- The Super Typhoon currently has maximum sustained winds of 180 mph making it a category 5 storm.
- The path of Chanthu is leading it directly to Taiwan and the city of Taipei.
- Atlhough typhoons are common to the country, it is expected that this storm will bring intense wind and rain, causing severe flooding and potential landslides.
Chanthu is extremely powerful with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph, making it a dangerous category 5 storm. Meterologists are carefully watching Super Typhoon Chanthu especially because not only has it not lost its strength over the past few days ago, it is actually intensifying.
Forecasts predict that Chanthu will weaken to a category 4 storm before it lands in southern Taiwan. A category 4 storm. By the time the storm passes near the city of Taipei, it is anticipated to be downgraded to a category 2 storm.
Super Typhoon Chanthu will bring high winds and severe rains at all categories, from 5 to 2. Typhoons are part of the norm in Taiwan, however, Chanthu is taking an unusual path that takes it over the region with the potential for increased possibility of several damage. The torrential rains will likely cause flooding and possibly landslides.
In the span of just 2 days, sustained winds increased by 130 mph. Only 5 other storms recorded such rapid intensification, moving from just a depression to a category 5 storm in a very short period of time, said Sam Lillo, meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to the US National Hurricane Center, rapid intensification is defined an increase of maximum sustained winds by at least 35 miles per hour within 24 hours. Some key ingredients for rapid intensification of tropical cyclones include high sea surface temperatures, excess ocean heat content (a measure of the water temperature below the surface), and low vertical wind shear.
Warm waters go hand-in-hand with warm humid air, and both provide vital energy and moisture for hurricanes. Vertical wind shear is the difference in the speed and direction of lower-level and upper-level winds. High shear rips the tops off of developing hurricanes and weakens them, while low shear allows storms to build.
The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) predicts that as the typhoon closes in on Taiwan, its periphery will begin to impact the country Friday evening, bringing rain to eastern Taiwan. Rain and wind will intensify on Saturday, when heavy rains are likely in eastern Taiwan, Keelung City, and the Hengchun Peninsula. The Taiwanese are preparing as best they can, with businesses and schools shut down in anticipation of the storm’s arrival.