Tropical Trouble

  • A multi-spectral satellite image of Tropical Storm Meranti, situated 300 miles north of Ulithi, Caroline Islands.

    Track and intensity forecast for Tropical Storm Meranti. Issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

    A visible satellite image of Nepartak, shortly before it made landfall in Taiwan on July 8th, 2016.

  • Tropical Trouble
    10.09.2016 14:04

    Tropical Storm Meranti has formed in the West Pacific. The storm has rapidly organized in the past 24 hours and is expected to develop into a strong typhoon in the coming days as it tracks steadily north-west.


    Multispectral satellite imagery illustrates an exposed low level circulation centre to the north of an area of deep convection. Sustained winds in the system are estimated at near 40mph. Environmental conditions are favorable for moderate development in 48 hours. However, thereafter conditions become increasingly favorable for rapid intensification. Weather model guidance is in good agreement that Meranti will become a strong typhoon by Monday or Tuesday over open water.

    By the middle of next week there is large uncertainty in the forecast track. Current model guidance suggests the storm will track towards Taiwan or the Ryukku Islands, south of Japan. Meranti is forecast to have sustained winds near 120mph by Wednesday and if it reaches land it is likely to cause major disruption.

    The Taiwanese and Chinese will be watching the development closely as it comes just 2 months after Super Typhoon Nepartak brought devastation resulting in 86 fatalities and over $1.5 billion in damages. Naepartak made landfall on Taiwan’s south-east coast during the early hours of Friday 8th July 2016. In addition to the damaging winds, rainfall totals exceeded 300mm leading to flooding and mudslides. Large waves of up to 30 feet and a significant storm surge resulted in coastal inundation. Over 100 international flights were cancelled, while mandatory evacuation orders were issued by the President. 35,000 soldiers were deployed to aid the evacuation efforts and the setting up of shelters.

    Atlantic Activity

    Meanwhile in the Atlantic, tropical storm formation is highly likely in the coming days with Tropical Storm Ian likely to be named next week. A broad area of low pressure located around 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles is expected to develop. Conditions are favorable for a tropical depression to form by early next week while this disturbance moves toward the west-northwest and then toward the northwest over the central Atlantic during the next several days.

    By: Matthew Martin