Khanun Intensifies Into a Typhoon Southeast of Hong Kong

Tropical Storm Khanun intensified into a typhoon southeast of Hong Kong on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Typhoon Khanun was located at latitude 20.1°N and longitude 114.2°W which put it about 170 miles (275 km) south-southeast of Hong Kong.  Khanun was moving toward the west-northwest at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 965 mb.

The circulation of Typhoon Khanun became much more well organized on Saturday.  A small circular eye formed at the center of circulation.  A tight ring of strong thunderstorms formed around the eye.  The strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Khanun.  There were many more showers and thunderstorms in the western half of the circulation.  The storms in the core of Khanun were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west of the typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extended out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 250 miles (400 km) from the center.

Typhoon Khanun will move through an environment favorable for intensification for about another 12 to 18 hours.  Khanun will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level ridge north of Typhoon Khanun is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  The easterly winds are causing some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not strong enough to prevent intensification.  The circulation of Typhoon Khanun will interact with land in 12 to 18 hours and that interaction should halt further intensification.

The ridge north of Khanun has been steering the typhoon toward the west-northwest.  The ridge is forecast to strengthen on Sunday and it will steer Typhoon Khanun more toward the west.  On its anticipated track the center of Typhoon Khanun will pass south of Hong Kong and Macao on Sunday.  Khanun will approach the south coast of China near Zhanjiang in 12 to 18 hours.  Typhoon Khanun will bring strong gusty winds and locally heavy rain to southern China west of Hong Kong and Macao.  The heavy rain could cause flooding in some locations.  Typhoon Khanun will be weaker when it moves over the Gulf of Tongking in about 24 hours.