Science and Technology News

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hurricane Season 2011: Tropical Depression 26W (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)

The northwestern Pacific is not yet ready to call the tropical cyclone season quits as the twenty-sixth tropical cyclone just formed about 365 miles east of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on Dec. 12, Tropical Cyclone 26W formed as a depression in the South China Sea and was near 9.5 North and 112.8E. Maximum sustained winds were near 30 knots (35 mph/55 kmh), and TC26W is moving to the west near 8 knots (9 mph/14 kmh). The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Tropical Depression 26W to move west through the South China Sea, south of Vietnam over the next couple of days.

Animated infrared satellite imagery showed that the low-level center of circulation is getting organized and consolidating. There is also banding of thunderstorms around the center, but convection (rising air that forms thunderstorms that make up the tropical depression) was weaker this morning. Tropical Depression 26W is dealing with easterly wind shear between 10 and 20 knots 12 to 23 mph / 20 to 37 kmh)which is preventing any strengthening. In fact, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects the wind shear to push the thunderstorms to the west and away from the storm's center, leading to its dissipation over the next several days.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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