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Rammasun to Strengthen, Threaten the Philippines

In the western Pacific, Tropical Storm Rammasun may be close to typhoon strength when it reaches the Philippines.

Rammasun strengthened back to a tropical storm early Sunday morning local time after briefly weakening to a tropical depression.

What was Tropical Depression 09W first became a tropical storm Friday afternoon; however, after bringing very little wind to Guam as it tracked near the island, the intensity was downgraded back to a tropical depression. Guam received 25 to 50 mm (1 to 2 inches) of rain Friday from Rammasun which was the wettest day since May 25.

Now a tropical storm again, Rammasun is located to the west of Guam.

With very warm sea surface temperatures and conducive environmental conditions along its expected track through Tuesday, further strengthening is expected. It remains possible that Rammasun will reach typhoon strength before reaching the Philippines this week.

Impacts from Rammasun are expected to begin in the eastern Philippines as early as Tuesday, local time, but significant impacts will not arrive until Tuesday night, Wednesday and Wednesday night. The greatest impacts are expected across the northern Philippines.

If the storm reaches typhoon strength, locals in the Philippines will need to brace for damaging winds and heavy, torrential rainfall that could lead to mudslides. If Rammasun only reaches tropical storm intensity, heavy, flooding rainfall will remain a threat, but winds will not be as destructive.

When crossing the Philippines, Rammasun is expected to weakened due to the interaction with land, especially if it crosses the mountainous, northern island of Luzon. It will then move into the South China Sea late in the week and could bring impacts to the southern coast of China.

Meteorologists in the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center will be monitoring this strengthening storm in anticipation of its effects in the Philippines and, eventually, possibly into China.

Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Adam Douty