Tropical Storm Soudelor is in the western Pacific Ocean is poised to become a powerful typhoon, eventually threatening Taiwan and eastern China late next week or next weekend.
Tropical Storm Soudelor, now located to the east of Guam, will cross the Mariana Islands on Sunday, local time. While crossing the island chain, Tropical Storm Soudelor will be in the process of strengthening into a typhoon.
The center of the storm will pass well to the north of Guam, but there may still be some gusty showers and thunderstorms across the island. The most significant impacts will be from Rota on into the northern Mariana Islands, which are much less populated. In these areas, wind gusts could top 80 mph (130 kph) and 4-8 inches (100-200 mm) of rain could fall.
Bouts of heavy downpours may remain across the Mariana Islands, well into next week as a tropical flow of moisture remains across the islands, even after Tropical Storm Soudelor pulls away from the region.
After passing Guam, Tropical Storm Soudelor will continue to strengthen while it crosses the northern Philippines Sea on its way towards eastern Asia. Warm ocean water and low wind shear will allow for significant strengthening and Tropical Storm Soudelor could reach the equivalent strengthen of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane by the middle of next week.
Despite being a week out, there is growing confidence that Taiwan, eastern China and the southern Ryukyu Islands will have to contend with Tropical Storm Soudelor as early as Friday, but more likely into next weekend. Tropical Storm Soudelor is still expected to be a significant typhoon during this time, so residents from Shanghai to Taipei should being making initial preparations for the storm.