August 5th, 2015

Update: Typhoon Soudelor

Posted at 3:11 PM ET

update-8-5-soudelor-smTyphoon Soudelor continues to threaten Taiwan and Mainland China. The summary below follows the 15 UTC advisory of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), and the 15:45 UTC advisory of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Soudelor carries one-minute sustained winds of about 115 mph (185 kilometers per hour), and a westerly motion of 12 mph (19 kilometers per hour). Soudelor is now equivalent to a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, after interaction with some dry and stable air. Soudelor carries a pressure of 935 millibars.


Position and JTWC Best Track Forecast. Source: JTWC

The JTWC is expecting Soudelor to regain strength over the coming days, under reduced wind shear, warm waters and efficient outflow conditions. Soudelor should maintain a west-northwesterly track during this time.

On this track, Soudelor is still expected by the JTWC and JMA to make landfall on Taiwan sometime after 12 UTC August 7, before making final landfall on Mainland China shortly after 12 UTC August 8. Onset of conditions will occur well prior to landfall.

Just prior to Taiwan landfall, at 12 UTC August 7, the JTWC forecasts one-minute sustained winds of about 140 mph (225 kilometers per hour), equivalent to a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The expected landfall position on Taiwan has drifted further south with recent forecast packages, putting a greater area of the island into the right-front quadrant of the storm. This will amplify both wind and storm surge impacts from Soudelor.

Severe wind impacts should be expected in Taiwan, with severe to extreme structural damage for areas closest the eyewall. It is possible that the capital city of Taipei may suffer severe impacts. Light to moderate structural impacts under wind can be expected over a more widespread area. Storm surge impacts may also be severe, and will depend greatly on local coastal geography, and the precise track and intensity of the typhoon as it makes landfall. Heavy rainfall and inland flooding should also be expected.

Following landfall on Taiwan, Soudelor should weaken considerably due to land interaction, and then move into the Taiwan Strait. Soudelor should then make a second landfall on Mainland China, possibly affecting areas including the Provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, and Guangdong; these are heavily populated areas. JTWC forecast intensity prior to landfall on Mainland China is 100 mph (160 kilometers per hour). Light to moderate wind impacts, together with heavy rainfall and flash flooding can be expected as Soudelor moves inland and then recurves to the north over Mainland China.

Local watches and warnings from official meteorological agencies, and statements from local emergency management agencies supersede this update, and should be closely heeded concerning matters of personal safety.

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