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Somerset Squall

Tropical Storm Sonamu

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The first tropical storm of the 2013 West Pacific season has formed in the Sulu Sea, just west of the southern Philippine islands. Tropical Storm Sonamu has sustained winds of 35kts. The storm has a small area of deep convection peristing over the LLC. Shear is low, and waters are warm at the low lattitude of 9 degrees north that Sonamu is currently sitting at. Ridging to the north will steer Sonamu westwards along the extreme south of the South China Sea, eventually towards Malaysia and Thailand. I wonder if this storm will achieve the rare feat of moving into the North Indian Ocean? We shall see.

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Sonamu has strengthened to 45kts. The storm has an impressive blow up of convection over the LLC, but little significant banding. Sonamu could strengthen a little more before a northeasterly surge over the South China Sea increases shear over Sonamu. Sonamu is likely to eventually make landfall on the Malay Peninsula, but should be a weak tropical depression at this stage.

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Sonamu peaked at 45kts and has now started to weaken as dry air and shear affects the storm. Winds have fallen to 40kts. Convection is being sheared west of the partially exposed LLC, and the environment is set to be pretty hostile for Sonamu over the next few days. Therefore further weakening is expected as Sonamu heads to the southwest. The cyclone is expected to turn south before reaching the Malay Peninsula, as the low level steering flow is northerly.

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Three districts in Pahang expected to be flooded due to Sonamu storm

KUANTAN: Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin in Pahang are the districts most likely to be flooded during the tropical storm Sonamu which is forecast to hit the east coast states starting today. As such, Pahang State Secretary Datuk Seri Muhammad Safian Ismail said 66 flood relief centres would be opened in Kuantan, 84 in Pekan and 31 in Rompin.

All district officers have also been instructed to inform heads of villages and village security and development committees to make necessary arrangements and preparations, he told reporters here. Muhammad Safian, who is also Pahang Disaster Management Committee chairman, said the state would also receive assistance from the Armed Forces to face the situation. A team of Johor-based Armed Forces personnel has already been stationed at the 4th Brigade Camp in Kuantan and they will be the first to offer aid and assistance in the storm-hit districts, he said after chairing the committee meeting here on Sunday night.

Muhammad Safian said three Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) helicopters had also been put on standby to help the victims.

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) had also given assurance to help affected residents and tourists in resort islands. He also reminded mining and logging workers, as well as fishermen, not to go to high-risk areas during the tropical storm.

The Meteorology Department has forecasted tropical storm Sonamu to strike the east coast states from today and would also hit Pahang between Jan 9 and 10 with winds speed of up to 40km per hour.

http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/01/07/three-districts-in-pahang-expected-to-be-flooded-due-to-sonamu-storm/#ixzz2HHUzEvJ6

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Sonamu has battled through dry air and shear, weakening to a tropical depression yesterday, but has made a comeback this morning, and is once more a 35kt tropical storm. The storm is moving southwards but is expected to move east and then make landfall in central Borneo in a few days time. I may be wrong, but I think this is an extremely rare occurence for a tropical storm to make landfall on Borneo, particularly from the west. Sonamu should maintain intensity for the next day or so under moderate shear but increasing sea temps. Weakening should occur before landfall as the circulation begins to interact with Borneo prior to landfall.

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