Typhoon Koinu rapidly intensified to the equivalent of a major hurricane over the Western North Pacific Ocean east-southeast of Taiwan on Sunday night. At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Typhoon Koinu was located at latitude 19.9°N and longitude 126.4°E which put it about 405 miles (650 km) east-southeast of Hengchun, Taiwan. Koinu was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 953 mb.
Typhoon Koinu rapidly intensified to the equivalent of a major hurricane during the past 24 hours. A circular eye with a diameter of 10 miles (16 km) was at the center of Koinu’s circulation. The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Typhoon Koinu. Storms near the center generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away from the typhoon.
The size of the circulation around Typhoon Koinu increased when Koinu rapidly intensified. Winds to typhoon force extended out 50 miles (80 km) from the center of Koinu’s circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Koinu was 22.1. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 17.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 39.4.
Typhoon Koinu will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Koinu will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30°C. It will move under the southern part of an upper level ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean and eastern Asia. The upper level ridge will produce easterly winds that will blow toward the top of Koinu’s circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the wind shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. Typhoon Koinu is likely to intensify during the next 24 hours.
Typhoon Koinu will move around the southern part of a high pressure system over eastern Asia. The high pressure system will steer Koinu toward the northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Typhoon Koinu will move closer to Taiwan. Koinu will approach southern Taiwan in 48 hours. Typhoon Koinu is likely to be the equivalent of a major hurricane when it approaches Taiwan. Koinu will bring strong, gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Taiwan. Heavy rain will cause flash floods in some locations.