Super Typhoon Halong resembles a buzz saw, gyrating through the Pacific at Category 5-equivalent strength. (RAMMB/NOAA/CIRA)
Super Typhoon Halong is raging in the open waters of the western tropical Pacific Ocean right now, with satellite imagery estimating its peak winds at close to 190 mph. It’s every bit a Category 5 storm and then some, its extreme strength coming three days after it drifted lazily as a tropical depression. Halong isn’t moving toward land, but its mesmerizing fury and terrifying beauty is capturing the attention of meteorologists worldwide.
Halong’s path to metastasizing into a monstrosity stemmed from seemingly innocuous origins Saturday, as an area of low pressure blossomed into a tropical depression several hundred miles east of the Northern Mariana Islands. Hours later, it bloomed into Tropical Storm Halong.
Halong got its act together gradually, ramping up into a Category 2 hurricane by Monday. That’s when the storm rapidly intensified overnight into a Category 5-equivalent buzz saw.
As of noon Tuesday, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Halong’s intensity at 160 mph. But there are plenty of reasons to believe that may be conservative and that Halong is still intensifying.
“The latest automated values from [the Advanced Dvorak Technique] have it up to ~165 knots!” wrote Philip Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, or 190 mph. Hurricane Dorian, which ravaged the Bahamas in September, had maximum winds of 185 mph.
Klotzbach referred to the Advanced Dvorak Technique, a means to assign storm intensity remotely using just satellite observations. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center does not dispatch aircraft into typhoons.
This could put Halong into the top dozen or so tropical cyclones ever observed by weather satellite, based on values churned out by the Dvorak method. The “satellite era” dates back to 1979.
The terrifying shots from above show extremely cold, high cloud tops raging about an ominous, warm eye.
Klotzbach did note that water temperatures in the region being traversed by Halong are slightly above normal but not by a wide margin. “It’s just normally stinking hot in the western North Pacific!” he wrote.
It’s been a busy year for typhoons in the western Pacific. Barely a month ago, Hagibis leaped from a tropical storm to a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon in 18 hours, intensifying at one of the fastest rates ever recorded.
Courtesy of washingtonpost.com
Monster #Typhoon #Hagibis claims first victim as #Tokyo braced for #Japan’s worst #storm in 60 years
A car is overturned in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, Japan, on October 12. © Xinhua/Deng Min via Global Look Press
More than 1.6 million people have been ordered to evacuate as Japan gears up for potentially record breaking wind and rain as Typhoon Hagibis claims its first victim before even making landfall.
Winds are set to reach 216km/h (134mph) and trigger floods and landslides when the monster storm barrels into central or eastern Japan on Saturday, the country’s Meteorological Agency has warned.
Chiba October 12. © Xinhua/Deng Min via Global Look Press
The sky turned a dark shade of purple on Saturday evening and residents shared striking images of the startling specticle on their social media platforms.
Ahead of the massive storm crashing into the main island of Honshu, it already claimed its first victim as a man was killed when a vehicle toppled over in heavy winds in Chiba, east of Tokyo, NHK News reports.
Hagibis is forecast to be the first storm rated “very strong” to hit Honshu since the category system was introduced in 1991. The Meteorological Agency said it could bring record rainfall on a par with a deadly typhoon in 1958 that triggered mudslides in Kanto and flooded the Kano River in Shizuoka Prefecture, leaving 888 dead and 381 missing, AFP reports.
Tens of thousands of homes are already without power and transport systems, factories and shops have been shut down. The typhoon has also disrupted the Japanese Grand Prix, forced the cancellation of two Rugby World Cup matches and grounded more than 1,600 flights.
Courtesy of rt.com
Japan’s central and eastern regions are due for a direct hit from 12th/13th October 2019 by Super Typhoon Hagibis with 167mph + wind gusts which is equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.
Rugby World Cup matches have been cancelled coupled with other sporting events.
Wave/Tidal/Storm surges and structural damage will be a real threat.
China has issued a red alert as a typhoon bringing torrential rain and gales descends on its eastern coast, threatening an intense storm surge up the Yangtze river.
Flood prevention efforts are being stepped up along Asia’s longest waterway in the wake of the top-level warning, which has also led authorities to ready evacuations, suspend train and air travel and call for vessels to return to port.
Typhoon Lekima is expected to bring heavy rain and storm-force winds to Zhejiang, Shanghai and other neighbouring provinces before making landfall on Saturday.
The typhoon has already forced Taiwan to cancel flights and order the closure of markets, offices and schools.
The typhoon is bringing torrential rain, heavy seas and high winds to China’s eastern coast
It also left more than 40,000 homes without power on the island, where the authorities have issued landslide warnings following an earlier earthquake.
China’s National Meteorological Centre said Lekima, gusting at 130mph, was the strongest typhoon since 2014.
It warned 24-hour rainfall levels across eastern China could reach up to 32cm (13in).
Cruise liners have been asked to delay their arrival in Shanghai, while some ships are set to be diverted to Hong Kong to help prevent accidents and collisions.
Vessels have been urged to return to port as China braces itself for extreme weather
In Zhejiang, the ferry service has been cancelled and more than 200 tourists evacuated from Beiji island.
Three main streams of the Yangtze are likely to exceed alert levels.
The commission overseeing the river for the ministry of water resources has directed efforts to prevent floods and over-saturation of levees along its banks.
Courtesy of Sky News