Eastern China is gearing up for what is being described as the strongest typhoon of the year. Typhoon Talim, which formed east of the Philippines last weekend is moving towards Taiwan, eastern China and southern Japan, steadily gaining strength and intensity. China's National Weather Observatory has issued an orange alert (second highest warning) yesterday.
Talim is scheduled to pass over parts of Taiwan late Wednesday into Thursday. Favorable environmental conditions like warm waters and ideal wind shear mean that it will intensify as it nears the area, slamming into the north and northeast with maximum sustained wind speeds of 137kmh and gusts of up to 173km/h. It will then move towards the Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, where Chinese authorities are already preparing to evacuate as many as 500,000 people prior to the typhoon making landfall. Several cities along the coastline, including Fuzhou and Ningde, are bracing to be hit.
"Talim is a giant. It will dwarf any of the others [typhoons] we've seen this year," Liu Aiming, chief engineer of Fujian's meteorological bureau tells South China Morning Post. She goes on to predict that by the time Talim makes landfall, it would most likely have grown into a super typhoon (the highest level in China's rating system, equivalent to that of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane in the US).
Back in July 2015, Typhoon Chan-hom which also approached eastern China, triggered an evacuation of over a million residents. Talim might potentially surpass Chan-hom in strength, with a larger wind field as well.
It will then likely steer towards Japan over the weekend. "Given the current forecast track, the most significant impacts from Talim are expected to be across southern Japan," AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty says.
Shanghai will likely experience strong winds and rains on Thursday night and Friday, but the worst of the typhoon's effects will remain offshore. Talim is anticipated to take a sharp eastward turn as it closes in on eastern China. An earlier, sharper turn means less of threat, while a later, less-sharp turn will be unfavorable news for flood-prone Shanghai.
And that's not all. Currently, another tropical low is gaining strength to the southwest of Talim, and may potentially grow into this year's 19th typhoon, Doksuri.
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