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Tropical cyclone formation alert; 01W revisited

U.S. NAVY

By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 5, 2019

5:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, Philippines time: Well, it took longer than a couple of days, but the remnants of Tropical Depression 01W have consolidated enough that the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued another formation alert.

So, where will it go now that it's apparently back in business?

Hard to say. Model guidance is divided, with GFS indicating a track into Mindanao, followed by a northeast curve. GEM favors sort of a straight run through the central Philippines west just south of Vietnam.

As for the forecast ensembles, they're split as well. The GFS ensemble points to a west-northwest track through northeast Mindanao into Samar island, while the CMC ensemble favors a curve northeast after just missing Mindanao's east coast, with variations.

In other words, who knows? And in more other words, stay tuned.

6 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, Guam time: A final warning has been issued on Tropical Depression 01W by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Still nearly 2,000 miles east-southeast of Guam, 01W has become quasi-stationary and has diminished slightly, to 23 mph sustained winds and 35 mph gusts. JTWC indicated that 01W might dissipate, or it could regenerate into a tropical storm in the next couple of days.

9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, Guam time: Still a guessing game regarding Tropical Depression 01W, how close to or how far from Guam it might venture.

At 8:45 p.m., 01W was 460 miles east-southeast of Kwajalein and 2,070 miles east-southeast of Guam, headed northwest at 9 mph, still holding steady at 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts.

If 01W remains on its present heading, it's due to complete its west-northwest turn in about another day or so, passing 60 miles south-southwest of Majuro by 10 p.m. Monday, then 135 miles south-southwest of Kwajalein about 20 hours later.

Model guidance and the GFS and CMC forecast models still indicate a track just south of Guam; how close or how far, remains hard to say. The best tracks don't even come close for right now. Stay tuned.


1:15 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, Guam time: It appears as if Tropical Depression 01W has slightly altered its course and may head south of the main Marianas Islands by early next week.

At 1 a.m., 01W was 554 miles southeast of Kwajalein and 2,128 miles east-southeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, heading northwest at 7 mph and holding steady at 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts.

Where exactly 01W will end up is very hard to say. It's still a very young storm and a lot can change over a week's time. Model guidance indicates a path south of Guam. GFS forecast model best track doesn't even come close to Guam.

It's a wait-and-see game. Stay tuned.


1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, Guam time: Just five days into the New Year and already we have our first numbered system of the 2019 northwest Pacific tropical cyclone season, moving in the general direction of the Marianas Islands.

At 12:45 p.m., Tropical Depression 01W -- as yet unnamed -- was 446 miles east-southeast of Kwajalein and 2,021 miles east-southeast of Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, moving north-northwest at 10 mph.

If it remains on its present course, 01W is forecast to intensify to 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts by the middle of next week, then keep moving toward the Marianas.

Model guidance and the GFS and CMC forecast ensembles generally agree on a track just to Guam's south by the end of next week, as a fairly strong tropical storm or perhaps a weak Category 1-equivalent typhoon. Stay tuned.

If 01W becomes a named storm, it will be called Wutip, Macauan for butterfly.


5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, Guam time: Guam could get an unwelcome, windy, rainy visitor late next week: A tropical cyclone formation alert has been issued on a disturbance well to Guam’s east-southeast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Both model guidance and the GFS forecast ensemble indicate a possible track in Guam’s general direction by next Friday, and possibly tracking toward the central Philippines three or four days after that.

At 4:45 p.m., the disturbance, named 90W Invest, was 627 miles southeast of Kwajalein and 2,113 miles east-southeast of Guam, headed in a west-northwesterly direction.
 

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