Super Typhoon Nepartak to hit Taiwan

Advertisment
  • Visible satellite image of Super Typhoon Nepartak approaching Taiwan at 03:30 GMT on 7th July (10:30 local time). Source: NOAA

    Joint Typhoon Warning Centre track of Nepartak over the next few days. The system is expected to weaken as it crosses Taiwan, with a second landfall expected over China's Fujian province early Saturday.

    72 hour rainfall totals from 00 GMT 7th July. Totals could locally exceed 300mm over Taiwan with a risk of flooding and mudslides. Image: MeteoGroup.

  • Super Typhoon Nepartak to hit Taiwan
    07.07.2016 16:04

     

    Residents of Taiwan were bracing themselves for the arrival of Super Typhoon Nepartak on Thursday, the most powerful system to form in the Northern Hemisphere so far this year.

    Nepartak intensified rapidly since its birth as a tropical storm on 2nd July, being fed by very warm tropical waters of 31C in a favourable environment of low vertical wind shear. The system reached its maximum intensity through Wednesday with mean winds of over 170mph and gusts above 200mph. This is equivalent to a strong category five system on the Saffir Simpson Scale, and well above the 150 mph mean wind threshold to qualify as a super typhoon. Although slight weakening has taken place through Thursday, Nepartak still threatens to cause significant disruption as it makes landfall on Taiwan’s south-east coast during the early hours of Friday. In addition to the damaging winds, rainfall totals of 300mm are likely to lead to flooding and mudslides, particularly given the island’s mountainous terrain. Large waves of up to 30 feet and a significant storm surge are liable to lead to some coastal inundation. Over 100 international flights have been cancelled ahead of the storm’s arrival, while mandatory evacuation orders have been issued by the President. 35,000 soldiers have been deployed to aid the evacuation efforts and the setting up of shelters.

    After battering  Taiwan, Nepartak is forecast to cross the Taiwan Strait before making a second landfall in south-east China early Saturday as a strong tropical storm. Some flooding issues are likely in Fujian, as well as in the neighbouring provinces of Jiangxi and Zhejiang over the weekend before the storm dissipates inland.

    The 2016 Pacific typhoon season has been unusually quiet so far, with Nepartak the first named system to form this year. Its development on 2nd July marked the end of a 199 day stretch of no tropical storms or typhoons, the longest period on record. The current transition from El Niño to La Niña is believed to have played a role in the tropical cyclone drought, with the developing La Niña also expected to suppress activity through the rest of the year. 2015 by contrast was a very active year as a result of El Niño: 27 named systems formed in total, 10 of which had already developed by early July.

    By: Billy Payne