Typhoon Lingling Strengthens to the Equivalent of a Major Hurricane

Typhoon Lingling intensified into the equivalent of a major hurricane over the southern Ryukyu Islands on Wednesday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Typhoon Lingling was located at latitude 24.4°N and longitude 125.4°E which put it about 200 miles (325 km) southwest of Okinawa.  Lingling was moving toward the north at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 942 mb.

Typhoon Lingling quickly intensified into the equivalent of a major hurricane on Wednesday night.  A circular eye was at the center of Lingling.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Lingling.  Storms around the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extended out about 50 miles (80 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 200 miles (325 km) from the center.

Typhoon Lingling will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Lingling will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Lingling is likely to intensify on Thursday.  At some point an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Typhoon Lingling to weaken.

Typhoon Lingling will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Lingling toward the north during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Lingling will pass west of Okinawa during the next 24 hours.