Typhoon Sepat may affect Hong Kong

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    Typhoon Sepat – to east of Luzon – now rated Category 4 by CIMSS (based on Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast I believe; “Cat 4” based on hurricane scale of 1 to 5, which not officially used in this region; tho should make it a “super typhoon”).

    Set for at least some westward movement.
    Forecasts mainly suggest it will head up thro Luzon Strait, maybe hit (blast?) southern Taiwan, then on to southeast China. In which case, maybe we can expect rain, and bit of wind – as HK Observatory is forecasting for Monday and Tuesday next week.

    But, even with major computing power, forecasting movements of such storms not trivial – Pabuk helped show that!
    One forecast has it moving further west, towards Hainan, in which case would have far greater impact on us. Looking at range of forecast tracks – at
    Tropical Cyclone Track and Intensity Forecasts and Guidance, even looks to be an outside chance it could be v close to or hit Hong Kong. sepat_tracks15aug07.gif


    Just come across this on CIMSS site, showing how wind speed of Sepat has v quickly increased (and kept increasing; tho could fall away again somewhat); get fall in chart as winds build.
    Now to over 200 km/hr.

    UW-CIMSS Automated Satellite-Based
    Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT)
    Version 7.2
    Tropical Cyclone Intensity Estimation Algorithm


    Typhoon Sepat now rated (on CIMSS site) as Category 5 on Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale – strongest level there is. Few Cat 5 storms have even hit US, say: even Andrew was borderline 4 or 5, Katrina Cat 3 as it hit New Orleans, tho its main damage was thro floods rather than winds.

    Still seems bound for s Taiwan, then on to se China, but wouldn’t need much of a turn to west to blast us w some powerful winds and rain (tho direct hit still looks improbable).

    Wind speeds of storms can fluctuate: Katrina reached Category 5 over the sea.
    Seems to me, though, that these monster storms retain energy, even if max sustained winds drop; energy spreading into more general winds, and rainfall.

    If this were bound for the US, would see it in news – maybe even as headline story, and as it approached shore, lines of vehicles heading away from coast.
    But hey, it’s a typhoon and in Asia, so not such a big deal…
    (As I recall, a few years ago the SCM Post carried front page story w satellite photo re hurricane bound for US; at the time, a storm named York was moving towards us. The hurricane caused little trouble; York became only typhoon to directly hit HK in recent years. [somewhere around Category 1 – way short of Sepat]) [img width=420]https://www.hkoutdoors.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/sepatwinds16aug07.GIF[/img]


    Sepat indeed moved as main forecastts predicted; now over se China, and tropical storm.

    Maybe interesting to see this plot of estimated max sustained winds.
    Shows fast strengthening, as above; then some moderating (still v strong!!) as “eyewall replacement” – with double eye for some time.
    Winds picked up again; and then tailed off – surely as Sepat hit Taiwan then mainland China.
    Just read of it leading to tornado over se China, 11 people dead (toll to rise as more info comes in?) [img width=580]https://www.hkoutdoors.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/sepatwindspeeds.GIF[/img]


    Peculiar looking weather on Cheung Chau today.
    Mist-cum-fog – don’t think it’s mainly smog, albeit had smog just as Sepat was nearing s China coast, bringing light northerlies to us. Looks like rain may imminent; yet not raining, and fresh sw winds blowing much of the time.
    This as Sepat has faded to become low pressure area over se China; leading to us having southwest monsoon.
    Checking real time weather info fo Cheung Chau: mostly there’s been maintenance today, tho showing humidity over 90% just now. At Waglan Island, humidity mostly over 90% today.
    Now, HK Obs radar shows thin line of rain/thunder storms just appearing to north of us, moving south. So maybe after such humidity and near fog, will get some rain, perhaps thunder, later in the day. [img width=420]https://www.hkoutdoors.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/PICT1108.JPG[/img]

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