Typhoon Mangkhut Approaches Southern China

After causing significant destruction over northern Luzon, Typhoon Mangkhut approached southern China on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 21.0°N and longitude 114.4°E which put it about 130 miles (205 km) south-southeast of Hong Kong.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (34 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 961 mb.

The inner core of Typhoon Mangkhut was disrupted when it moved across the northern end of Luzon.  The inner eyewall weakened and a larger ragged eye was at the center of the typhoon.  Recent visible satellite images seemed to show an inner rainband wrapping more tightly around the center of circulation and the inner core of Typhoon Mangkhut could be reorganizing.  A smaller eye could be redeveloping at the center of circulation.

Even though it has weakened since yesterday, Typhoon Mangkhut has a very large circulation.  Winds to typhoon force extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 350 miles (565 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut is 16.5.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 28.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Index (HWISI) is 45.0.  Typhoon Mangkhut is capable of causing widespread serious damage.

Typhoon Mangkhut is moving southwest of a subtropical ridge which is steering the typhoon quickly toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut will pass south of Hong Kong in a few hours.  Mangkhut will make landfall on the coast of south China near Yangjiang in about 12 hours.  Typhoon Mangkhut will bring strong gusty winds to southern China.  It will cause a storm surge of up to 10 feet (3 meters) along the coast.  Mangkhut will also drop heavy rain and it will cause flash floods.