Dangerous Typhoon Usagi heading for Taiwan and southern China
A major typhoon is currently sitting in the north Pacific Ocean and is likely to become a super typhoon within the next 24 hours.
Typhoon Usagi has been feeding off the warm tropical ocean and gaining strength rapidly, spinning into dangerous storm with a well-defined eye.
Currently, Usagi has a steady wind speed approaching 140mph, with gusts around 165mph, whipping up 32-feet waves. That’s almost 10 metres high – the height of a double-decker bus.
Further development of this typhoon will cause the wind to become even stronger on Friday, with steady winds reaching 160mph and gusts of 195mph – equivalent to a category five hurricane.
Whilst it will weaken a little at the weekend, it is still going to be a powerful storm when it passes over the southern tip of Taiwan on Saturday, with the potential to cause significant damage.
Torrential rain, combined with a big storm surge will bring the danger of flooding – especially to low-lying coastal areas. As well as the water threat, very strong winds will be capable of ripping down trees and causing major disruption.
The exact path of Usagi becomes a little uncertain after it hits TaiwanThe exact path of Usagi becomes a little uncertain, but the latest forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (above) takes it towards southern China later on Sunday, with a chance that Hong Kong may be hit.
By then, the storm’s intensity is likely to have decreased, but it will still be powerful enough to bring heavy rain, strong winds, flooding and disruption.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on the storm’s progress in the coming days and posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton
Satellite image: Naval Research Laboratory