Super Typhoon Meranti is churning roughly 500 miles south of Okinawa, Japan. This very powerful storm system rapidly intensified from the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane (hurricanes and typhoons are the same, just with different names) to a category 5 Super Typhoon in a matter of 24 hours. A category 5 storm is when wind speeds are sustained at or greater than 157 mph. As of Monday afternoon, Meranti had sustained winds of 178 mph and gusts up to 218 mph. This storm system is expected to impact Taiwan and mainland China over the next few days. Torrential rain, mudslides, damaging winds and dangerous storm surge are all possible with the extremely powerful typhoon.
Within the next 24 hours, Super Typhoon will be approaching southern parts of Taiwan and has the potential to be the strongest typhoon to make landfall on the island since 2000. This strong system is expected to weaken as it approaches landfall on mainland China, however, it will still have access to warm ocean water and an atmosphere with low wind shear, conducive for additional strengthening before landfall. Latest forecasts keep Meranti as a category 3 typhoon with winds sustained above 111 mph, and it’s expected to make landfall in China during the afternoon hours on Wednesday (EDT).
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Tracey Anthony
(Headline image: NASA Terra/MODIS)