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Meranti becomes a typhoon, rapidly strengthening on its way toward Taiwan

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A low pressure area located east of Guam formed on September 5 and became a tropical depression early September 9. Over the next 24 hours, it strengthened into Tropical Storm “Meranti” and became a typhoon by 09:00 UTC on September 11. This system is expected to rapidly intensify over the next couple of days and become a very strong typhoon. There are still uncertainties in Meranti’s forecast track; it could make a direct hit over Taiwan as a Category 4 hurricane equivalent or move just south of it and impact southeastern China later in the week.

At 09:00 UTC on September 11, the center of Typhoon “Meranti” was located about 1 390 km (864 miles) NE of Manila, Philippines and 1 550 km (963 miles) SSE of Taipei City, Taiwan. According to the JMA, its maximum wind speed near the center was 130 km/h (80 mph), wind gusts were reaching 185 km/h (115 mph). Meranti was moving to the WNW at 24 km/h (15 mph) with minimum estimated central pressure of 965 hPa.

By 09:00 UTC on September 12, Meranti is expected to become a very strong typhoon and be located about 917 km (570 miles) NE of Manila and 1 012 km (628 miles) SSE of Taipei City.

Typhoon “Meranti” forecast track by JMA at 09:00 UTC on September 11, 2016

JTWC’s forecast track is slightly different than JMA’s. On their forecast track, Taiwan is expecting a direct hit around 06:00 UTC on September 14. Meranti’s second landfall is expected on the coast of southeastern China around 06:00 on September 15.

Typhoon “Meranti” forecast track by JTWC at 06:00 UTC on September 11, 2016

Although there is uncertainty in the forecast track, all interests in Taiwan, the northern Philippines and southeastern China should monitor Meranti’s progress.

Meranti (16W) – GEFS Tracks & Min. MSLP (mb/hPA). Credit: TropicalTidbits.com

Credit: UW-CIMSS

Featured image: Typhoon “Meranti” at 09:30 UTC on September 11, 2016. Credit: UW-CIMSS

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