(Super) Typhoon Chanchu – coming our way

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    Just heard HK Observatory forecast – heavy rain with squalls later this week. Seems very conservative. Perhaps HK Obs is cautious re Typhoon Chanchu; perhaps Obs forecasts at variance with Joint Typhoon Warning Center (US Navy and US Air Force). JTWS has upgraded Chanchu to Super Typhoon – highest category of typhoon. Consistently forecasted it would hit S China coast near or over Hong Kong; latest is for landfall in around 48 hrs – ie Wed morning. Forecast for 48 hours: MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 135 KT, GUSTS 165 KT – ie max sustained 250 km/hr; max gust 305 km/hr  – also, see cimms – which has maps, as well as info, links to images. This would make Chanchu a very powerful typhoon. York – most recent typhoon to directly hit Hong Kong, Sept 1999: The maximum gust was 234km per hour, at Waglan Island; Waglan also recorded the maximum hourly wind, 151km per hour [100 km/hr less than forecast for Chanchu around time of landfall]. Compare also Wanda, in Sept 1962 – Hong Kong’s most powerful typhoon with recorded wind speeds. The maximum 10-minute mean wind speed recorded at the Observatory during Typhoon Wanda was 78 kots (144km [90 miles] per hour), and the maximum gust 140 knots (259km [161 miles] per hour); a maximum gust of 284km (176 miles) per hour was recorded at Tate’s Cairn, on the hills above Kowloon.

    Just come across site called Independent Weather Information Center, where front page notes, "It is becoming increasingly likely that Chanchu will be the strongest typhoon to ever strike Hong Kong in modern history."  – odd, then, that Chanchu not in news here in HK yet (not on radio news just now). Weather Underground forum (English) has discussions of Chanchu, inc mention that HK Observatory has current wind speed estimates for Chanchu way lower than JTWC.


    HK Weather Radar, should be especially interesting once Chanchu is close:  – currently showing a few showers, in outermost rain bands, not yet reaching land


    HK Observatory has Chanchu set to turn northeast, so not make direct hit on HK, but to e Guangdong:

    Joint Typhoon Warning Center still forecasting v close to or over HK; but weakening fast as approaching land 4.50 pm: JTWC has lowered intensity estimate and forecasts; still forecasting landfall v close to or over HK. HK Obs has increased intensity estimate (not as high as JTWC tho; curious discrepancy)

    Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/05/15 08:51


    Landfall east of Hong Kong looking most likely now.

    Joint Typhoon Warning Center has shifted forecast track, now more in agreement with Hong Kong Observatory.
    Strike two for HK Obs: JTWC has also reduced estimated current and forecast intensities, again becoming more in line with HKO – although Chanchu a large storm area-wise, now no longer a super typhoon, and set to weaken as it nears the coast, then weaken rapidly after landfall, probably late Wed (HK time).

    Guessing for HK – Number 8 signal maybe up as Chanchu closest; but if it keeps to forecast track, No 10 unlikely.

    Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/05/16 04:57


    Shot here from s coast Cheung Chau this morning. V little wind, but fair waves rolling in. Here, though, have offshore islands – so waves generally not extreme. Just heard that Sai Kung Peninsula, eastern Hong Kong, has big swell rolling in; a coastal restaurant – Sha Kiu – with water rolling over main area for tables, two floating wooden piers have "gone". Chanchu regained some strength according to JTWC; just seen forum post mentioning 200km outer eye. Looks set to pass a little to the east of HK; so powerful northerlies may dominate tomorrow. Weather radar (HK Obs) shows rainstorms nearing. [img]https://www.hkoutdoors.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/chanchuearlysurf.JPG[/img]


    Juat after lunch; ferry arriving Cheung Chau, with rain starting as Chanchu nears.

    HK Obs shipping forecast for S China coastal waters also of some interest; includes some readings at coastal stations, inc Guangdong (just now, highest wind recorded Force 5) Forecast winds for some areas up to 12 (hurricane force), with "phenomenal" seas 


    Satellite image here; shows Chanchu is a larbe/very large storm, dominating the South China Sea.


    Winds picking up on Cheung Chau, but hardly powerful, as Chanchu forecast to move closer, then head northeast for landfall east of Hong Kong tomorrow (aft?). Not looking to be major storm for HK. Shot here from Cheung Chau waterfront late this afternoon; rain, some wind by then. chanchuccwaterfront.jpg


    Winds strong, northerlies on Cheung Chau this morning – have strengthened, but Chanchu too far away to cause real excitement. Very little rain. Real-time weather charts for Cheung Chau, indicating winds may have peaked, with gusts to 60 km/hr: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/ts/display_graph_e.htm?cch&menu=otherwxi&rwx&addbar Rough seas, especially south of the island, with some fair waves crashing into rocks – here in southwest.


    This just in – after Charlie Frew and Paul Etherington went down Clear Water Bay Peninsula, to check out waves as Chanchu passed to east; here, surf at mouth of Tat Fong Channel.


    Satellite image – Chanchu looking way less imposing as it nears land (still, remains potent near centre)


    Zhuhai impacted by flooding during Chanchu approach; presumably as easterlies piled up water across Pearl River mouth.

    Following typhoon (now 20 May), reports on toll from Chanchu – showing Hong Kong was lucky this time, as little impact, no deaths. Typhoon kills 23 in China, 4 missing

    Reflecting size of typhoon, deaths from Philippines across to Vietnam, and north to China: Asia typhoon kills 104


    Marvellous morning on Cheung Chau! (as remnants of Chanchu hit eastern Guangdong) [img]https://www.hkoutdoors.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/chanchudayafter.JPG[/img]

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