Tropical Cyclone 14P Tracks East-Southeastward14.8S 160.3W
Tropical Cyclone 14P, located approximately 540 nautical miles east-northeast of Pago Pago, has tracked east-southeastward at 15 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 11 feet.
Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows improved deep convection over the last 12 hours with divergent outflow aloft. A recent TRMM microwave image, in concert with SSMIS image, shows multiple convective bands starting to wrap into the developing low level circulation center (LLCC).
Despite Dvorak estimates from ranging from 25 to 30 knots, the current intensity of 35 knots is based on the microwave signature and takes into account the small size of the system (perhaps causing erroneously low Dvorak estimates), which is embedded within the well-developed trough.
Over the next 24 to 36 hours, TC 14P will continue to track east-southeastward with the northwesterly flow on the south side of the near equatorial ridge. At the same time, the system will further consolidate and intensify due to the favorable environment.
After TAU 24, a subtropical steering ridge, currently anchored east of 120W, will gradually build westward and cause the system to make a turn toward the South. Around TAU 72, TC 14P will begin to track more westward as it remains equatorward of the subtropical ridge axis. By the end of the forecast period, the system is expected to weaken slightly as the vertical wind shear increases ahead of an approaching mid-latitude trough.
Beyond the extended TAUs, the passing trough may weaken the steering ridge and enable TC 14P to turn poleward. The early model guidance is limited and a bit spread out, though it has consistently pointed to the westward turn over the last three model runs.