New Typhoon Takes Shape

October 09, 2012; 9:00 AM
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Satellite image of Prapiroon as it was taking shape, courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory.

A new typhoon has formed in the western Pacific and is on track to strengthen into the equivalent of a category two hurricane over the coming day.

Typhoon Prapiroon, deemed such by the Japan Meteorological Agency, took shape late Monday. The storm is moving very slowly to the west, well east of the Philippines.

Due to warm ocean waters and low wind shear (disruptive winds above the surface) over the region, Prapiroon is expected to continue strengthening through midweek.

In the short term, land masses across the area look like they will generally be spared by the system, as winds aloft are so weak that the storm will likely drift very slowly west, if it moves at all.

Eventually, Paprioon will take a northerly turn before it can drift across Manila or Taiwan. However, this turn could be as far away as early next week. What happens after that will be difficult to guess, but Japan looks like the most likely target for the system.

The Philippines should not endure a direct landfall by Prapiroon, but eventually heavy rain will spread across the islands.

Despite the fact that Prapiroon will not make landfall over the next week or so, it will at the very least disrupt shipping in the region, as the storm's slow movement and constant winds will likely produce locally rough seas and build significant swells in its vicinity.

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