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Tropics: Taiwan braces for severe storm; Hawaii may be spared

Over in the western Pacific basin, Typhoon Morakot is forecast to continue to strengthen, possibly to category 2 or low-end category 3 status, while moving west. It should move across northern Taiwan this morning and impact coastal China by tonight or tomorrow.

Morakot is a large typhoon in size – it is wider than the length of New Zealand – and its impacts will likely be felt throughout the region.

East Asia Satellite

The latest satellite image of Morakot.

Tropical storm force winds will be felt for a prolonged period of 1 to 2 days, with much higher damaging winds likely near where the center makes landfall, possibly over northern Taiwan. The combination of torrential rains and high battering waves will bring bring flooding to both coastal and inland areas of Taiwan and then China. Heavy surf and heavy rains are also impacting the southern islands of Japan.

In the eastern Pacific basin, Hurricane Felicia continues to have sustained winds well over 200km/h as of late Friday evening after peaking early on Friday at 225km/h.

As of late Fridat night Felicia was still a category 4 Hurricane located about three thousand kilometres east of Hilo, Hawaii while continuing to move northwest.

Felicia is forecast to make a turn in a more westerly direction this weekend, while encountering drier air and shearing winds aloft. This will likely quickly weaken the system over the next 3 days. Felicia could reach the Big Island of Hawaii early next week as a much weaker tropical depression.

At this time it appears impacts to Hawaii will include gusty winds, locally heavy rain and elevated surf.

Pac Proj. Path 8

To the northeast of Felicia, Enrique continues to weaken and is now just a Tropical Depression while moving northwest.

Outflow from Hurricane Felicia will weaken Enrique further, with it becoming a remnant low by Friday. Enrique is not expected to impact any land.


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