Typhoon Kong-rey brought wind and rain to South Korea late on Friday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Kong-rey was located at latitude 33.8°N and longitude 127.7°W which put it near Jeju (Cheju) Island and about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Pusan, South Korea. Kong-rey was moving toward the north-northeast at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 970 mb.
Rainbands on the northern side of the circulation of Typhoon Kong-rey were already dropping heavy rain over parts of South Korea. The core of Kong-rey was bringing winds to typhoon force and heavy rain to Jeju (Cheju) Island. Typhoon Kong-rey was moving quickly toward the north-northeast. On its anticipated track the center of Typhoon Kong-rey will pass near Pusan, South Korea in a few hours. The typhoon will bring gusty winds and drop locally heavy rain when it passes over southeastern South Korea. Kong-rey will weaken when it moves over the cooler water in the Sea of Japan. Kong-rey could be near Hokkaido in about 24 hours. It will be a tropical storm at that time, but it could still drop locally heavy rain.
Typhoon Kong-rey was bringing wind and rain to Okinawa on Wednesday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Typhoon Kong-rey was located at latitude 23.6°N and longitude 127.3°W which put it about 230 miles (375 km) south of Okinawa. Kong-rey was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 964 mb.
Typhoon Kongrey weakened steadily during Wednesday. The eye became less distinct on satellite imagery. The ring of strong thunderstorms around the eye broke and stronger thunderstorms were only occurring to the east of the eye. It appeared that Typhoon Kong-rey was pulling cooler, drier air into the western half of the circulation and that air was wrapping around the southern half of the typhoon. Kong-rey may have also moved over some cooler water that was mixed to the surface by Typhoon Trami last week.
The circulation around Typhoon Kong-rey was still large. Winds to typhoon force extended out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 230 miles (375 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Kong-rey was 11.5. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 24.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 36.2.
Typhoon Kong-rey will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge will steer Kong-rey toward the north during the next 24 to 36 hours. Typhoon Kong-rey will turn more toward the northeast in about 36 hours.
The outer rainbands on the northern side of Typhoon Kong-rey are already over Okinawa. Kong-rey will drop heavy rain and it will produce gusty winds over Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands on Thursday. The wind and rain will hinder efforts to recover from damage caused by Typhoon Trami. Typhoon Kong-rey could be southeast of Kyushu in about 36 hours and it could be near South Korea in about 48 hours. The soil in much of Japan is already near saturation and more heavy rain could cause flash flooding. Typhoon Kong-rey could also hinder recovery efforts in Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu.
Typhoon Kong-rey quickly strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Monday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Typhoon Kong-rey was located at latitude 17.9°N and longitude 137.3°E which put it about 690 miles (1110 km) southeast of Okinawa. Kong-rey was moving toward the west-northwest at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 195 m.p.h. (315 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 910 mb.
The circulation of Typhoon Kong-rey was very organized and symmetrical. There was a circular eye at the center of Kong-rey. The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Kong-rey. Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon in all directions.
Kong-rey is a large typhoon. Winds to typhoon force extend out about 75 miles (120 km) from the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 240 miles (390 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Kong-rey is 35.0. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 26.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 61.8. Typhoon Kong-rey is capable of causing widespread catastrophic damage.
Typhoon Kong-rey will remain in an environment very favorable for strong typhoons for another 24 to 36 hours. Kong-rey will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. If a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Typhoon Kong-rey to weaken. An upper level trough near Taiwan will produce southwesterly winds which will cause the vertical wind shear to increase in a couple of days. Kong-rey will weaken more steadily when the wind shear increases.
Typhoon Kong-rey will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The high will steer Kong-rey toward the northwest for several more days. On its anticipated track Typhoon Kong-rey could approach the Rykyu Islands in 48 to 60 hours. It will still be a typhoon at that time. If Typhoon Kong-rey brings strong winds and heavy rain, it will hamper the recovery from Typhoon Trami which hit the Ryukyu Islands a few days ago.