebu, Bohol and southern Negros Occidental, Visayas and Dinagat Island, Misamis Occidental, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, rest of Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, and the rest of Zamboanga del Norte, Mindanao.

Tropical Storm Tembin (Vinta) PAGASA forecast track December 21, 2017Tropical Storm Tembin (Vinta) on December 21, 2017 (Aqua MODIS)

Tropical Storm "Tembin" (Vinta) on December 21, 2017. Credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS

Scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains is expected over the Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, and the Zamboanga Peninsula within 24 hours.

Residents of these areas must make appropriate actions against possible flooding and landslides, coordinate with their respective local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates, PAGASA said.

Sea travel is risky over the seaboards of areas under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS).

Landfall is expected over Surigao del Sur late Thursday, December 21 or early Friday, December 22 (local time).

As the system tracks over land, terrain interaction will not only limit intensification, but it will cause a brief weakening period, JTWC noted 09:00 UTC today.

Once it exits into the South China Sea, favorable conditions will allow for steady intensification with the system reaching typhoon strength late December 23 and eventually peak at 139 km/h (86 mph) around 09:00 UTC on December 24.

Tembin is forecast to make landfall over southern Vietnam sometime after 09:00 UTC on December 25.

Tropical Storm Tembin (Vinta) JTWC forecast track December 21, 2017

The storm is already blamed on the deaths of at least 4 people after a ferry with 251 people capsized near Manila. A total of 240 people were rescued by fishermen and rescue boats. As of 12:00 UTC, 6 people are still missing and rescue operations continue.

Update:

At 12:00 UTC, the Japan Meteorological Agency upgraded Tembin (Vista) to Severe Tropical Storm.

Featured image: Tropical Storm "Tembin" (Vinta) at 11:30 UTC on December 21, 2017.

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