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    Tropical Development Near the Philippines Possible This Week

    By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
    January 9, 2014; 5:12 AM ET
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    The Western Pacific has been relatively tranquil for the past month with no active tropical cyclones, however that could change this week.

    An area of showers and thunderstorms south of Guam, will have an opportunity to become better organized as it drifts westward toward the Philippines.

    Warm ocean water temperatures combined with relatively low amounts of wind shear will provide a reasonable environment for tropical development this week.

    Development is expected to be slow, but by the weekend the first named tropical cyclone of the year could have its sight set on the Philippines.

    This potential tropical cyclone would likely take a track to the west-northwest, which would lead to a landfall in the Philippines this weekend.

    The area that could suffer the worst impacts is the southern and central Philippines, including some of the areas still recovering from former Super Typhoon Haiyan.

    The greatest threat at this time appears to be for flooding rainfall. Fortunately, the system is not expected to organize quickly enough to cause widespread damaging winds.

    Rainfall amounts of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) will be common with local amounts around 300 mm (12 inches). Rainfall of this magnitude will lead to flooding and hinder rebuilding efforts across the region.

    A front north of the Philippines could act to pull the moisture from this potential storm northward, which would lead to potential flooding across much of the Philippines late in the weekend and into next week.

    Even if this area of unsettled weather does not develop into a named cyclone, the heavy rainfall will still reach the Philippines before the end of the week.

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