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    Ampil in West Pacific, Tropical Depression 13W forms near Philippines

    7/21/2018 4:00:00 AM

    As of early Saturday morning EDT, Ampil, which is rated as a Severe Tropical Storm by the Japanese Meteorological Agency, is centered about 140 miles northwest of Okinawa, Japan. Ampil is moving to the northwest at about 20 mph and has top sustained winds close to 50 mph.

    Ampil, steered by strong upper-level high pressure near Korea and Japan, is tracking to the northwest as expected. Ampil could gain typhoon status by the time it enters the East China Sea Saturday, but it would barely meet that criteria if it does.

    Continuing toward the northwest, Ampil should make landfall on the China mainland south of Shanghai late Saturday night or early Sunday, local time.

    Tropical Depression 13W formed about 335 miles northwest of Manila, Philippines. The system is pushing to the east-southeast at 9 mph with winds of 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. 13W will move just north of Luzon and bring some heavy rainfall to the northern parts of the island along with some gusty winds. This rain could cause localized flooding. Once this begins pushing northward, this will likely intensify and could become a typhoon as it moves east of Taiwan and takes aim at mainland China. Flooding rainfall and wind damage will be possible where this makes landfall in China early next week.

    Farther east, a poorly organized low level circulation named Invest 96W exists about 175 miles southeast of Guam. While the sea surface temperatures are warm enough to support further development, the upper level winds remain an inhibiting factor. Late this weekend, as the system enters a more favorable environment, improved organization of this system will be possible. The system could potentially pose a wind and rain threat to the Mariana Islands, including Guam. However, in the meantime, tropical development in the next 24 hours remains low.

    Meanwhile, a flood rain threat will continue for the next 12-24 hours across parts of northern Vietnam and northern and central Laos as moisture from the former Tropical Storm Son-tinh lingers across the area with additional rainfall of as much as 6 inches.

    By AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Matthew Rinde

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