Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Super Typhoon Meranti Blew Up Fast, Heads For Taiwan, Mainland China


Posted by Greg Laden on September 12, 2016

Within a 24 hour time period, Typhoon Meranti cranked up from what we in the US would call a Category 1 storm to a Category 5 storm. Or stronger, if we had more categories.

Some time between late Tuesday and mid day Wednesday, the typhoon will have a run at the southern tip of Taiwan. This is the less populated part of the island, but this is a big storm and its effects will be felt over the entire country.

Interacting with Taiwan is not expected to slow down the storm too much, and some time late Thursday, possibly as a Category 3 equivalent, it will slam into China.

Then it will go inland and contribute significantly to flooding.

This is the strongest cyclone so far in this year’s Northern Hemisphere season. Under climate change, we expect some cyclones to undergo much more rapid intensification, which can be a real problem when it occurs just before making landfall. This is the case with Meranti, though, as noted, the area to be affected initially is not as dense of a population zone as it might have been. The storm is stronger than it otherwise would have been had it not been for global warming, as well.



By Chris Dolce and Tom Moore
Sept. 12, 2016


Super Typhoon Meranti is now a Category 5 storm, packing maximum sustained winds up to 185 mph, with gusts up to 225 mph, as it heads west-northwest in the western Pacific Ocean. Meranti has undergone rapid intensification since Sunday morning.


Maximum significant wave heights near the center of Meranti are currently around 48 feet.


According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Meranti's winds had increased from 85 mph to 180 mph in the 24 hours ending Monday at 11 a.m. EDT. That's a 95 mph increase in winds during that time, or more than double the rapid intensification criteria.

The 185 mph winds tie Typhoon Meranti with Tropical Cyclone Winston as the strongest tropical cyclone in the world so far this year, both topping Super Typhoon Nepartak (175 mph) in early July.

Factors leading to the rapid strengthening include low wind shear and warm ocean temperatures.


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