Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tropical Typhoon Matmo Nears Taiwan



Tropical Typhoon Matmo, located in the Western Pacific has cleared the Northern Territory of Luzon of the Philippines, and is now continuing on a northwestern course to directly hit Taiwan. ..... It then will continue in a Northwestern direction to arrive on mainland China directly centered on Tannan and Haitan Bays. The typhoon is expected to rapidly loose strength as it passes over Taiwan because of the very mountainous terrain that makes up the island nation. There are currently 197 mountains making up the island country, more than any other country in the world. If there were any landmass that could really damper the forward direction and strength of a storm, it would be Taiwan.  Taiwan is definitely the buffer that protects mainland China.
Mountains clearly visible in the screenshot above
Once on the mainland of China on its present course, it will pass over Changle and the main city of Fuzhou. It is expected to turn to the north and pass just directly east of Shangrao, pass through Huangshan and Xuancheng, weakening on the way into a tropical storm, still dumping inches of rain on the affected areas. As it turns to the northeast, it is expected to head out to the East China Sea. If the storm reaches the sea, speculation has it that it will be so weakened at that point that it will just completely fall apart. But there is still a chance that it can gather strength if it makes it out to the East China Sea. As Typhoon Matmo passed the Philippines, it traveled through very warm waters of approximately 85 degrees Fahrenheit which fueled the storm. The waters may be a little cooler as it enters the East China Sea. If the typhoon gains strength and stays on course, it most likely will come ashore possibly at North or South Korea. If it continues more to the east, it is possible that the storm will affect the country of Japan from the southwest, but this is highly unlikely. 
The storm is now a Category 1 typhoon as it heads towards Taiwan, the 50th largest country in the world. The population of Taiwan over 23 million people as of 2012, but before the storm reaches Taiwan because of the high water temperatures, it is expected to gain strength as a category 2 storm prior to reaching Taiwan. It is the 16th most densely populated country in the world. Taipei City, which is the capital of Taiwan has a total population of over 7 million. After going through the mountainous terrain of Taiwan, it will pass over water again before reaching China, and then it may strengthen again, possibly entering China as a category 2 typhoon, but this gain of strength is not expected. It is just a possibility. 
This storm will clearly not be one of the strongest storms to affect the Philippines, Taiwan and China, but the 
rainfall that is expected from this storm will cause major flooding in areas that already are flooded from torrential rains. It is noted that this area of the oceans is now the warmest of waters in the oceans today. It is expected that continuing storms, turning into typhoons will continue to plague the nations in these waters for some time.
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