Conditions are already deteriorating over Taiwan as Typhoon Soudelor approaches. Soudelor is forecast to make landfall on the Central East coast of Taiwan early Saturday local time. Expected hazards include excessive rainfall and inland flooding, together with significant winds and storm surge. A second landfall in Mainland China is expected to bring heavy rain and wind over a widespread area.
Typhoon Soudelor carries one-minute sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kilometers per hour), as of the 09 UTC advisory of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Soudelor is now equivalent to a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, and has intensified in the last 12 hours. Soudelor carries a central pressure of 935 millibars according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
Hazard data in the CAT-i map above was generated from the JTWC position report and forecast. The right panel outlines the forecast track. The left panel highlights areas potentially affected by storm-force or higher winds based on the JTWC forecast track. Tropical cyclone track and intensity can change under a very short timeframe. One should closely monitor official weather and emergency management advisories for updates for their area of interest.
Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or GC Analytics® representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.
Both the JTWC and JMA maintain a forecast for Soudelor to continue on a west-northwesterly track. This forecast track will carry Soudelor to landfall at the central east coast of Taiwan early Saturday morning local time. The typhoon will then emerge into the Taiwan Strait, and make second landfall on Mainland China. Soudelor should weaken rapidly as it recurves north into Mainland China.
Concerning intensity, Soudelor was able to intensify over warm waters, with reduced wind shear and good ventilation. However, recent evidence indicates some disruption on the northwest flank of the storm. Considering these factors, together with increasing land interaction, there is some uncertainty to the intensity forecast of Soudelor over the immediate term. The JTWC forecast for 18 UTC August 7 is for Soudelor to attain one-minute sustained winds of 135 mph (215 kilometers per hour) prior to landfall, equivalent to a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
As Soudelor crosses Taiwan, land interaction and terrain will cause Soudelor to weaken. After Soudelor emerges into the Taiwan Strait, for 06 UTC August 8, JTWC forecast winds are 105 mph (165 kilometers per hour), a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Soudelor will then weaken considerably after final landfall on Mainland China, expected before 18 UTC August 8.
Expected hazards to affect Taiwan still include wind, rain and surge. Moderate to severe wind damage can be expected immediately adjacent and to the right of the eyewall. Light to moderate damage can be expected over a more widespread area together with downed trees and power lines, with more severe impacts in higher terrain. Excessive rainfall will be amplified by the topography of Taiwan, leading to a threat for inland flooding and perhaps mudslides. Rainfall amounts exceeding 300 millimeters are probable, with some local amounts that could even exceed 600 millimeters. Rainfall amounts will depend very closely on the exact track and forward speed of Soudelor as it affects the islands. Storm surge can also be expected, with most severe impacts to the right of the landfall position.
As Soudelor moves into Mainland China, light wind impacts can be expected over a widespread area, with more severe impacts immediately adjacent and to the right of the center of circulation. Heavy rainfall can also be expected over a widespread area, leading to inland flooding concerns. Soudelor should increase in forward speed prior to landfall on Mainland China, reducing the period of exposure to heavy rain.
Official Meteorological agencies have issued warnings for areas under threat.
Reports indicate that the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has been declared a federal disaster area after Typhoon Soudelor made landfall in Saipan on Monday. Reports indicate that the Acting Governor of the Commonwealth has estimated economic damages in Saipan and Tinian will exceed USD20 million. Reports indicate disruption to local infrastructure including water and power. Over 380 homes have been destroyed according to reports.
Sources: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Japan Meteorological Agency, Weather Underground, FEMA, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, RMS.
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