The train of tropical systems in the Western Pacific continues as Tropical Depression 11W formed Friday morning, local time (Thursday evening, EDT). Currently located just under 1000 miles east of Manila, Philippines, the storm is heading in the direction of Luzon.
With plenty of warm water and lack of wind shear, the depression is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Utor as it approaches the island of Luzon in the Philippines. There is the potential for Utor to reach typhoon status (sustained winds greater than 117 km/h) before landfall in northern Luzon on Sunday night, local time.
Even if Utor does not reach typhoon status, wind gusts to 120 km/h can occur along the east coast of Luzon late Sunday into Monday as the storm lashes the island.
No matter the strength of the winds at landfall, torrential rain can cause flooding in northern Luzon. AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Tony Zartman states, "A widespread area will receive 2-4 inches (50-100 mm) with isolated amounts of 4-8 inches (100-200 mm)." The excessive rainfall could also cause mudslides in the higher terrain.
After blasting Luzon, Utor is expected to move westward over the South China Sea, around the periphery of a high pressure system to the northeast. Despite weakening some due to the mountains of Luzon, Utor should restrengthen into a typhoon by the middle of next week as it nears southeast China and far northern Vietnam.
AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls cautions, "These areas were hit hard by Mangkhut this week and Jebi the week prior. Another round of nasty weather from Utor is on the table."