Typhoon Megi Strengthens As It Moves Closer to Taiwan

Typhoon Megi strengthened quickly on Saturday as it moved steadily closer to Taiwan.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Typhoon Megi was located at latitude 19.4°N and longitude 131.0°E which put it about 685 miles (1105 km) east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.  Megi was moving toward the west northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 963 mb.

Megi is a large well organized typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extend out about 50 miles (80 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out more than 200 miles (320 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Megi is 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 18.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 36.5.

The circulation of Typhoon Megi is very symmetrical.  Numerous bands of thunderstorms are rotating around the center.  A circular eye appears to be forming at the center of circulation.  Thunderstorms near the center and in the rainbands are generating upper level divergence which is pumping out large quantities of mass in all directions.

Typhoon Megi is moving through a very favorable environment.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Typhoon Megi is likely to continue to intensify and it could become the equivalent of a major hurricane on Sunday.

Typhoon Megi is moving southwest of a subtropical ridge which is steering it toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Megi will approach Taiwan in about 48 hours.

Typhoon Megi is large and dangerous typhoon.  It is likely to bring strong winds and heavy rain to Taiwan.