Thursday, September 19, 2013

Updated--Hurricane Watch: Category 5 Super Typhoon Usagi Appears to Be Aiming at Hong Kong

Update: The forecasted track has shifted, now running south of Macau towards the Gulf of Tonkin.
Original post:
From Wunderblog:
...Dangerous Typhoon Usagi headed for Taiwan and Hong Kong
In the Western Pacific, powerful and dangerous Typhoon Usagi has intensified to a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. Further intensification is likely over the next day, as Usagi is over very warm waters of 29 - 30°C with high heat content, and is under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots. The official JTWC forecast brings Usagi to a Category 5 super typhoon by Friday, which would make Usagi Earth's first Category 5 storm of 2013. Usagi will pass very close to the southern tip of Taiwan at 06 UTC Saturday (2 am EDT), and interaction with land could potentially weaken the storm. However, Usagi is still expected to be a major Category 3 typhoon when it makes landfall near Hong Kong at approximately 00 UTC Sunday (8 pm EDT Saturday.) Satellite images show that Usagi is a large and very impressive typhoon with a prominent eye surrounded by a thick eyewall with intense thunderstorms that reach high into the atmosphere.
The ensemble model forecast has the storm tracking just north of HK and Kowloon around the New Territories into Shenzhen and then the Pearl River estuary: