Typhoon Meranti Update:
September 20, 2016
Severe Typhoon Meranti made landfall over Xiamen City, Fujian Province, China with 48 m/s of maximum sustained wind and 945 hPa of Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) at 1905 UTC on September 14, 2016. Almost all power and water supplies were interrupted and over 350,000 trees destroyed after the typhoon made landfall. This typhoon was the most intense typhoon the City has seen since 1949.
When Meranti was approaching the Xiamen coastal area, it became a midget typhoon. The strong winds could only be observed about within 50 km near landing point. The peak gust of 66.1 m/s and the maximum 10-minute mean wind of 49.8 m/s were recorded at 1856 UTC and 1901 UTC on September 14 at a bridge in Xiamen City respectively which is at 41 m above the sea level. The MSLP of 948 hPa was observed at another station at 18.9 m above the sea level. In total, 16 stations recorded over 33 m/s of the 2-mintue sustained mean wind and 135 AWSs recorded over 33 m/s of gust near landing point. Among them, 6 AWSs recorded over 40 m/s of 2-mintue sustained mean wind; 39 recorded 42 m/s, 13 recorded 52 m/s and 4 AWSs recorded over 60 m/s of gust near the landing point.
Tens of thousands of homes lost power across Taiwan as the island was hit by super-typhoon Meranti on September 14.
The storm strength as it neared Taiwan in the early hours of the day and had carrying speeds of up to 134mph (216km/h).Nearly 200,000 households were without electricity, according to Taiwan Power. Most domestic flights were cancelled, including all of those from Kaohsiung airport, where international flights were also severely affected.
Super Typhoon Meranti made landfall in south-eastern China on September 15 and brought strong winds and rainfall. As it passed Taiwan, Meranti had sustained winds of 290km an hour (kph), and gusts of 350kph.
The storm left at least 10 people dead and nine more missing in China, as it wreaked havoc on the country’s eastern coast. The storm was the worst to hit Fujian province since records began in 1949 has killed seven people in Fujian province and three in neighbouring Zhejiang province with 11 more still missing.
Dr. K J Ramesh, Director General of India Meteorological Department (IMD) spoke with G’nY about how despite typhoons showing a marked increase in the south Asian oceans has not been replicated in the Indian Ocean. He however adds that the intensity of Indian cyclones has shown sizable increase but not in frequency.
At one point, more than 3.2 million homes had their electricity cut off and water supplies for many communities in Xiamen were disrupted. Flooding also destroyed an 871-year-old bridge that was a protected heritage site in Yongchun County.
It is predicted that Meranti will continue to lose strength as it pushes inland and up towards China’s commercial capital of Shanghai, but will still bring heavy rain.
The Japan Meteorological Agency analysed Meranti’s central pressure at 890 millibars. This puts Meranti in the short list of the deepest tropical cyclones ever recorded anywhere on Earth.
Meranti was a Category 5 typhoon, the strongest classification awarded by Tropical Storm Risk storm tracker, before it made landfall on the mainland and has since been downgraded to Category 2.
Taiwan is often hit by powerful storms. Another typhoon, Malakas, is expected to approach Taiwan on September 16 and 17, but is unlikely to make landfall. The Central Weather Bureau on September 16 issued a land alert for Typhoon Malakas, with the second typhoon to affect Taiwan this week expected to bring strong winds to eastern and northern parts of the nation.
The destructive power of the typhoons that wreak havoc across China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines has intensified by 50 per cent in the past 40 years due to warming seas, a new study has found (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v9/n9/full/ngeo2783.html).
In the new research titled ‘Storm track processes and the opposing influences of climate change’ published in Nature Geoscience, the scientists took data collected independently by centres in Japan and Hawaii and, after accounting for differences in the way it had been collected, showed that typhoons in the north-west Pacific had intensified by 12–15 per cent on average since 1977. The proportion of the most violent storms – categories 4 and 5 – doubled and even tripled in some regions over that time and the intensification was most marked for those storms which hit land.
In August end, typhoon Lionrock left 11 people dead in northern Japan and caused power blackouts and property damage, while in July typhoon Nepartak hit Taiwan and China, killing at least nine people and leaving a trail of destruction.
Prof Wei Mei from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill speaking with the Guardian on September 5 said “It is a very, very substantial increase”. He further added that “We believe the results are very important for East Asian countries because of the huge populations in these areas. People should be aware of the increase in typhoon intensity because when they make landfall these can cause much more damage.”