Tropical Storm Mawar has formed in the Western Pacific after a quiet May for the Basin. The Western Pacific (WPAC) saw only one named system in the month of May with Sanvu. As of 12Z today, Mawar was located at 15.6N 125.1E moving NW at 8 knots. At the time of that advisory Mawar was listed as having maximum sustained winds of 35 knots, however the cyclone is strengthening and satellite estimates place maximum sustained winds around 50 knots according to CIMSS ADT estimates and 45 knots according to SSD dvorak estimates. Mawar is a very healthy looking cyclone on satellite imagery with very deep convection:
The yellows represent cloud tops colder than -80C. Very deep convection is also firing over the islands of the Philippines. Microwave imagery shows rain rates of over 1 in/hour in some parts of the Philippines this morning:
Interests in the Philippines should be prepared for the possibility of flash floods due to these heavy rains.
Track Forecast for Mawar:
As of 12Z today the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued the following forecast track:
Mawar is currently rounding the southwestern periphery of a subtropical ridge. Over the next day or two a trough of low pressure will move act to erode the western edge of this ridge, turning Mawar to the north. Mawar will most likely miss making landfall in the Philippines but the storm’s rains will continue to pour over the nation. As Mawar turns to the north, the cyclone will get caught up in the westerlies, and accelerate to the NE. This path will bring the cyclone close to the nation of Japan, although Mawar will probably be a weak tropical storm by this time. Nonetheless, interests in Japan should pay close attention to Mawar as the possibility for squally weather remains.
Both today’s 12Z GFS run and last night’s 00Z ECMWF run keep Mawar offshore of the Philippines and Japan.
Intensity Forecast for Mawar:
Mawar is currently in an environment of favorable conditions. Sea Surface Temperatures are very warm (>30C) and Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential is greater than 150kJ/cm^2 which is very favorable for rapid intensification:
As illustrated above, Mawar may quickly run out of fuel as he moves north of 20 degrees N latitude.
Wind shear is fairly light over Mawar at around 10 knots from the NW. This is also favorable for quick intensification. Upper-level air analysis reveals great outflow channels to the north and especially south of the cyclone as indicated by the wispy cirrus clouds moving away from the storm on satellite imagery. Furthermore, Mawar is in a very moist environment so dry air entrainment should not be a problem:
Conditions are set for Mawar to undergo rapid intensification over the next two days and I fully expect Mawar to become a powerful typhoon in 48 hours. The possibility of reaching Supertyphoon status does exist, but the biggest issue against this is time. Mawar will run out of the high levels of TCHP in 48 hours, which will put a damper on intensification.
Regardless of how strong the cyclone gets, the main threat will be heavy rains and large waves offshore. These rains can cause life-threatening flash floods in the Philippines. There is still time to evaluate Mawar’s threat to Japan.