Friday, July 18, 2014

Typhoon Rammasun Enters China - Category 4 - New Storm Approaching The Philippines

- Typhoon Rammasun weakened slightly while moving over the Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan Island Friday.
- Made final landfall early Saturday (local time) near China/Vietnam border.
- Storm surge flooding, destructive winds, flash flooding and mudslides are expected.
- 64 dead, over 26,000 homes damaged in the Philippines

Typhoon Rammasun's eyewall came ashore at 3:30 p.m. Friday, local time (Thursday overnight, U.S. time) on south China's island province of Hainan, with maximum estimated sustained winds of 155 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

As of 11 p.m. EDT Friday, Rammasun's maximum sustained winds had decreased to an estimated 115 mph, according to the JTWC. This made Rammasun the equivalent of a Category 3 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Super typhoons are those whose maximum sustained winds reach at least 150 mph.
Rammasun made its fourth and final landfall at 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday when the center of Rammasun's circulation crossed over southern China's Guangdong Province, Xinhua News Agency reports.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Rammasun was Hainan's most powerful storm in at least nine years and possibly since 1973.
In the 24-hour period ending 2 a.m. EDT Friday, Rammasun had intensified from a high-end Category 1 to a high-end Category 4 equivalent tropical cyclone. Neoguri also became a super typhoon earlier this month, but that occurred well south of the southwest Japanese islands. Unfortunately, Rammasun did so as it was making landfall.
At 2 a.m. EDT Friday, as the center of Rammasun was over the northeast coast of Hainan, the University of Wisconsin Advanced Dvorak Technique estimated a central pressure of 921 millibars.
Super Typhoon Rammasun
Infrared satellite image of Super Typhoon Rammasun as eyewall was raking Hainan and Leizhou Peninsula on July 18, 2014 at 2:28 p.m local time. Eyewall where deepest convection was occurring denoted by yellow ring around the eye. (NRL-Monterey)

South China, Vietnam Impact

China Central Television reported Friday night 1300 people were trapped in Wenchang, Hainan, with rescue work underway. Virtually all brick-and-tile houses in the town of Wengtian were either destroyed or had their roofs removed and at least one death was confirmed, according to CCTV. 
Over 40,000 were evacuated from Wenchang and Qionghai prior to the storm, according to the Hainan Daily.
Weather observations in the city of Haikou (population 830,000) sampled peak sustained winds of 78 mph, with a gust of 100.7 mph at 6 p.m. local time (Despite the country's immense size, all of China is officially 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Daylight time.). Gusts from 55-65 mph continued for several hours after the peak, as Rammasun's south and southeast eyewall raked the city. 
Flying debris and broken glass injured dozens of residents in Haikou, and vehicles were flooded, according to CCTV.

Forecast Path

Forecast Path

According to the latest forecast from Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Rammasun's center will make its final landfall from the Gulf of Tonkin in coastal Yunnan province, China and far northern Vietnam early Saturday, local time. Rammasun may still be a Category 3 or stronger equivalent typhoon by its final landfall.
Rammasun's strongest winds are confined to a relatively compact area near the center of the storm. As of late Friday morning (U.S. time), JTWC said sustained winds of 74 mph or greater (the minimum threshold for hurricane or typhoon) extended no more than 35 miles from the center of the storm in any direction.
The China Meteorological Administration has issued a "red warning for typhoon" for parts of its coastline. A red warning is the second-highest level in China's four-tier warning system. 
Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has issued a typhoon warning for portions of northern Vietnam.

Typhoon Impact In Metro Manila

In and near Manila, the nation's capital and the center of a metropolitan area with a population of 12 million people, its effects were felt most strongly Wednesday morning.
PAGASA said the center of Rammasun passed south and then west of the city shortly after sunrise, cutting through the provinces of Batangas and Cavite just south of Metro Manila, and Bataan just northwest of the city across Manila Bay.
Numerous social media users posted photos and videos of the wind whipping through streets and past buildings. Many reported blackouts and brownouts.
Damage around the capital included numerous downed trees, roofs torn off, overturned vehicles and at least one collapsed building. Flooding also occurred in parts of the metropolis. 
High winds also destroyed shanty homes along Manila Bay. Thousands of people in Metro Manila live in makeshift shanty towns, highly vulnerable to high winds and flooding from tropical cyclones, according to a 2013 Daily Mail article.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport reported a peak sustained easterly wind of 41 mph with gusts to 70 mph as the barometric pressure bottomed out at 988 millibars (29.18 inches of mercury). The airport is just south of central Manila. Winds began to decrease considerably a few hours later as the eye of the typhoon moved away.
Subic Bay Weather Station, northwest of Manila, clocked a 57-mph gust at 10 a.m. local time as Rammasun's eye approached, and a 53-mph gust three hours later as it departed.
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